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Merom notebooks arrive with later ship dates

Intel Corp. on Monday officially launched its Core 2 Duo mobile platform, spawning the introduction of several Core 2 Duo notebooks from PC manufacturers, but few, if any, are immediately available.

In a formal announcement, the world's largest chip maker said, "More than 200 Intel Centrino Duo mobile technology-based designs from PC manufacturers, resellers and integrators around the world will incorporate the new Intel Core 2 Duo processor (formerly codenamed "Merom") this year."

Notebook makers including Dell, Toshiba and Alienware immediately issued press releases touting their own Core 2 Duo notebook designs. However, most systems are not immediately available.

While Dell said customers can begin to place orders for certain of its XPS and Inspiron notebook models, checks with the company's online store reveal preliminary ship dates of September 19th for all models.

For the most part, Dell is offering default notebook configurations with a 2.0GHz Core 2 Duo processors. Upgrades to 2.16GHz and 2.33GHz vary in price depending on the model from $300 to $700. The company is also offering a low-end 1.86GHz notebook.

"Customers will be able to configure the Inspiron E1505 and E1405 with Intel Core 2 Duo mobile processors later this week, and the Latitude D820, D620, and D520 beginning next week," Dell said.

Lead times for Core 2 Duo notebooks from other the manufacturers are similar. According to Alienware's Web site, its array of Area-51 Core 2 Duo notebooks won't begin shipping until September 12th. Meanwhile, Toshiba —which introduced a single model —is telling customers to expect delivery of its Toshiba Qosmio G35-AV660 notebook in 1 to 2 weeks.

Apple Computer, which did not make any Core 2 Duo product announcements on Monday, is still expected to be among the first PC manufacturers to deliver Core 2 Duo "Merom" based systems to customers.

People familiar with the Mac maker's plans have said that they company would be ready to begin shipments of those systems in early September, with recent rumblings (1, 2) suggesting several product announcements post Labor Day.