It is now hard to recall the time when a portable computer was a rare, extraordinary thing. Today’s notebooks are steadily approaching the moment when they will surpass desktop computers in the total sales volume, which will be the natural consequence of their development. Notebooks have been getting ever cheaper and improving in battery life and performance (which is now comparable with that of desktop machines). The trend towards miniaturization of digital devices can be seen clearly today – desktop computers are being ousted by thin and light notebooks, and the number of the so-called sub-notebooks is on the rise, too, although at a smaller rate.
Intel Corp. is currently the main player on this field. Two years ago the company announced its Centrino platform that included a chipset and a Pentium M CPU (with a TDP of less than 27W), specifically designed for use in portable computers. Unlike AMD that can’t yet boast such CPU modifications, Intel expanded the Pentium M series further by releasing Low Voltage and Ultra Low Voltage models meant for sub-notebooks that have a smaller-capacity battery. Working at a lower voltage and lower frequency, these CPUs feature very low power consumption and heat dissipation.
The clock rate of Pentium M Low Voltage and Ultra Low Voltage processors ranges 1.4 to 1.6GHz and 1.0 to 1.2GHz, respectively. The thermal design power of the “hottest” LV model is 10W, while the ULV modifications have a TDP of 5W. The “coldest” model in the Pentium M series works at as low voltage as 0.96-1.05V. CPUs of both these series work with a 400MHz FSB and their processor number looks like that of the Pentium M, i.e. “7xx”, the last digit being 8 for Low Voltage and 3 for Ultra Low Voltage.
Today we are going to test a notebook based around the Ultra Low Voltage processor with the highest clock rate, i.e. around Pentium M ULV 753 with the default frequency of 1.2GHz. This processor along with the Intel 855GME chipset are the main constituents of the Centrino platform the VAIO VGN-T2XRP/S, a tiny sub-notebook from Sony, is based upon.