Tecra 730CDT performs on par with 720, for less

I've written that the CPU on any computer-desktop or notebook-is not the component that
most affects performance. The Toshiba Tecra 730CDT is an example of that.

When all the GCNdex32TM benchmarks were done, neither I nor the evaluation database
could tell much difference between the 730CDT and its older sibling, the Tecra 720CDT, a
Reviewer's Choice [GCN, Aug. 5, 1996, Page 35]. But the 730CDT has a 150-MHz
Pentium instead of a 133-MHz and a 2G hard drive vs. 1.1G.

Benchmarks showed about a 3 percent gain in the 730CDT's floating-point and integer
math performance. Its video score was slightly slowly than the 720's, and the large-file
and CD-ROM access scores were slightly better. In the end, though, the overall average
GCNdex32 and power index scores were exactly the same for both notebooks.

Battery life was slightly shorter in the 730, probably because of its 150-MHz Pentium,
but a 12-minute difference was insignificant. I got 2 to 312 hours from the lithium-ion

The 12.1-inch active XVGA display had bright 1,024- by 768-pixel color, and the stereo
speakers continued to pump out crisp sound. The 730 has added about an ounce of weight, at
just under 8 pounds, 5 ounces. This was disappointing, because I'd like to see this
heavyweight portable lose a couple of pounds.

The 730CDT did change in one significant area: price. It's almost $500 cheaper than its
predecessor on General Services Administration schedule. It's also sold on two Navy
contracts: Tactical Advanced Computer-4 and New Technologies for Office and Portable
Systems. And Tecras tend to be delivered in about 30 days-amazing in a market where demand
keeps stock low.

You get a lot in the 730CDT: 16M extended-data-out RAM expandable to 144M, 256K cache,
2M EDO video RAM with 64-bit graphics controller, six-speed CD-ROM drive, built-in stereo
speakers, infrared port in back and Type II/III PC Card slot.

I enjoyed taking another look at a Tecra. It reminded me of why we awarded its sibling
a Reviewer's Choice.


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