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WinLab Reviews
Texas Instruments Extensa 900CDT
Notebook Breaks in Two for Easy Travel

-- by Jim Forbes

For many, the notebook computer is a desktop computer, attached to a network most of the day and taken on the road for trips. But few notebook toters willingly carry around extra weight. TI's 133MHz Pentium Extensa 900CDT separates the notebook from its I/O station, so you carry only the essentials.

The Extensa 900CDT comes with 16MB of RAM, a 1.3GB hard drive, a fast Chips and Technology video controller with 1MB of video RAM, a 12.1-inch active-matrix color display, two PCI slots (one of which supports Zoomed Video) and a lithium ion battery.

The notebook includes the normal complement of external connections: serial, parallel, PS/2, audio-in, audio-out, microphone, 4Mb-per-second infrared and two PCMCIA slots that are 32-Card Bus ready. The Mobile Productivity Base houses an 8X CD-ROM drive, an advanced PCI slot and all external connections except the IrDA4 infrared port.

When connected, the Extensa and its Mobile Productivity Base measure 2.4 by 11.7 by 9 inches and hit the scales at about 7.5 pounds. By itself, the notebook weighs 4.9 pounds and measures 1.5 by 11.7 by 9 inches.

The Super VGA screen displayed bright colors. Battery life was good, up to 2.5 hours using advanced power management settings. The Mobile Base ($599 if purchased separately) connects easily.

The Extensa clocked an average Wintune score of 248.67MIPS; hard disk throughput was a meager 0.87MB per second. Video throughput was another story-a strong 9.3 Mpixels per second. Our application macros ran in average times of 21.60 seconds for Word and 16 seconds for Excel.

Equipped with a faster hard drive, this notebook might have ended up on our WinList of recommended products alongside other 133MHz Pentiums, such as Dell's Latitude LM P133ST.

TI Extensa 900CDT
Price: $4,299
Platforms: 3x, 95
Pros: Modular design; 133MHz Pentium; great display
Cons: Poor disk drive performance
Strongest rival: Dell Latitude LM P133ST
Texas Instruments
800-TI-TEXAS, 817-774-6001
Circle #671 or visit Winfo Online

Windows Magazine, May 1997, page 150.

[ Go to May 1997 Table of Contents ]