AMD Gets Ultra-Competitive in Skinny Laptop Market

Published on January 17, 2012
by John Paczkowski

Advanced Micro Devices is planning to mount an aggressive challenge to Intel in the nascent, but soon-to-be-very-crowded Ultrabook market.

Early this summer AMD will debut its new Trinity chips, which promise to deliver the same performance while consuming half the power of AMD’s A-series chips. Launching alongside them: A new class of ultrathin, lightweight laptops to run them.

Why are they called “ultrathin” when we’ve been taught to refer to these devices as “Ultrabooks”?

Because Ultrabook is a moniker trademarked by Intel and entirely off limits to AMD.

So what’s to distinguish an ultrathin laptop from an Ultrabook, keeping in mind that they’re really both just laptops with sillier names?

Evidently, the biggest difference between the two will be price. Sources tell the occasionally reliable Digitimes that AMD is looking to seriously undercut Intel on this front by pricing Trinity 10 percent to 20 percent lower than its rival’s offering.

If that is indeed the case, these ultrathin machines could end up being $100-$200 cheaper than their Ultrabook couterparts. A troubling development for Intel, which is hoping the Ultrabook will carve out a 40 percent slice of the laptop PC market. The company has said in the past that it plans to drop the Ultrabook’s price over time. With AMD now aiming to undercut it, it may need to make those price cuts earlier and deeper.

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