Published in Notebooks

AMD gaining ground in laptops



Jaguar to thank for bucking industry trend?

AMD based laptops appear to be doing quite well in Europe. According to Context, sales of AMD laptops are up 10 percent in Q4 compared to a year ago. AMD bucked the industry trend, as the market was down 12 percent in the first eight weeks of Q4 2013.

The news may be somewhat surprising, as Kaveri parts are still a few weeks away. However, Jaguar appears to be doing quite well. There are a number of 11.6- to 15.6-inch laptops based on AMD’s new low voltage silicon. We are also starting to see 17-inch Kabini designs, along with Temash tablets and ultraportables. The prices are pretty tempting, starting at less than €300, which is almost netbook territory.

It is easy to see why they could be popular – retailers should not have much trouble moving dirt cheap laptops with stickers like “quad-core CPU” and “Radeon HD8xxx” graphics on them. Of course, in terms of performance Kabini and Temash can’t compete with mid-range and high-end quads like Richland and Haswell-based chips. For the most part the A4-5000 is roughly on par with Celeron 10x7U parts from Intel, which are 22nm Ivy Bridge dual-cores. AMD has somewhat faster graphics, Intel is does better in some CPU intensive tasks.

Context said AMD’s market share increased from 14 percent last year to 18 percent in the current quarter.

"What we see here is an example of the PC market fragmenting into more discrete customer segments," said Context cofounder Jeremy Davies. "Home buyers want tablets, businesses want higher-specification notebooks and are willing to pay more, and where a consumer has chosen a notebook, value is a prime motivator."

Toshiba, HP, Lenovo and Acer laptops seem to be doing particularly well. Lenovo’s IdeaPad Z585 was a top seller in Britain at the start of the holiday season.

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