SAN FRANCISCO (06/23/2000) - Heads up, speed junkies: Three newcomers on the power chart mark the debut of Intel's latest processor, the Pentium III-700/550 SpeedStep. Of the three, the Quantex Corp. W-1511 leads the pack in performance by a nose. Just don't expect the moon from the new SpeedStep--it provides a relatively small boost for the megahertz. On average, the PIII-700 notebooks we've seen are only about 3 percent faster than a similarly configured PIII-650 model.
Every new notebook we tested this month--six in all--found a home on our list.
Two past chart favorites--Dell Computer Corp.'s Inspiron 5000 and Quantex's W-1511--return, after a two-month absence, with new PIII-700/550 processors.
The W-1511 beats its near-twin in both performance and price, but system reliability and vendor support weigh heavily in our calculations: Dell's longer warranty and Good reliability rating lift the Inspiron above the Quantex on the power list.
A newcomer from Axis Systems, the Fusion 7280V, captures first place on the midrange chart with outstanding performance on PC WorldBench 2000. This laptop carries 256MB of RAM--more than twice the amount most notebooks have--which helps explain why this PIII-500 system performs better than PIII-500 units with only 128MB of RAM.