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AMD Turbo Dock tech boosts performance of docked Windows convertible laptops

The feature promises faster processor speeds when a hybrid device is used with its keyboard, while improving battery life for tablet use.
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Written by Sean Portnoy, Contributor on

While the jury's still out as to whether users will embrace the new convertible laptops that have launched with the debut of Windows 8, AMD is betting that its new Turbo Dock technology can help improve the computing experience whether you're using one in tablet mode or as a traditional notebook.

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The chip company says its new feature, to be showcased in devices unveiled at next week's Mobile World Congress 2013, addresses the fact that the hybrid device performs similarly whether it's in laptop or tablet mode, even if you are doing wildly different tasks. To remedy this situation, Turbo Dock will speed up the accelerated processing unit (APU) of the unit when its docked in its keyboard, while drawing less power when it's being used as a tablet.

The innovation will be baked into AMD's new "Temash" chip for tablets and hybrid devices, which will also be on display at MWC 2013. It will counter Intel's current Ivy Bridge processors being used in Windows 8 mobile PCs, as well as the forthcoming Haswell chips. Like Intel, AMD is playing catch-up in the tablet processor space, but hopes its long-time association with traditional Windows desktops and laptops will help it break into the market via the new form factors based around Windows 8.

The Turbo Dock feature is a nice selling point -- especially if it works well in real-world testing -- that marries internal performance to external usage, but will anyone be buying? That's not a question unique to AMD and its new Temash platform. To spur the adoption of touchscreen Windows 8 systems, including the convertible laptops Turbo Dock is designed to work with, Microsoft and Best Buy are planning a $100 discount program starting this Sunday.

We'll see what types of devices Turbo Dock will launch with as MWC 2013 kicks into gear next week, so stay tuned.

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