Next year’s a good time to buy a notebook, netbook

New technology promised by both AMD and Intel next year means two things – at least. There will be bargains on notebooks and netbooks to be had when AMD introduces Fusion products and when Intel goes full on with Sandy Bridge. These technologies also promise far better performance if you’re one of those who simply must have better technology.

Intel and AMD are likely to make announcements on their roadmaps at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas in early January. Although we’ve no hard and fast details yet of exactly what the two companies are going to announce, it’s public knowledge that AMD is ahead on its production of Fusion chips, which essentially have both graphics processors and CPUs on one die.  That’s very likely to give quite a performance jump, and AMD has publicly said that it has several vendors lined up to produce netbooks, notebooks and even tablets using the Fusion chips.

Sandy Bridge also promises faster technology and yet another shrink of the die, showing that Intel has every intention of pursuing Moore’s Law to its very limit.

All this means that if you keep your eyes open, you’ll be able to snap up discounted machines which use the old lamps rather than the new lamps, as the genii fly out of the green and blue bottles.

I’ve owned a notebook since the 1980s and haven’t really noticed any fantastic leap forward in battery power from then until comparatively recently. It’s true that netbooks do have longer lives but then you’re not paying much for them and they are pretty under featured.  That isn’t necessarily going to change very much with the introduction of Fusion and Sandy Bridge – Intel and AMD’s customers aren’t particularly interested in making less profits for their shareholders.

People often ask me if it’s a good time to buy a PC and right now it isn’t a good time to spend money on technology which will be superseded in just the space of a few weeks or months. So deny yourself that netbook or that notebook unless you really have to replace your machine now.  And if you’re thinking of buying an expensive iPad for your lover or nearest and dearest for Yule – forget it – there are new lamps set to replace the old Apple lamps in the New Year too.