Dell signs Quanta to make 5m notebooks

But what's the CPU?

Dell has signed up Quanta to produce 4.5-5 million high-end portable PCs, according to sources close the Taiwanese notebook maker.

Production will commence Q1 2002 and stretch to July 2003, the sources claim, according to DigiTimes. Quanta will ship 250,000-300,000 units per month through 2002 and around three million during 2003.

The machine to be produced is contains a 14in screen and is said to be aimed at the top end of the business market. Could this, we wonder, be the AMD Mobile Athlon 4-based notebook Dell was rumoured last month to have agreed to offer? That deal - if true - was expected to be announced at Computex earlier this month, but the trade show came and went with not even a whisper from AMD or Dell.

Such a move would break Dell's long 'Intel only' policy, which is why it was treated with such scepticism by AMD watchers as well as Intel die-hards. If Dell is sticking with Intel, one of the upcoming 0.13 micron Mobile Pentium III chips, codenamed Tualatin, has to be a likely choice. Given the timing of the production run, however, we wouldn't like to rule out a 0.13 micron Pentium 4 (aka Northwood) based machine. The 0.18 micron P4 is too power-hungry for a laptop, but a 0.13 micron part might just work.

Whatever, the Dell deal should help Quanta maintain its position as the world's largest notebook PC producer, a title it hopes to win from Toshiba this year. ®

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