Gateway announces AMD Fusion-powered laptops

Gateway has announced a new 'value-based' laptop which features AMD's E-350 'Zacate' Fusion 'accelerated processing unit' - powerful enough, the company claims, for 1080p video and 'casual' gaming.

While AMD's E-350 APU, which combines a low-power processor with Radeon HD graphics on a single chip, was a major feature of this year's CeBIT event, it was in the form of small form factor media centre systems rather than laptops. Gateway's latest aims to prove that it's equally at home in portable devices.

The Gateway NV51B05u, the latest entry in the company's NV series, packs an AMD E-350 CPU with in-built Radeon HD 6310 graphics into a 15.6-inch design with HDMI video output and 3GB of memory.

The E-350 APU offers enough grunt for 'casual games' - although Gateway fails to specify exactly what sort of 'casual' games it has in mind with this statement - along with high-definition video playback and online video streaming, although the lack of a Blu-ray drive will hamper the former somewhat.

The E-350-powered NV51B05u is to be joined by the NV51B08u, which swaps out the APU for a lower-power AMD C-50 APU - originally designed for netbook use, and currently gathering interest from tablet manufacturers - in exchange for a lower recommended retail price.

"Mobile computing is something that everyone has embraced, and even those on a tight budget are now able to have a full-featured notebook for computing and staying in touch on-the-go," claimed Gateway's Eric Ackerson at the launch. "The new computing capabilities are paired with a full suite of features and extras that give our customers what they need to work, study, connect and have fun."

The E-350-powered Gateway NV51B05u is set to launch at $470 (around £290), while the C-50-powered Gateway NV51B08u will be cheaper at $400 (around £246). UK pricing and availability has yet to be confirmed by the company.

With AMD's first Fusion products going toe-to-toe with rival Intel's Sandy Bridge - which also includes graphics technology integrated onto the processor in certain models - the laptop market looks like it will be getting a shake-up in the coming months.