AMD is preparing a super-thin laptop that could give Intel-based Ultrabooks a run for their money, with reportedly better graphics performance and battery life. The 18mm-thick reference laptop, which AMD showed at its recent financial analyst day, was built by Compal and showcases AMD’s next-generation Accelerated Processing Unit (APU), codenamed Trinity, which is due later this year.

Confirming earlier rumors that AMD is looking to undercut Intel Ultrabooks on price, AMD’s said Trinity-based thin-and-light laptops will be priced between $600 and $800 by the middle of the year. With the current crop of Ultrabooks costing $900 or even twice as much, AMD ultrathin laptops could offer laptop buyers significant savings.

AMD also promises its Trinity-based laptops will best “the competition” (clearly Ultrabooks), with 50 percent better graphics performance and more than twelve hours of battery life.  The new chips will have double the performance per watt over AMD’s current Llano chips.

AMD has been playing second fiddle to Intel in the chips race for as long as we can remember, but with lower prices, better battery life, and better graphics performance, super-thin Trinity laptops might actually give Ultrabooks more competition than Intel might have anticipated. If this drives down prices on laptops overall, it’s a great thing for us.

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