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 1366×768, 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.

Comments closed
    • brucethemoose
    • 7 years ago

    The beauty behind AMD’s mobile APUs is that they are (or were) unlocked

    I say this alot, but my llano A8 dv6 sucks at stock settings. Single threaded performance is terrible, it runs hot, idles hot, eats up battery, never actually gets to turbo, etc.

    Turn down the idle clock speed, voltage though, and I get 7 hours+ browsing with a REALLY bad HP battery. Overclock/undervolt it to 2.1ghz P0, 2.9ghz boost from stock 1.5/2.1 (yes, it has that much headroom), and I get a 25%-33% performance boost for free: with no additional power draw, and none of this happens near the chip’s limits (many run thier A6/A8 at 3.0ghz P0). Intel’s CPUs would be even more amazing… if they weren’t locked down.

    Sadly, Intel’s rubbing off on AMD, and Trinity is pretty much locked down and has far less undervolting headroom. However, PSCheck can still undervolt Trinity and lock it in a turbo state, which should push this chip up there with a stock IB CPU.

    If only someone would put an A8-3500M in a decent 13-14″…

    • tbone8ty
    • 7 years ago

    its kinda of a bummer non of these ultrathins can be configured with an IPS screen yet. hopefully apple’s retina and IPS tablets will rub off on the backwards 1366×768 industry standard.

      • NeelyCam
      • 7 years ago

      That’s because AMD promised they’ll be cheaper than Ultrabooks. You get what you pay for.. AMD can’t possibly undercut Intel in CPU manufacturing cost, so either they sell at a loss, or cut other corners

        • raddude9
        • 7 years ago

        [quote<]AMD can't possibly undercut Intel in CPU manufacturing cost, so either they sell at a loss, or cut other corners[/quote<] Really Mr. Cam. your anti-AMD trolling is getting very desperate and substandard recently. Assuming the first part of your sentence is true, that AMD can't undercut Intel in manufacturing cost. Can't they just sell at [b<]less of a profit[/b<]. Because we all know that we make a big enough profit.

          • NeelyCam
          • 7 years ago

          Considering AMD is barely profitable right now, I’m not sure AMD can sell at “less of a profit” – cutting the selling price to be competitive with Intel’s pushes AMD to a loss.

          Note also that a lot of the price of a laptop is based on non-CPU costs (display, mobo, case, memory, hdd/sdd…). When you look at those Cyberlink Ultrabooks (cheaper of which sells for $699), it looks clear that when Ultrabooks cut the same corners, they can hit the same price points as Trinity ultrathins.

        • BobbinThreadbare
        • 7 years ago

        They don’t need to, Intel doesn’t sell anywhere close to their manufacturing cost. Both companies have gross margins above 40%.

        Also, Intel doesn’t care what AMD sell their chips for. They set the market and AMD follows.

        I think Intel would be happy to let AMD have the entire market for the bottom 20% as long as it means ARM wasn’t making inroads.

          • DavidC1
          • 7 years ago

          Oh I believe they do. CPU manufacturing is a very resource intensive process. You need lots of R&D to explore many different possible paths, because noone really knows which one will be feasible in products. That’s why Intel spends heck of a lot of money in R&D, and fund many universities and research institutions.

          That means if you want to stay the leader, majority of the net revenue won’t turn into net profit. Because you need the formidable marketing and R&D to keep up your leadership. When you are in danger of bankruptcy, you’d cut into R&D and marketing, which jeopardizes the companies future in the long term(but allows them to live in the short term).

    • mattthemuppet
    • 7 years ago

    matt screen, USB3 and a card reader, hopefully the keyboard and trackpad don’t suck! Given that my Acer 3810 from 3 years ago is still plenty powerful enough for my needs, this should be more than powerful enough..

    Interesting to see the fibreglass bottom – I wonder if this is the product of that Intel “we love fibreglass” drive a while ago?

    • allreadydead
    • 7 years ago

    :\
    Where are my pixels and my SSD, HP ?
    We already know that AMD has better graphics but lacking some CPU power compared to Ivy. Why not boost the pixel count as AMD has upperhand on graphics power ?
    And instead torturing ppl with 5400 RPM disks ala 90s, why not throw a SSD in to make notebook run smoother ?

    IF they did pick those, noone would really notice the CPU raw power difference between Ivy&PD in daily use. Additionally, ppl would droll on shiny (dont get me wrong, screen MUST have matte coating) colors, sharp images of the high res panel..

    But no, they have a 5400 RPM HDD, coupled with 4 gig of RAM and boring screen :\

      • dpaus
      • 7 years ago

      Uhhh, this is a Samsung, not an HP

        • allreadydead
        • 7 years ago

        Meh, SSDN

      • shank15217
      • 7 years ago

      because amd is the budget option and high density with ssd options is intels territory. There is a game going on. We are in the era of good enough computing.. so to differentiate high end cpus from low end cpus manufacturers regularly put amd CPUs with other low end options. It helps them sell their high Intel ultrabook, never mind that most people couldn’t tell the difference with their workloads. If Samsung ever made a series 5 with 1600×900 display and an ssd option with AMD parts it would sell very well and definitely hurt their series 9 offerings which are selling for $500-700 higher.

    • Pantsu
    • 7 years ago

    I bet this has a single 1333 Mhz DDR3 stick in it, while Trinity could really use some dual channel 1600 Mhz memory. The reviews I’ve seen so far of the HP model didn’t impress even in terms of graphics performance.

      • phileasfogg
      • 7 years ago

      You would lose this bet. Look at the spec table shown for this product on futureshop.ca. It clearly shows there are “2 RAM slots” with 0 available. i.e. both slots are stuffed with SO-DIMMs. (1333Mhz)

      Edit: there are 2 SODIMM slots but I don’t know for sure that it’s a dual-channel DDR3 controller. we’ll need a spec table from AMD and/or a CPU-Z screenshot to confirm.

        • willyolio
        • 7 years ago

        it’s a 4GB stick and a 2GB stick. dual-channel mode still needs 2 sticks of the same size.

    • dpaus
    • 7 years ago

    Well, one of my employees needs a ultralight, and I think this will fill the bill for her quite nicely, so I’ll pick one up. I’ll let you know my impressions vis-a-vis my new Dell XPS 14 UltraBook(tm)

      • IYagami
      • 7 years ago

      You can spend 30$ more and get :

      2.0 GHz A-Series Quad-Core A10-4655M
      750.0 GB
      14 inches
      4 pounds

      [url<]http://www.amazon.com/Samsung-NP535U4C-A01US-14-Inch-Laptop-Silver/dp/B0083S3N3W/ref=sr_1_10?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1346872739&sr=1-10&keywords=samsung+series+5[/url<]

        • dpaus
        • 7 years ago

        Uh, that’s not $30 more, it’s [i<][b<]$180 more[/i<][/b<] - and it has 2 GB [i<][b<]less[/b<][/i<] RAM, too. But thanks anyway.

          • NeelyCam
          • 7 years ago

          Yes, but it has twice the amount of fake cores. And a bigger screen.

          Your employees don’t [i<]need[/i<] an "ultralight" - they need an ULTRABOOK.

            • mattthemuppet
            • 7 years ago

            I bet that if one of dpaus’ employees needs a more powerful processor and bigger screen, he wouldn’t be looking at anything “ultra”, and if the need was lightweight and battery life, they probably wouldn’t care about the minimal functional differences between one type of “ultra” and another.

            • Meadows
            • 7 years ago

            For someone who tried to convince others how impartial he was, you’ve devolved rather spectacularly.

            • NeelyCam
            • 7 years ago

            Temporary caffeine deprivation induced insanity

    • sschaem
    • 7 years ago

    The conversion rate is pretty much 1$ for 1$… so $550 is actually pretty nice if the build is solid.

    If only they could make an 11″ version with the exact same spec. (well maybe 1lbs lighter)

    • willyolio
    • 7 years ago

    i think i’m going to future shop to scout this out too. i’ve been looking for an ultrabook with decent graphics, at least enough to handle SC2 smoothly. i can work with 1366×768 in a 13″ screen, especially for $550.

    there’s been very few AMD laptops lately and they’ve all been too big… 14-15″.

    i might even spring for another $100 and toss my own SSD in there.

      • mattthemuppet
      • 7 years ago

      that and buy an enclosure for your new external HDD back up solution 🙂

      • codedivine
      • 7 years ago

      I am not sure the graphics in this will outperform the HD4000 in Intel based ultrabooks. While the HD4000 in ultrabooks is about 25-30% slower than the “proper” HD4000, Radeon 7500G in this model is about half the speed of the 7660G found in the full 35W Trinity processor like 4600M. Given that the lead of 7660G over full HD4000 was only about 20% or so, AMD ultrathins may not perform any better than Intel ultrabooks on GPU front, and being severely hampered on the CPU front.

        • willyolio
        • 7 years ago

        hm… didn’t realize the 7500G was downclocked that much.

        still, at this price (even including the extra $100 i’m planning on spending for an SSD) it’s hard to find anything by intel that even has an HD4000… it’s mostly i3s with HD3000’s in that range, which the 7500G definitely beats.

        either way, i’d really love to see TR try a showdown between notebook graphics, especially with this huge ultrabook boom happening. finding similarly configured notebooks might be hard though. I think the HP Envy 6 is available with AMD A6 (7500G), A10 (7600G), i3 with HD 3000, i5 with HD 4000, intel + 7670M. make it happen, TR!

      • willyolio
      • 7 years ago

      well, i took a gander at it. i could only play around with what the salespeople at future shop let me, but here’s what i found:

      – screws on the bottom and a removable panel that’s labelled “HDD and memory.” I guess basic upgrades won’t be difficult.

      – all plastic construction, naturally. lifting it up with one hand by the corner causes some flex (you can see a few keys on the keyboard bulge out a little) but not as much as i first expected.

      – bootup time was around 30 seconds

      – full reboot was about 1 minute

      – opened up 2 internet explorer windows, 1 on reddit and 1 playing a youtube video, and task manager. CPU hovered around 11-15% for both cores, with random spikes up to 25-35%. there were also miscellaneous future shop advertisements running in the background, since it was a display model.

      – trackpad is meh. at least it has 2 separate buttons for left/right click. tracks me well enough. not sure who makes it- if it’s synaptics, then a driver update can probably add gestures, otherwise it’s just basics.

      – it’s smaller and lighter than the 13.3″ macbook air, and more ports to boot. it has a noticeably smaller bezel. 3 USB ports, 1 USB 3.0. HDMI port. Card reader. they even managed to find a clever way to squeeze in an ethernet port in there. Good job, Samsung.

      – BIOS doesn’t have much more than the basics. time/date, boot device priority. there is an option there to only charge the battery to 80% for long-term battery preservation. i found that interesting. Not sure if it can boot from USB because it wasn’t an option, but i didn’t have a memory stick with me to plug in, so it might be just because it didn’t detect a USB drive.

      – sale ends tomorrow =( i think i might actually buy one, along with a 120GB SSD.

        • codedivine
        • 7 years ago

        Thanks for the detailed remarks! Is the battery removable?

          • willyolio
          • 7 years ago

          nope. i couldn’t unscrew the thing, but i’m guessing the battery is one of those shaped lithium-polymer ones that sit under the wrist rest area.

      • DavidC1
      • 7 years ago

      Trinity on the 17W(A6-4455M) is slower than the HD 4000 in the 17W Ivy Bridge chips. Even with dual channel memory:

      [url<]http://www.notebookcheck.net/Review-Samsung-Series-5-535U4C-Notebook.80531.0.html[/url<] "In every test, the AMD Radeon HD 7550M was superior to the integrated HD 7500G." " Even Intel HD Graphics 4000 is able to keep up with the dedicated AMD Radeon HD 7550M in this 14-inch notebook." Sometimes the differences are staggering in FAVOR of the HD 4000. Trinity/Ivy Bridge Anno 2070: Low-22/45.5 Med-8/21.1 High-7/12.9 F1 2011: Low-19/48 Med-14/26 High-12/12

        • willyolio
        • 7 years ago

        good point… i think this one might be my notebook of choice for now then.

        [url<]http://www.cyberpowerpc.com/LandingPages/Intel/Ultrabook/[/url<] the $800 one has 16GB of ram and an SSD... to upgrade this samsung to that, it would be about $750. it's a little bigger and heavier, but i'm guessing the extra $50 might be worth it for the HD4000 and the i5.

          • NeelyCam
          • 7 years ago

          Damn; the $700 one has 8GB of ram and an SSD! Pricing/feature (=display) wise, that can go head-to-head with Trinity.

          How did they get so friggin’ cheap suddenly?

          • mattthemuppet
          • 7 years ago

          I like the fact that it’s always less than an inch thick. I hate it when my laptop gets thicker when I’m not watching it 🙂

        • chuckula
        • 7 years ago

        OUCH. While I still want to see TR’s reviews, the fact that a 17 watt HD-4000 part can keep up with the AMD system [b<]while the AMD system is using a discrete GPU[/b<] does not bode well for these parts.

      • burntham77
      • 7 years ago

      These are the first “ultrabooks” I have been genuinely excited about, due mainly to the GPU.

        • NeelyCam
        • 7 years ago

        I guess you didn’t see DavidC’s post..

          • chuckula
          • 7 years ago

          Hey Neely… remember when I said that the 17 watt HD-4000 parts would be pretty competitive with the 17 Watt Ultrathins at GPU? Now you see the method behind my madness.

            • NeelyCam
            • 7 years ago

            I remember, and I remember when others (including myself) said that no – Trinity even at 17W will cleanly beat 17W Ivy Bridge GPU (and ‘destroy’ it at 35W).

            Remember when I admitted that I was wrong and you were right?

            • chuckula
            • 7 years ago

            You see Neely… the first rule of posting on this site is never admit to being wrong! Just act like anything you said in the past never happened and hope that everyone is too lazy to verify your latest story. Works great for me!*

            * (Hacks TR to remove all those posts from 2007 about how Barcelona will blow Core 2 away in every dimension.)

            • NeelyCam
            • 7 years ago

            [quote<]You see Neely... the first rule of posting on this site is never admit to being wrong! [/quote<] I guess I'm still a TR rookie.. No; I just think it's dishonest not to admit you're wrong when that's the case[/serious]

    • MadManOriginal
    • 7 years ago

    I’m glad all the improvements in power consumption are going toward longer battery life.

    /sarcasm

      • Chrispy_
      • 7 years ago

      Indeed.

      If manufacturers weren’t obsessed with “thin” we could still have lighter laptops that stuff at this price five years ago, but with a 12h battery life.

        • A_Pickle
        • 7 years ago

        Thanks, Apple!

        • NeelyCam
        • 7 years ago

        They always do what scores them the biggest bucks.

        You can only blame yourself. If you were willing to pay $1000 for a 14″ with a 12h battery life, I’m sure HP/Lenovo/Asus et al. would be more than willing to make that happen

          • MadManOriginal
          • 7 years ago

          Who said I wasn’t willing?

          The sad fact is I am willing to trade form for function within reason, but most people aren’t, or rather most people are emotional and not rational and are happy to ‘buy the sizzle’ that gets pushed on them. I also don’t see technology purchases as some kind of ego-boosting or attention-gathering exercise, while again a lot of people are happy to have others fawn over their ‘unique’ mass produced items.

    • StuG
    • 7 years ago

    I can’t help but feel like the extra $200-300 to get an ultrabook would go a long way….

      • quasi_accurate
      • 7 years ago

      But then again, $300 is nearly 50% more than the asking price here 🙂

        • NeelyCam
        • 7 years ago

        Netbooks are $200. This Trinity lappy is [b<]250%[/b<] more. Is it really worth it..?

          • phileasfogg
          • 7 years ago

          it’s 250% more if you use the $700 “list” price. But at $550 (US or Canadian, since the exch rate is almost 1:1 as sschaem said), it’s only 175% more. Just sayin’ 😉

          • jdaven
          • 7 years ago

          Of course it is worth it. A Netbook uses an Atom processor with Intel IGP. Trinity is at least double the IPC of an Atom and the graphics performance is night and day. Plus Netbooks are not made in Ultrabook (thin) chassis. Netbooks typically don’t have 13″ screens and bluetooth.

          You are being disingenuous with your comment. Of course a 13″ sleek, thin, low weight laptop with an out of order processor is going to be priced more than a Netbook.

          Why aren’t you asking the same question about Intel Ultrabooks? They cost even more so let me do it for you.

          NeelyCam: Netbooks are $200. Any Intel Ultrabook (up to $999 and more) is >500% more. Is it really worth it…?

          Sheesh. I just can’t stand this weird double standard you have. Either knock both companies or come to the common sense fact that Netbooks are slower and made with lower quality materials than Ultrathins and Ultrabooks so they are rightly priced less.

          Edit: oh and by the way, the cheapest netbook on Newegg is $270 with a N455 Atom and 10.1″ screen. Yes it should be cheaper and both Ultrathins and Ultrabooks should be a LOT more.

            • NeelyCam
            • 7 years ago

            [quote<]Edit: oh and by the way, the cheapest netbook on Newegg is $270 with a N455 Atom and 10.1" screen. Yes it should be cheaper and both Ultrathins and Ultrabooks should be a LOT more.[/quote<] iPad has the same screen size, less storage, a slower processor and no keyboard, yet it costs more. What's your point?

            • jdaven
            • 7 years ago

            Its fine to say iPad’s are overpriced if you like. My point is you think it is okay for Intel Ultrabooks to be 100’s% more expensive than your hypothetical Netbook at $200 but a Trinity Ultrathin is not worth it at 250% more. If you simply said, are Intel Ultrabooks AND AMD Ultrathins worth it compared to Netbooks made with either companies’ CPUs then fine. By the way, the answer is a resounding YES! I think Ultrathins and Ultrabooks should be the low end of the laptop market and Netbooks should die away.

            • Joe Miller
            • 7 years ago

            Well said, but he is not going to comprehend it.

            • NeelyCam
            • 7 years ago

            My comprehension is relatively decent

            • NeelyCam
            • 7 years ago

            Ultrabooks are worth it compared to ultrathins.

            [url<]http://www.notebookcheck.net/Review-Samsung-Series-5-535U4C-Notebook.80531.0.html[/url<] [quote<]"The A6-4455M in the Samsung 535U4 scores about the same as the AMD A6-3400M - which sports a core frequency of only 1.4 GHz and dates back to the Llano-era. [b<]In the multi-thread test wPrime, the Trinity CPU scores even lower and performs roughly like the AMD E-450.[/b<]"[/quote<] I don't even know what to say... Is Trinity a netbook CPU..?

          • Joe Miller
          • 7 years ago

          Horse with blinders.

      • Shambles
      • 7 years ago

      Look at ultrabooks in the $1000-1200 range there’s still a lot left to be desired. This is a pretty good bang for the buck. However, assuming that it’s a TN panel which i’m fairly sure it is I wouldn’t bother touching this.

    • chuckula
    • 7 years ago

    How about one of these guys finally sending an “Ultrathin” to TR for actual review! AMD has been yapping about these things since January at CES when it had a canned demo of one but in the meantime we’ve seen next to squat about how these chips actually run.

      • NeelyCam
      • 7 years ago

      [url<]http://www.engadget.com/2012/07/13/hp-envy-sleekbook-6z-review/[/url<] [quote<]"The 6z's benchmark scores fall painfully short of the competition."[/quote<] This is why it's better not to ship them to anyone for reviews, and instead try to trick the poor unsuspecting AMD fanbois into buying crap yet again. But it's understandable. If they didn't, the market would make Rory's options look like Elop's options

        • chuckula
        • 7 years ago

        Good link but short on details other than a few canned benchmarks. Qualitatively it looks like the Ultrathins are not gaming powerhouses compared to Ultrabooks, but I’d like to see some TR inside-the-second numbers for a better comparison.

        EDIT: I’m really only interested in how the GPU holds up in a 17 watt power envelope. We’ve already seen that low-power Ivy Bridge parts can easily handle the higher-end Trinity mobile parts CPU-wise, but I want to see how the Trinity GPU scales.

          • cegras
          • 7 years ago

          [quote<]Qualitatively it looks like the Ultrathins are not [b<]gaming powerhouses compared to[/b<] Ultrabooks[/quote<] Funny.

            • NeelyCam
            • 7 years ago

            How things have changed…

            And Haswell coming soon will change things even more.. But I think I saw an article saying that they’ll come out in H2/2013!!?? What’s up with that!?

            • chuckula
            • 7 years ago

            Not too much is up with that. In much the same way that desktop Ivy Bridge launched in April while the Ultrabook parts didn’t show up in quantity until June/July, you’ll see a similar rollout with Haswell.

          • A_Pickle
          • 7 years ago

          Agreed. 3DMark has always been a useless benchmark. I’d like some real, in-game benchmarks to see what kind of performance I can expect from one.

          • NeelyCam
          • 7 years ago

          Sorry about that, but that’s the only one I’ve been able to find..

            • chuckula
            • 7 years ago

            Exactly… *nobody* has gotten ahold of one of these and put it through the same benchmarks that we saw months ago for the Ivy Bridge Ultrabooks and from the bigger Trinity notebook sample.

        • shank15217
        • 7 years ago

        lets go over the competition on their site.. every single one has an ssd

        “As you’d expect, the 500GB 5,400RPM HDD can’t hold a candle to an SSD, or even the sort of hybrid hard drive you’ll find in $750 and $800 Ultrabooks.”

        I have no idea where that came from, HP is calling this behemoth a sleekbook, whatever that means, more likely HP didn’t even try to make this a decent laptop…

        “Cold-booting into Windows 7 takes 47 seconds, which should drive home the point that this is no Ultrabook, even though it’s sold alongside them on HP’s site”

        Its a shitty laptop because the manufacturer cut all types of corners as is usually the case with AMD laptops. AMD has to take what it can get, they are no position to set standards like Intel, its no wonder even with a chip significantly better than llano AMD laptops fall short.

          • chriso11
          • 7 years ago

          I have the 14″ version of that laptop and installed a Samsung 830. It coldboots in 18secs.

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