13-inch Trinity ultraportable slips under $700

AMD's 17W Trinity APUs are slowly making their way into more ultra-slim systems. In June, HP introduced the Envy Sleekbook 6 with an A6-4455M APU. The system is just 0.78" thick, but its 15.6" screen is a little on the large size for an ultraportable. Now, you can buy a 13-incher with the same APU. The Samsung Series 5 535 wraps up the A6-4455M in a 13.3" chassis no thicker than 0.69". Total weight: just 3.35 lbs.

Of course, AMD has to make some concessions to squeeze Trinity into a 17W thermal envelope. The A6-4455M has just a single Piledriver CPU module, whose dual cores are clocked at 2.1GHz with a 2.6GHz Turbo peak. That CPU module shares its die with Radeon HD 7500G integrated graphics that feature 256 ALUs, 128 ALUs short of the fastest Trinity graphics implementations. The integrated Radeon only has to drive a display resolution of 1366x768, though.

Before you sneer at the relatively low pixel density, note that the display has a matte screen coating. Also, keep in mind that the Series 5 535 costs less than $700 right now. The configuration selling at Amazon comes with 4GB of RAM, 500GB of 5,400-RPM mechanical storage, 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, and USB 3.0. Seven hours of battery life are promised from the four-cell battery, which mostly matches the run times claimed by comparable ultrabooks.

If you happen to be living north of the border, Future Shop has an even snazzier version on sale for $550. The Canadian config appears to be identical to the US version apart from an additional 2GB of RAM. A couple of local Future Shop locations have the Series 5 in stock right now. I may have to head out on a scouting mission to see what it's like.

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