The Tadpole P1300G, while somewhat on the pricey side, offers you power-hungry users-on-the-move almost everything you need. It has speed, upgradeability, speed, and more speed. Its 133-MHz Pentium chip combined with up to 128MB of RAM makes it a viable alternative for an enterprise server. It can house up to 1.2GB of disk in a single 2.5" hard drive and is scalable to meet your needs for years to come.
What's more, all this power for your most demanding portable computing needs fits into a handsome 712-pound magnesium-alloy shell, with a 10.4" 800 x 600 pixel active-matrix display.
Various elements contribute to the speed and performance of the Tadpole.
Battery--Surprisingly, the P1300G's options and CPU don't eat up much more power than they do on any other DX4-based portable. Runtime on the internal NiMH battery is about two hours, and the P1300G offers a handy battery-status display showing charge percentage remaining. The machine also has an optional external battery pack.
Video--The 10.4" active-matrix LCD is bright and easy to read, but I'd prefer it if the display had better color support than it does with 256 colors at 800 x 600 resolution.
Speed--The P1300G offers impressive processing power: It passes the Solitaire bouncing-card test with flying colors. At 133 MHz, there doesn't seem to be any standard application--CAD, database, or graphics--that this machine can't chew up without much effort.
Audio--Standard 16-bit CD-quality Windows audio will work for multimedia applications and presentations. The unit has sound I/O ports for speakers and microphones.
Networking--PC Card services seem to work fine on this unit, so an Ethernet hookup was not a problem. Just be sure to have the latest revision of NT--currently 3.51--so that you also have the latest PCMCIA drivers.
I/O (SCSI, floppy, etc.)--The removable SCSI-2 hard drive and external floppy are functional and fast. However, as with any laptop, seek and transfer times for the hard drive are higher than those of a desktop unit. This means slower performance when you access large files. You might want to consider the 1.2GB hard disk option, especially if you plan to use this machine as a high-performance computing platform: You can eat up 540MB in no time.
Design/Ease of Use--The Tadpole P1300G's heavy-duty shell is solid, its full-size keyboard is firm and easy to use, and those who are fans of the joystick/mouse won't have any problem navigating through Windows. One nice feature is that the power switch is just under the display, so it can't accidentally turn on in your briefcase.
General Weirdness--You'll need the Tadpole docking station to do most software installations because the P1300G doesn't have its own SCSI connector for a CD-ROM drive. You can use a SCSI PC Card instead, but it won't work when you're installing NT.
Software--Because the P1300G has an Intel CPU, it will run just about everything out there.
Getting your hands on one of these little monsters may not be easy. Tadpole can barely keep up with demand for them. Be prepared to wait--but it's worth it.
Portable computing is definitely entering a new era where speed and performance are no longer problems. Notebook computers are rapidly approaching a point where they can rival the performance of desktop machines, and the Tadpole P1300G is no exception to this rule. Between its incredible CPU speed and ability to swallow up to 128MB of RAM, only a serious power user could outstrip the considerable capabilities of the Tadpole P1300G.
Contact: Tadpole Technology * 800-232-6656
Price: $8695 (as tested)