HP launches Ultrabook alternative – with AMD under the bonnet

The maker of jolly expensive printer ink, HP, has released an alternative to Intel’s Ultrabook vision, which is set to get right up the fashion bag maker’s nose.

Intel has been working very hard to whip its partners into line over its Ultrabook design. They have to jump through a lot of hoops to call their devices Ultrabooks.

However, one of the more obvious things that Intel has been demanding is that the Ultrabooks have Chipzilla chips onboard.

HP has now created what is effectively an Ultrabook but with a much cheaper AMD chip inside – and is calling it a Sleekbook. The one advantage that a Sleekbook has over the Ultrabook is that it is slightly cheaper and has the words “don’t panic” written in large friendly letters on the cover although we may have made that last bit up.

The Pavilion Touchsmart Sleekbook laptop will hit the shops at $699, and HP thinks it is the most affordable device in its category. The entry price for 15.6-inch touch ultrabooks dipped to roughly $750 late last year but touch-based versions are still above $800.

It has a 15.6-inch touchscreen, and uses AMDs Trinity chips inside.

PCWorld quoted Kevin Wentzel, technical marketing manager at HP as saying that the Sleekbook includes an AMD A8 processor, 6GB of RAM and a 750GB hard drive.

It is about the same size and weight as thin-and-light Ultrabooks, and if you believe the benchmarks they are slightly slower. However, the graphics in the new Sleekbooks are better.

If you look at the two the difference between an Ultrabook and a Sleekbook, it is in the internal components. But the fact it is using AMD chips means manufacturers do not need to follow Intel’s design rules.

Wentzel confirmed that the Sleekbooks are designed for those that don’t want the performance or some features available on Ultrabooks and aren’t willing to pay the price.