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Intel Launches Laptop Chips in Consumer Bid

California

May 11, 2004|From Associated Press

Intel Corp. launched three microprocessors for laptop computers Monday as the chip-making giant widened its mobile technology marketing blitz to include consumers as well as businesses.

The chips -- the Pentium M 735, 745 and 755 -- are the company's first mobile processors to be built with a new process that improves performance without significantly affecting battery life. They also run at higher speeds and have more onboard memory than previous mobile chips.

PC makers can use the chips in Centrino-branded systems that include other Intel parts or mix them with chips from other companies. Intel heavily markets Centrino, which includes the processor, radio and chipset, and offers subsidies to vendors that use the whole package.

Intel launched Centrino last year, kicking it off with a $300-million marketing campaign that promised high-performance, wireless-capable mobile computers that didn't drain batteries as quickly as older technologies.

But until recently, Intel has focused primarily on business users. Now, it's also targeting consumer retail markets, said Anand Chandrasekher, co-general manager of the Intel Mobile Products Group.

"Intel Centrino mobile technology is poised to extend the 'unwired' lifestyle beyond the enterprise to consumers at home and on the road," he said.

The latest push includes a television, print, online and outdoor advertising campaign as well as in-store displays at retailers such as Best Buy, Circuit City, CompUSA and Office Depot.

The new chips range in speed from 1.7 gigahertz to 2 gigahertz. Prices range from $294 for the Pentium M 735 to $637 for the Pentium M 755 when purchased in bulk.

Intel also lowered the price on older Pentium M chips as much as 30%.

Shares of Santa Clara, Calif.-based Intel rose 8 cents to $26.55 on Nasdaq.

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