Where are the Centrino 2 laptops?

August 25th, 2008 | by Alfred Siew

It’s been more than a month since Intel launched its Centrino 2 platform, which includes CPUs that are faster yet use up less battery. Yet, you’ll probably be surprised that there aren’t that many models out there in stores in Sim Lim Square and Funan the DigitaLife Mall.

The reason, as Techgoondu found out during Sim Lim/Funan geek walkabouts the past two weekends, was because retailers were holding out for this week’s Comex tech bazaar at Suntec City.

Instead of pushing out new models, which are already announced to the press and on their websites in the past couple of weeks, manufacturers don’t have their stocks out in force in the shops yets.

The first models were from Sony a few weeks back. Its new Vaio SR (13-inch screen) and TW (16.4-inch) ranges are the most prominent models to sport Intel’s P8400, P8600 and other “Centrino 2” CPUs, and also to offer Wireless N in 5GHz mode (hurray for those who run their routers in this spectrum to sidestep the overcrowded 2.4GHz band).

Then came HP with its new Pavilion DV4s and DV5s, 14- and 15-inchers that are packed to the brim with multimedia goodies like Nvidia graphics cards and are a good bang for buck (starting from around S$2,200). These are basically updates to their existing “shiny” Pavilion range with an overdose of glossy finish.

But where are the much-awaited Lenovo Thinkpad X200s (listed on the Lenovo website but only open for pre-order in stores)? Or the excellent Fujitsu Lifebook S6520, the lightest 14-incher out there? Or Toshiba’s new Satellite models?

Nope, none of these new models sporting new Centrino 2 features (includes new integrated graphics chip as well as the other aforementioned goodies), are sold in stores at the time of writing.

According to some shops, manufacturers are waiting for the Comex show this week to bring out the new models, so they can cut price on the old ones at the same time.

It’s a strange tactic. Why would anyone want to squeeze with the competition in a tight, tight place when they can steal the show early, like Sony has done with its models?

There’s even talk that these folks are waiting AFTER the show to launch the new Centrino 2 models, so that their old stock can be let go at lelong prices at the show.

That’s even weirder. Where competition used to push technology forward, we are seeing new products being held back because of this big show this week.

In any case, consumers are left with no choice, unless they settle for older Centrino duo laptops. These are not that much worse off that new models, to be honest, but why buy an old model if a new one is just round the corner?

So, if you are heading down to add to the human traffic from this Thursday to Sunday, the show details are here.

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