27th August: Time to build again

On 27th July 2006 with the launch of Conroe (Core 2 Duo for Desktops), I had made a call for building Desktops. On 27th August it is now the time to build Laptops because Merom (Core 2 Duo for Laptops) has now been released by Intel.

Question: What's the key difference between Core Duo and Core 2 Duo in Laptop space?
Power Profile - Nearly the same. 40% better than Pentium M profile
Performance - 9-12% better (I didn't test this, just read from several online reports)
Price - for T5500 (2MB Cache) is around $100 more than Core Duo baseline and T7200 (4MB Cache) is roughly $200 more
Bottomline - If you are willing to shell out $100-200 more for 8-10% performance increase - then go for Core 2 Duo else the cheaper brother Core Duo is sufficient for productivity applications.

Most definitely - any notebook with Pentium M is a total waste because it is 40% slower and eats upto 40% more power (Again - I didn't test them - Intel and other reviewers did)

What to buy?
High End
Core 2 Duo T7200 + 1GB RAM (minimum) + 256MB Graphics Card (NVidia or ATI any) + 60 or 80 GB HDD (7200 rpm is preferred)
Price will be around $1050 to $1150 (in USA)
Budget End
Core 2 Duo T5500 Or Core Duo T2400 + 1GB RAM (minimum) + regular components - nothing special
Price will be around $800 to 900 (in USA)

Where to buy?
Online Dell purchase is preferred by me. Others may try and drop into showrooms to check HP, Lenovo, Toshiba, Sony and Acer's prices. Most of the notebooks will be 35-40% more expensive in India than USA/Europe/Singapore prices. So it is most sane to buy from outside India. The best part about this is "Any person can carry one laptop with him without any customs duty" - what this means is any person returning to India from an international visit and not carrying a notebook with him is making a big mistake. Even if one doesn't want a notebook, he can sell it very easily on e-bay and make a significant profit - despite selling it at lower than Indian market price.

Sometimes I feel to make a business plan out of this arbitrage. Designate an associate with ready to ship Dell machines USA airport - giving Rs. 5000 to anyone willing to carry the laptop and deliver it in India to me. I can sell then sell it at significant profit margin.

Anyway - hope that this information is all that you would be requiring to know for purchase of a notebook. For any further queries, drop me a mail or put it in the comments!