Intel to push Centrino in 2004

By Julio Franco ยท 14 replies
Dec 15, 2003
  1. Intel is making a resolution to convince consumers that Centrino notebooks will be the thing to have in 2004. Dothan, a faster, higher-performance version of the Pentium M chip, and a dual-band Wi-Fi module offering 802.11g, are both expected to be available in Centrino notebooks during the first quarter of 2004.

    These laptops should be thin, light, wireless-friendly and have long battery life, but Intel may have trouble selling consumers on them. Notebooks with more powerful processors cost the same or less, and buyers are used to thinking bigger and faster mean better.

    Read more: CNet News.
  2. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    Looks like Intel now has to fight the battle AMD did with their desktop processors (convincing the public Mhz between different processors doesn't always signify better performance).
  3. StormBringer

    StormBringer TS Maniac Posts: 2,244

    Seems a bit ironic doesn't it.

    They need to do something, as many people still don't know what Centrino does. I have people ask me all the time what it is and whether they need it or not. Intel needs to focus on the benifits of Centrino and urge Laptop manufacturers to outline those benifits as well, rather than just mentioning the Centrino name.
  4. poertner_1274

    poertner_1274 secroF laicepS topShceT Posts: 4,172

    I get all sorts of questoins about this at work. People don't like the fact that Centrino's are 'slower' than the others. But what are you going to do about it? If you want the significant battery life then I think it is worth the slower chips, because if you are going to be running on batteries, chances are you aren't going to need the pure power of a P4.
  5. Vehementi

    Vehementi TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,704

    I can see the relation between AMD's desktop battle and Intel's laptop battle. But, instead of comparing side by side a 1.8GHz processor and a 2.2GHz processor, we're comparing something like a 2.6GHz processor with a 1.8GHz processor with incredibly longer battery life, great WiFi support, and a smaller, sleeker laptop.

    If I were to buy a laptop right now it would be a Centrino. Not the Alienware Area-51M that's battery lasts for like half an hour. I have a high-performance rig at home for playing games.
    To me it seems that Centrino is the obvious choice, but perhaps not the average user.
  6. StormBringer

    StormBringer TS Maniac Posts: 2,244

    This is a perfect example of the info that the average consumer is lacking. You know this because you keep up with the latest tech, I know, because my livelyhood depends upon it, the average consumer knows squat. This is where Intel needs to focus. Making Centrino as much a household name as Pentuim has become is hopefully their goal.

    I don't think the average user plays BF1942, or MP2 on his laptop. The average laptop user uses his machine to do office work while on the road, or as a way of taking along a crossreference of parts, or reference tools to take in the field. The average user needs the battery life, and for many, the Wi-Fi support is a must have as well.

    When you think of the average consumer, think of teachers, businessmen, mechanics, technicians, electricians, plumbers, carpenters, etc... These are the people who use a Laptop in the field and on the road, these are the majority.
  7. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    I too don't see this as being as easy as you think veh, its going to be just as hard as the AMD desktop battle, if not harder cause now consumers know its the same company making the chips.
  8. poertner_1274

    poertner_1274 secroF laicepS topShceT Posts: 4,172

    Intel is doing a pretty good job of advertising for the Centrino. And they keep going, just not as hard as when it first came out.

    As far as buying a laptop I would get a Centrino hands down. It gives you the most options to do what most people want to do. Like Storm said the people who are going to use it are the average joe who needs it to take on trips and do work, or use in the field. They will be VERY handy simply because of the battery life, and the higher clock speeds won't be necessary because it will be used for basic things.
  9. tripleione

    tripleione TS Rookie Posts: 154

    You are absolutely right, StormBringer. Most of the people I know that have laptops are older-aged men who use them for doing reports of papers for work and/or doing work while traveling. I only know two people who actually play games on their laptop.

    I believe if Intel wants to really kickstart the sales of these things, they need to get the idea across to the average user that the battery life is much longer than any comparable system with an equal or better processor. I think that is the number one feature that will make their Centrino notebooks sell. The WiFi and smaller design are good features but other notebook manufacturers can and will implement them in time. The battery longetivity is the key feature that makes Centrino notebooks stand out.
  10. poertner_1274

    poertner_1274 secroF laicepS topShceT Posts: 4,172

    I can tell you one thing, that when customers come into my work and are looking for a laptop, I ask are you going to be using it on batteries? And they usually say "yes", so I talk about the Centrino, and 9 out of 10 will walk out of the store with a Centrino, simply because of the presentation of extended battery life. It is a great feature. I just think they need to change their marketing strategy to get a broader spectrum of customers.
  11. StormBringer

    StormBringer TS Maniac Posts: 2,244

    That is exactly the kind of thing that Intel needs to focus on. Your ability to sell them on Centrino may well be that you could sell ice to polar bears, but I would also wager that the description of the features probably has a lot to do with it as well. When customers find out what it is and what it can do for them, its not hard for them to accept it. Its when they are simply presented with the name, without any info(or limited info) on what it does, that they shy away from it, or choose something else over it.
  12. poertner_1274

    poertner_1274 secroF laicepS topShceT Posts: 4,172

    Yes it takes quite a bit more focus than just saying this is a Centrino and you get longer battery life....

    Even after you coach them through it, they still usually don't understand the difference (because they simply don't know anything about computers), but they have a better general idea. If Intel would focus on the important things about the Centrino, instead of the bloated commercials with too much broad stuff they would sell more.

    Another thing is that quite a few people think that the ability to go wireless in the work force, you only need a Centrino. They don't understand that they have to broadcast the internet locally to be able to use it. They think they can jump in their car and be able to get online. This is horrible on Intel's part, because they are deceiving customers, and once they hear they can't just be online in their RV they typically aren't interested anymore, and they want a desktop.
  13. StormBringer

    StormBringer TS Maniac Posts: 2,244

    You have good points Poert, I get the same things from people when they ask me about Centrino. They seem to think it has the ability to be a modem or something. I will also agree that it is advertising's fault, they seem to completely fail to tell you that Centrino is NOT a wireless modem(though some of the ads would lead the average consumer to think it might be)
    On the upside, I think they are doing a pretty good job of pushing the power saving features of Centrino. Many people do seem to respond to that, as well as already know about it, but most are oblivious beyond that.
  14. Vehementi

    Vehementi TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,704

    From seeing some of Centrino's ads, I can see where the mixup would be established between them seeing it as a wireless modem and not a whole chipset. But people don't know the difference between a chipset and a modem, it's all just gibberish to them. I can see the dilemna Intel is in, it would be hard for me to explain what Centrino is too. People don't know what "Buy a laptop based on Centrino technology!" means, then they see the spiel about the wireless networking and just think it's a wireless modem. I completely know where they are coming from, and how Intel is in such a precarious position. But emphasizing on the longer battery life, what most people probably want with a laptop, leads to a customer thinking "this is exactly what I want!"
    All Intel needs is some personal identification of Centrino's features, what it will mean for the customer, and how their life will be made easier and productivity will increase.
  15. poertner_1274

    poertner_1274 secroF laicepS topShceT Posts: 4,172

    Very true Veh, just as Storm and I said, but I wonder if Intel realizes this? I wonder how many people have asked for different commercials or advertisement? I wonder how many emails or snail mail they get saying the Centrino is a bit confusing?

    Probably not very many, and until they realize the problem I'm sure they aren't going to fix it, even though it needs to be done.
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