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WidowPC races to ship first dual-core notebook

Will the Sting sing?

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Will WidowPC's Sting 917X2 notebook be the world's first dual-core laptop? Certainly a number of technology websites are claiming it is, but a check on the company's own website reveals the 5.1kg beast is only available on pre-order.

The 917X2 is will be based an AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+ or above. The spec. is customisable, but the machine will ship with at least 512MB of DDR SDRAM, up to 2GB. There are two drive bays, ready for HDDs of 40-120GB, and you can choose from two 17in LCDs: a 1440 x 900 widescreen job or a 1900 x 1200 screen.

The machine comes with an Nvidia Geforce Go 7800 GTX, ATI Mobility Radeon X800 XT Platinum Edition or an Nvidia Quadro FX Go 1400, the choice is yours.

WidowPC is offering the machine with Windows XP Home, Pro or Media Center Edition, and it will stick in a TV tuner, Wi-Fi adaptor, and one or two optical drives (assuming you haven't opted for a second HDD, of course).

On board are two FireWire ports; infra-red; four USB 2.0 ports; legacy connectors; two S-Video ports, one for video-in the other for TV-out; analog and SP/DIF digital audio ports; Gigabit Ethernet; and a 56Kbps modem.

The basic spec. will set you back $3,447. And at 39 x 29.3 x 4.9cm, you're going to want to rest it on something other than your lap.

But when will you get it? According to WidowPC, it's waiting on CPU shipments from AMD, noting "AMD has announced that they will have them to us in November". We're in December now, and there's clearly no sign of the chips - at least, WidowPC hasn't updated its site even if it has received them.

The company suggests pre-ordering now to be "one of the first in line" for the new machine. "Otherwise, if you order when the chips come in you are more likely to get your dual core laptop in 2006."

That's dangerous close to the arrival of dual-core notebooks based on Intel's upcoming 'Yonah' Pentium M, so WidowPC may not be first after all. Still, given AMD CPUs' strength in gaming, the kind of folks with an eye on the Sting are not going to natural Centrino buyers, and we can't wait to see the 917X2's benchmark numbers. ®

Widowpc sting 917X2 dual-core notebook

Widowpc sting 917X2 dual-core notebook

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