The Mid-Range - $500 to $699
The mid-range market of $500 to $700 is important, as it's where most laptops are sold. Over the last five years the average transaction price of a laptop has typically hovered around $600.
AMD will be deploying all three of its A-series lines into this market - the A4, A6 and A8. We already talked about the A4, so let's address the other two.
The A6 is a quad-core CPU with a GPU that features 320 Radeon cores clocked at 400 MHz, while the A8 is a quad-core CPU with a GPU that features 400 Radeon cores clocked at 444 MHz. The A6 targets the Core i3 and is built for systems with a minimum MSRP of $599, while the A8 is built to match up against the Core i5/i7 and is aimed for systems with a minimum MSRP of $699.
This fight is a tough one for the A-series processors, and becomes tougher as the price increases. At the low end of this bracket we'll still be seeing the A4 combating older Intel architectures, which it should do well. The A6 will have its work cut out against the second-gen Core i3, however, as the Core i3 has far better processor performance. The A6 will offer a better GPU, but it's not clear if it will be good enough to make up for the slacking CPU. This is complicated by the fact that some laptops with second-gen Intel Core i5 processors are beginning to filter in just under $599.
Laptops with the A8 will just barely fit into this price range and will compete against Intel's Core i5. Despite having twice the number of cores, the A8's processor performance significantly lags the Core i5. However, the 400 Radeon cores provide impressive gaming performance, generally exceeding that of Intel's HD 3000 by 20% to 40% and sometimes more. The Radeon also has better driver support. Low-end Fusion A8 powered laptops will no doubt be popular among casual gamers.