Today's platform announcement from Intel may have left you scratching your head, and rightly so. After all, the company is replacing its Centrino Duo platform with a whole new platform called...Centrino Duo. And then there's Centrino Pro. Both of which, up until this morning, were called Santa Rosa (and will probably still be referred to by that moniker for the next few months). Confused yet?
Fortunately, we've had some time to wade through the marketing buzz and technical specs to figure out the whole story. Boiled down, it's this: the new Centrino Duo platform includes a handful of new Core 2 Duo processors; a new chipset with a faster front-side bus and an optional dedicated memory cache; a new graphics solution with a larger allocation of memory; and a new wireless card with support for Draft-N wireless.
Centrino Pro, meanwhile, has all those new features, plus additional remote management technologies designed for businesses. Essentially a mobile version of the vPro technology found on desktops, the Centrino Pro enhancements let IT managers upload configuration changes to a PC over a network. Centrino Pro also allows for asset management and remote diagnostics independent of the laptop's operating system, meaning the machine doesn't have to be on for IT workers to access it.
As with every iteration of notebook technology, all this is supposed to add up to better performance and longer battery life (which, thus far, it more or less has--see our first few reviews of Santa Rosa systems). While the changes aren't revolutionary, we do think they're worth seeking out if you're already in the market for a new laptop. After the page break you'll find our rundown of all the new Centrino features and what they mean to you.… Read more