Toshiba announces Sonoma-based notebook early

Intel to release next-gen Centrino next week

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Intel will release 'Sonoma', its second-generation Centrino notebook platform, on Wednesday, 19 January, it has emerged.

So claims Chinese-language newspaper the Commercial Times today, but the date tallies with the timeframe mentioned to The Register by sources close to Intel.

However, Toshiba, for one, has already begun announcing Sonoma-based product. Today it unveiled the Dynabook VX 470LS notebook, a Centrino-branded machine based on Intel's 915GM Express chipset, aka 'Alviso'. The PC contains a 1.6GHz Pentium M 730 and 802.11b/g Wi-Fi wireless networking, Toshiba's Japanese web site reveals.

The VX also sports a dual-layer DVD+R drive with DVD-R support. There's an 80GB hard drive, 256MB of PC2700 DDR SDRAM, USB 2.0, Firewire/iLink and a six-format memory card reader built in too.

Alviso began shipping last month, ahead of January's formal introduction. The 915GM features an integrated Intel Media Accelerator 900 graphics engine. A discrete version, the 915PM, is also available. Both chipsets bring a 533MHz frontside bus, DDR 2 SDRAM, Serial ATA, PCI Express and Intel Hi-Def Audio technologies to the notebook platform.

The chip maker will also introduce 533MHz FSB-enabled versions of its Pentium M processor line next week. The updated CPUs will also support what Intel calls the Execute Disable Bit - essentially the on-chip switch used by Windows XP Service Pack 2 to prevent certain viruses operating from data-only memory. ®

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