Every few days it seems like some rumor or another pops up saying that AMD is going to start making chips for netbooks. Right now Intel dominates the market with the Intel Atom CPU and older Celeron Mobile processors, while VIA nips at the company’s heels with the C7-M and the upcoming Nano. Every now and then you can find an ultraportable laptop with a low power AMD Geode CPU, but it’s been a while since Intel AMD updated this line.
So what’s holding AMD back? Is it the fact that netbooks are a new class of device and it hasn’t yet been proven that they’ll continue selling in the long haul? Well, yeah. But it also appears that AMD (or at least AMD’s marketing department) just doesn’t get why anyone would want a low cost ultraportable laptop with a “smaller size screen and without a hard drive” for the same price as a larger laptop with a dual core CPU and Vista. I don’t know who decided that the lack of a hard drive was a bad thing. Sure, some solid state disks have turned out to be slower than hard drives, but others are much faster. And they’re more durable and drop-resistant.
AMD Advanced Marketing head Pat Moorhead says he went out and bought 4 netbooks to better understand the emerging market. And he thinks they’re fine for use around the house. But because of their small screens and low battery life, he doesn’t see why anyone would take them on the road. Of course, he also claims that “one” of the four gets 1 hour and 45 minutes of battery life. So I’m guessing he’s not talking about the MSI Wind or Asus Eee PC 1000H, both of which are capable of lasting 5+ hours on a single charge.
He says users need to understand the tradeoffs you make when buying a netbook. But I’d say AMD needs to understand that there’s a market for laptops that cost less than $500 and weigh less than 3 pounds too. Sure you can get a more powerful computer for the same price. But you’d pay 3 or 4 times as much money to get it in the same portable package. And if AMD is really concerned that netbooks don’t offer the same performance as higher end computers, how about coming out with a low power, high performance chip to show Intel how it’s done?
You can find a video of Moorhead’s comments after the break.
via Eee PC News.de