AMD sees the line between netbooks, notebooks blurring

— 9:43 AM on January 23, 2009

During AMD's earnings conference call yesterday, AMD CEO Dirk Meyer made some interesting predictions about the future of netbooks. As CNet News reports, Meyer believes the distinction between those systems and regular laptops will "go away," and "there will be a continuum of price points and form factors" in the future. He elaborated:

"Given the way Netbooks are configured today, consumers who want a notebook at those kind of (low) price points have to compromise and as a result don't enjoy a full PC experience, particularly around the graphics and media capability of the machine," Meyer said. "And likewise people who wanted a thin and light machine had to pay a lot of money, typically well over a thousand dollars."

Upcoming inexpensive ultra-thin notebooks will meet the need for a small, thin, lightweight laptop that is more powerful than a Netbook, Meyer said.

Of course, actively blurring the line between netbooks and notebooks is part of AMD's strategy. The company's new Athlon Neo processor will apparently debut in a slim 12.1" HP notebook that's coming out in April at just $699—pricier than a netbook, but cheaper than a regular ultra-portable notebook. The system will include optional Radeon HD 3410 graphics, too.

What about Intel? Well, as we heard last year, the company may not be very enthusiastic about the netbook concept. According to CNet News, Intel CEO Paul Otellini spoke about netbooks in the past tense during the company's conference call last week: "[the market] had a high potential for growth and it was an exciting segment, in particular in this kind of economic environment." He nonetheless went on to say Intel would "do very well in the Netbook market in the course of the next couple of years."

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