Rumor: AMD will undercut ultrabooks by up to $200

AMD showed us a 17W Trinity APU variant at CES last week, and it's pretty clear where that chip is headed: ultrathin notebooks just like Intel's ultrabooks. DigiTimes is now saying that upcoming, Trinity-powered pseudo-ultrabooks could be quite a bit cheaper than their Intel counterparts.

Though the Trinity ultrathins will lack "significant innovations in terms of performance or function," DigiTimes says, they'll feature prices "US$100-200 lower than those of Intel's ultrabooks." The site adds that "some notebook vendors" fear the rise of AMD ultrathins may cause ultrabook prices to plummet—a scary prospect for ultrabook makers, perhaps, but an appealing one for the rest of us.

Ivy Bridge is already expected to herald cheaper ultrabooks, of course. Asus CEO Jerry Shen said last September that his company's Ivy ultrabooks could start as low as $600. If AMD helps foment a price war on top of that, then next year's ultrabooks and ultrathins could be awfully cheap.

AMD told us last week that Trinity's 17W and 35W flavors will be out in the "mid-year" time frame. DigiTimes says AMD is gearing up for a June launch, which would trail Ivy Bridge's April arrival by a couple of months. The site expects to see 20 AMD ultrathin designs go up against 75 Intel-powered offerings in 2012.

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