AMD’s Ultrathin Set to Undercut Intel Ultrabooks by US$200

AMD is preparing chipsets for thin laptops that would cost up to US$200 less than an Intel-powered Ultrabook, according to a Digitimes report. AMD hopes to take down Intel’s Ultrabooks on price, and is set to launch in June its platform for thin and light laptops, codenamed Ultrathin, which the company hinted at during the CES.

The current generation of Intel Ultrabooks cost upward of US$900, with some models, such as the HP Envy 14, retailing at US$1,400. Intel expects some 70 new Ultrabooks models this year and is hoping that its next-generation Ivy Bridge platform, arriving in April, will drive down the cost of Ultrabooks between US$700 and US$900, bringing the thin and light laptops into the mainstream.

AMD’s ultrathin laptops (Intel trademarked the term Ultrabooks) will use the company’s Trinity chips, which will come in dual- and quad-core options. AMD’s chips tend to be priced lower than Intel’s, and ultrathin laptops seem to be no exception. The starting price for Trinity laptops would be around US$500, up to US$200 less expensive than the expected average price of an Intel Ultrabook.

When it comes to performance, AMD says its Trinity chips draw around 17 watts of power, roughly the same as upcoming Ultrabook chips based on Intel’s Ivy Bridge microarchitecture. Trinity chips are set to deliver the same performance AMD’s A-series chips currently used in standard laptops, but consume half the power.

There won’t be as many models of AMD-powered ultrathin laptops as Intel’s Ultrabooks, according to Digitimes. Only around 20 ultrathin models are expected this year, with HP, Acer and Asus tipped as the first manufacturers of such laptops.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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