AMD to Counter Ultrabooks with Inexpensive Ultra-Thin Laptops

AMD Plans to Initiate Price-War on Ultra-Thin Laptops Market

by Anton Shilov
01/17/2012 | 01:54 PM

While AMD does not really believe that Intel Corp.-driven ultrabooks will be successful on the market of high-end notebooks, the company reportedly plans to introduce its own platform for low-cost ultrathin laptops powered by its A-series “Trinity” accelerated processing units (APUs). The firm will attempt to offer better pricing on such machines and thus initiate a price-war on the market of ultra-portable PCs


The price of ultra-thin laptops based on AMD A-series “Trinity” APUs will be around $500, which is the price of an average laptop these days. As a result, AMD-based ultrathin notebooks will be at least $200 cheaper than machines powered by Intel Core i 3000-series “Ivy Bridge” microprocessors. Lower price is supposed to compensate lower x86 performance of AMD’s Trinity compared to Intel’s Ivy Bridge. At the same time, AMD-based ultrathin machines will offer faster and more capable graphics engine. Moreover, based on AMD promises, it will offer 17W quad-core microprocessors, which should provide decent responsibility.

What is unclear is whether the quality of build of AMD-based ultra-thin laptops will be on par with Intel-powered ultrabooks. Intel poses rather strict requirements on ultrabooks and expects PC makers to produce premium-quality systems that should cost up to $1000, but higher price is also accepted. Generally, Intel wants ultrabooks to provide ultimate experience at relatively high cost, not be among the affordable systems on the market. By contrast, AMD wants to concentrate on pricing, based on media reports.

What remains to be seen is when AMD-based ultra-thins be available. Some recent reports point to the fact that AMD plans to commercially introduction Trinity only in mid-2012. Previously the firm promised to launch its next-generation APUs early in 2012, but looks like the plans have changed and Trinity will be based in the middle of the year.

AMD confirmed plan to introduce Trinity in mid-2012, but did not detail the low-cost ultrathin laptop initiative.