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First Nvidia Ion Nettop is the Acer AspireRevo

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 27 comments

Acer is the first out of the gate with a nettop based off of Nvidia’s Ion chipset design.

Nvidia told us last week to expect an Ion-based system to be shipping sometime this quarter. Now just a week later, Acer debuts the AspireRevo, the first commercial nettop based on the Nvidia Ion.

"The AspireRevo is small and quiet enough to go anywhere. … It's perfectly suited for the living room, because Nvidia Ion provides a brilliant graphics experience with digital photos, watching video, and playing family-friendly games," said Gianpiero Morbello, corporate vice president of marketing for Acer.

The HDMI output and low power, low noise nature of the AspireRevo makes it an affordable HTPC consideration for those looking for a quick drop-in solution. One potential worry point is that our reference Ion from Nvidia had an optical audio out, but we can't seem to spot one on the AspireRevo. As far as we know, the GeForce 9400M can't pass audio out through HDMI. With dimensions measuring 7.1-inches square and 1.2-inches thick, it’s sleek enough.

"The Acer AspireRevo with our new Nvidia Ion GPU is so small and powerful it's unbelievable," said Dan Vivoli, senior vice president of marketing at Nvidia.

The so-called ‘Ion GPU’ Vivoli is referring to is the GeForce 9400M chipset that’s found in the current generation iMac, Mac Mini, MacBook and select PC notebooks. What makes the 9400M stand out on the Ion is the wings it grants the modest Atom processor to play back high-definition content and some light 3D gaming.

"Watch Blu-ray movies and HD movie trailers, or clean up jerky, dim cell phone videos for internet streaming. This is the perfect PC for today's consumers," Vivoli added.

We won’t know how much Acer’s nettop deviates from the Nvidia Ion reference platform, but so far it looks very similar. Acer hasn’t revealed a release date or pricing, but we’ll keep you posted.

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  • 0 Hide
    scook9 , April 8, 2009 3:07 PM
    so you mention atom......but does this use it or the Via Nano? I ask because i have not yet heard the outcome of the legal battle between Nvidia and Intel yet. And does this have built in wireless and an optical drive (hopefully a blu ray option)? Without these features the chipset is overkill if only playing SD content, and the computer as a whole is nearly useless without wireless. And is Nvidia really that stupid that they didnt make their 9400m capable of passing sound via hdmi?
  • 0 Hide
    mcnuggetofdeath , April 8, 2009 3:37 PM
    its got an atom n230 as far as i know.
  • 1 Hide
    jsloan , April 8, 2009 3:43 PM
    how much? looks like mac mini has a friend...
  • 0 Hide
    scook9 , April 8, 2009 3:46 PM
    well, the mac mini has an optical drive, lets wait and see what this does and doesnt have first.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , April 8, 2009 3:52 PM
    This one uses the Atom. The Atom is still a normal processor.The legal issues where with the atom based CPU with integrated graphics on chip, and perhaps later on die.

    This is an amazing piece of pc! I would want one, only if it's cheap enough!
    The only issues I might have, is that the majority of this board is not fabricated on a 45nm die (or less) but 65nm.
    Meaning as soon as a 45nm variant will become available, it'll use 30% less energy for the same performance.
    Also, the used graphics processor has old graphics technology (3years or something) onboard.

    I fear this pc will lack USB ports. From what I can see on the picture, and guess, the device must have about 4 USB ports, which is way too less if you already use 2 for keyboard and mouse!

    5 or 6 would be good, eg:
    Keyb,mouse, printer, Ext.DVD-ROM, Ext. HD, semi-analog/digital joypad for games.

    The size is amazing,and I hope Nvidia equipped it with some CUDA technology.
    If so, then I hope the price will be low enough to compete with Asus' EeeBOX, and it will be a winner!
  • 0 Hide
    Humans think , April 8, 2009 4:10 PM
    Regardless of economic crisis I would buy it if:

    1) It has an analog 5.1 output plus optical out (perhaps ALC889A or better)
    2) It has at least 802.11g
    3) Can effectively play 1080p .264

  • 0 Hide
    Humans think , April 8, 2009 4:19 PM
    I am seeking for a nettop to buy for my living room but it lacks two things I really require from such a device:

    1) At least analog 5.1 output and optical out (I it so hard to incorporate the ALC889A?)
    2) From my experience this hardware can not play some of the 1080p videos encoded in .264

    Although I usually agree with you ProDigit80 I think 5-6 usb ports would be an overkill for the living-room. Most wireless keyboards and mouse come with a single port, you can always attach a hub to extend the connectivity and the radius for wired joypads, and I wouldn't try placing the printer in the living room. Ext. Bluray would make great sense. If you see it as a small desktop replacement then of course you are right :p 
  • 0 Hide
    foxyg , April 8, 2009 4:29 PM
    Is this a PC, does it run windows? Play windows game? I would imaging a 9400 can't really play something serious.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , April 8, 2009 4:31 PM
    5.1 output would make a lot of sense when using it as a HD video box!
    However, looking at the side it shows only 1 line (headphones) out, and one line/mic in.
    Meaning you'll probably have to do with a 2.1 here.

    Not everyone wants to use this box for HD video; some will as a desktop replacement box, or as a gaming console/Wii variant for their son/daughter.
    You could even use it for the office, as replacement desktops!
    Especially if it's mainly used to input data in like MSOffice, or SAP!

    I myself don't like wireless keyb/mouse. First off you need to install drivers that are not always compatible to any OS.
    Second there's the wireless rays (just like a cellphone or bluetooth headset) that could give you cancer.

    It you specifically want wireless internet, you could plug in a Wifi USB dongle in one of the ports. Should cost you less than $25.

    I just hope it comes with a LAN. If it could come with Wireless N, that'd be nice too!
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , April 8, 2009 4:55 PM
    ow,and it DOES decode 1080 mp4 and DivX/XviD !
    It does not decode blueray; the Atom processor is too slow to decode the blueray encryption, but the Nano platform is technically capable to decode a non-encrypted blueray movie (eg: copied/reconverted blueray movie)
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , April 8, 2009 4:57 PM
    *sorry, ION platform, not Nano platform.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , April 8, 2009 5:00 PM
    I can see myself using this as both a home server and media system.
  • 0 Hide
    Tindytim , April 8, 2009 6:13 PM
    I certainly hope Nvidia releases an ION mobo for system builders, even better if they allow us to customize them.
  • 0 Hide
    zerapio , April 8, 2009 6:18 PM
    ProDigit80Second there's the wireless rays (just like a cellphone or bluetooth headset) that could give you cancer.

    Are you serious? Those "wireless rays" are electromagnetic waves. If electromagnetic energy is a concern to you then don't go out in the sun, flip on a light switch, listen to TV or radio... you see where I'm going?
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , April 8, 2009 6:29 PM
    zerapioAre you serious? Those "wireless rays" are electromagnetic waves. If electromagnetic energy is a concern to you then don't go out in the sun, flip on a light switch, listen to TV or radio... you see where I'm going?

    I see, but apart from sunrays today we have a serious increase of all kinds of radiation everywhere.
    Something like a small 100 TV stations, and 50 radiostations flying through the air. Often about 3 to 4 wireless access points. All radiation that is unnatural (not to mention the radiation of microwaves, engines, electric wires, cellphones, etc...)
    Is there a reason why there are more different types of cancers found in western worlds than third world countries?

    I'm just trying to be more cautious, and perhaps try to not have where I can do without.
    The rays emitted by your cellphone and bluetooth headset (when placed next to the ear) are more than 1000x stronger than the sun's rays to give you a type of brain cancer.
    Sure the sun can give you skin cancer. So the cellphone.
  • 1 Hide
    iron-e , April 8, 2009 6:53 PM
    zerapioAre you serious? Those "wireless rays" are electromagnetic waves. If electromagnetic energy is a concern to you then don't go out in the sun, flip on a light switch, listen to TV or radio... you see where I'm going?


    Yeh, but the sun does cause cancer.

    Which is why I hide in my basement playing Fallout 3 and only venture outside while wearing my tinfoil hat on moonless nights.
  • 0 Hide
    WheelsOfConfusion , April 8, 2009 7:06 PM
    ProDigit80I see, but apart from sunrays today we have a serious increase of all kinds of radiation everywhere.Something like a small 100 TV stations, and 50 radiostations flying through the air. Often about 3 to 4 wireless access points. All radiation that is unnatural (not to mention the radiation of microwaves, engines, electric wires, cellphones, etc...)Is there a reason why there are more different types of cancers found in western worlds than third world countries?I'm just trying to be more cautious, and perhaps try to not have where I can do without.The rays emitted by your cellphone and bluetooth headset (when placed next to the ear) are more than 1000x stronger than the sun's rays to give you a type of brain cancer.Sure the sun can give you skin cancer. So the cellphone.

    If they were so likely to cause an increase in cancers like that, I think the data would clearly show this to be the case. In reality, the body of data we have done over many years does not strongly indicate increased risk of cancer.

    Just because the source of the wifi emissions is closer to your brain doesn't mean it's more dangerous than the radiation from the sun. It needs to be of a certain energy threshold to raise the risk of cancer significantly. It needs to be, in other words, "ionizing radiation." WiFi and cellphone signals are too underpowered, regardless of proximity or the amount being thrown at you, to damage the tissues in your body.
    As to the increased diagnosis of cancer in the West, if such a phenomenon does exist there are many other possible factors: better detection methods to catch the cancers are available with better medical facilities, equipment, doctors, etc. We also use huge amounts of chemicals in our everyday lives which might increase the risks.
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    Anonymous , April 8, 2009 7:52 PM
    any exposure is dangerous.
    It only takes one ray to hit one DNA part in the wrong spot for cancer or tumors to start growing.
    And yes there is data about all this. That's why there are even insurances you can take on if you'd ever die from ear-brain cancer caused by cellphone radiation (which most cancer near to the ear should be).

    Radiation is like driving a car without a seat belt. You can do it for 20 years, and never ever have experienced needing it, or anyone in the family or friends needing it. But you only need 1 serious accident without wearing a seatbelt that could wipe you away.
    Same goes with drunken driving, even taking excessive medicine or inhaling asbestos. etc... I believe same goes with electro magnetic waves.
    They are mostly limited to 1 WATTS. But limiting them to this power does not fully take away the risk of getting cancer. Same like cars that are limited to driving 35, 50, or 70mph. Yet the reduce in speed does not guarantee that you'll never have an accident or lose control of the car someday.

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    Anonymous , April 8, 2009 8:41 PM
    I'm not sure if anyone else looked into this, but I was interested about the radiation emitted from cell phones and found that cellphones used in the united States emit LESS radiation than other nations (Europe, Asia). In the United States electronic devices are categorized by the FCC and so are bound within certain ranges of radiation emission when in normal operational conditions. Scientifically, the radiation that electronics emit (Radio waves) are too broad and large to directly affect things on a scale such as a strand of dna (considering the actual waveforms can vary from hundreds of meters to millimeters, they would not be able to specifically 'hit' a single thread of dna while 'missing' all the dna/matter in that millimeter). Once you get into the Ultra-violet spectrum (which the suns rays contain) can you receive radiation which can break chemical bonds (ionization) which has been proven to harm dna processes if not repaired.
    It is my belief that while it wouldn't hurt to do what we can to limit radiation exposure (use a wired headset for your cell phone, which will keep the transceiver away from your head), the likelihood of being killed or maimed by such radiation is unknown because a specific case has not been documented. On the other hand... I sleep in a room contained within a Faraday cage :3
  • 1 Hide
    WheelsOfConfusion , April 8, 2009 8:47 PM
    ProDigit80any exposure is dangerous.It only takes one ray to hit one DNA part in the wrong spot for cancer or tumors to start growing.
    Unless that "ray" doesn't have enough energy to dislodge electrons and disrupt the molecular bonds. It doesn't matter how many "rays" hit, or how close they are when generated: if they are not energetic enough, they will do nothing.
    The kind of radiation we're talking about is electromagnetic (EM) radiation, or in other words, light. The sort of radio waves used in WiFi and cellphones are far, far, FAR below the energy levels of any visible light. Just as standing under a red-colored incandescent bulb for a thousand years will not cause you to develop cancer, neither will being bathed in hundreds of low-energy radio waves.
    You only need to worry about energetic EM rays damaging your tissue when you get up around the ultraviolet frequencies.
    Check this:
    I'm trying to explain this to you: there is a threshold that must be crossed before EM radiation is dangerous, and wireless transmissions are NOT that energetic. It's not quantity of "rays," it's not how close they are, it's how energetic they are (think of wavelength). This is the physics, this is how it works. The EM radiation used in wireless simply is not powerful enough, no matter how near or how ubiquitous. The "rays" do not have enough energy to do damage. I don't care about your car analogies because you do not know what you're talking about.



    ProDigit80And yes there is data about all this. That's why there are even insurances you can take on if you'd ever die from ear-brain cancer caused by cellphone radiation (which most cancer near to the ear should be).

    Are you telling me that the fact that people take out insurance on something means it's actually dangerous? It can't possibly be that insurance companies are simply feeding off the public ignorance to rake in the dough?
    [/quote]
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