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Lenovo S12 is the First Nvidia Ion Netbook

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 23 comments

Can a 12-inch form factor still be considered a netbook?

We’re fans of the Nvidia Ion chipset. It takes Intel’s well-designed and economical Atom CPU and gives it wings thanks to a GPU capable of 3D gaming and full 1080p video playback.

You can build yourself an Nvidia Ion using you own mini-ITX board, or you can buy Acer’s Aspire Revo nettop. But where the Atom most feels at home is in the netbook, and yesterday Lenovo surprised everyone by announcing the first Nvidia Ion-powered notebook/netbook.

We’re not sure if it’s still categorized as a netbook with its 12-inch size. The rest of the specifications, however, read very much like any other netbook’s (except for the Nvidia option).

  • Display: 12.1 WXGA (1280 X 800) LED 200 nit, 250g
  • Processor: Intel Atom N270
  • Graphics: Intel integrated GMA 950, Nvidia ION
  • Memory: Up to 1GB DDR2 533 MHz
  • Hard Drive: Up to 160 GB SATA (160, 250, 320)
  • Battery Life: 3 hours with 3-cell, 6 hours with 6-cell
  • Weight: 1.4kg with 3 cell, 1.55kg with 6 cell
  • Dimensions: 292 X 216 X 22-28.9mm
  • Connectivity: 10/100m Ethernet, Broadcom 578M, Intel WiFi Link 5150 1X2 AGN, Intel WiFi Link 5100 1X2 AGN, Non-Intel wireless b/g, Non-Intel wireless b/g/n, Bluetooth
  • Other: 3 USB, 1 Expresscard slot (Intel and VIA platforms), 4-in-1 card reader, VGA, RJA45, HDMI
  • Software: XP Home SP3 (32 bit)

“We are pioneering new territory in the developing netbook arena by being the first vendor to give customers high quality video and entertainment capabilities in a netbook with optional NVIDIA ION graphics,” said Dion Weisler, a VP at Lenovo.

The Lenovo S12 will be launching first in July with the Intel GMA950 graphics chipset, priced at $449. The Nvidia Ion version (the one that we suspect everyone will want) will hit “later this summer.” Lenovo didn’t give specific pricing on the Ion version, but best guesses place it at just under $500.

Discuss
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  • 1 Hide
    pmt82 , May 26, 2009 10:53 PM
    Just what I have been waiting to buy. Couple this with Win 7 and 2GB memory and im sold!
  • 1 Hide
    anamaniac , May 26, 2009 11:23 PM
    Sure it's nice, but at the price, performance, and size, you might as well get a notebook.

    I like the idea of the ion as being a ultra-portable htpc with minor gaming and browsing capabilities. (Though in all reality, a $200 xbox would do the same for less).
  • -1 Hide
    Nik_I , May 26, 2009 11:35 PM
    this looks like the perfect netbook. i've been looking for one i can bring with me to school that isn't heavy, has long battery life, and isn't thick like a regular laptop. a 10" version would be more practical tho. but hey i don't need to buy it until september so i have the chance to see what else comes out by then.
  • -1 Hide
    eduardor2k , May 26, 2009 11:39 PM
    "Graphics: Intel integrated GMA 950, Nvidia ION"

    Why they still need, the INTEL GMA 950 if nVidia Chipset can do all the tasks much better, i imagine that having both chipset will mean higuer consumption! and higuer heat output.

    ¿Could someone answer me this? Thanks!
  • 0 Hide
    danimal_the_animal , May 26, 2009 11:44 PM
    WHAT! no dual core atom??

    WTF!

    FAIL!
  • 0 Hide
    starryman , May 26, 2009 11:46 PM
    That's an ultra compact notebook. THIS IS NOT A NETBOOK! Come on now! The whole point of a netbook is the small form factor. This like taking an ATX board and calling it a mini-ITX. Stupid.
  • -1 Hide
    ShadowFlash , May 26, 2009 11:47 PM
    Of course it's from lenovo, so expect to wait an extra 6 months for the actual delivery. I've tried to buy from them twice. Each time I waited 6 months, only to have to return the box for incorrect parts. It's a shame they can't get there shipping dates under control, as the products themselves look great.
  • 4 Hide
    fuser , May 27, 2009 12:05 AM
    eduardor2k, you have a choice between the two chipsets. You don't get both.
  • -1 Hide
    IronRyan21 , May 27, 2009 12:35 AM
    Yeah but can it run vista?
  • -1 Hide
    radguy , May 27, 2009 12:53 AM
    starrymanThat's an ultra compact notebook. THIS IS NOT A NETBOOK! Come on now! The whole point of a netbook is the small form factor. This like taking an ATX board and calling it a mini-ITX. Stupid.

    Clearly you haven't heard about the NC20 or the mini 12. Other manufactures are also getting on the 12 inch netbooks. Yes they are still netbooks and 12 inches isn't small. Heck they are moving away from 9 inches anyway.

    This is actually pretty nice cause the 1280x800 screen is much better than 1024x600. The gma 950 sucks not that the atom is amazing but still not a decent chipest. Ion helps out alot but I think the price is a little high. 50 bucks cheaper would be nice.

    It will barely run vist but 7 will run pretty well.
  • 0 Hide
    eduardor2k , May 27, 2009 1:01 AM
    Thanks 'fuser' for answering
  • -1 Hide
    cruiseoveride , May 27, 2009 3:53 AM
    eduardor2k"Graphics: Intel integrated GMA 950, Nvidia ION"Why they still need, the INTEL GMA 950 if nVidia Chipset can do all the tasks much better, i imagine that having both chipset will mean higuer consumption! and higuer heat output.¿Could someone answer me this? Thanks!


    I think its because its cheaper to buy (in the atom case) the entire chipset with the cpu than the cpu alone
  • -1 Hide
    UANib , May 27, 2009 4:00 AM
    Why not just buy a Lenovo x60 or 61? TONs more computing power!
  • -1 Hide
    mitch074 , May 27, 2009 7:26 AM
    Will there be a Linux version? If not, I'll wait.
  • -1 Hide
    apache_lives , May 27, 2009 8:35 AM
    im still waiting for AMD or VIA to walk in and open this mofo of a platform with 4gb, decent video etc - theres money to be made
  • 1 Hide
    apache_lives , May 27, 2009 8:40 AM
    mitch074Will there be a Linux version? If not, I'll wait.


    Install it your self?

    IronRyan21Yeah but can it run vista?


    Short answer yes

    danimal_the_animalWHAT! no dual core atom??WTF!FAIL!


    Im sure someone will be doing hardcore multitasking on an ultraportable laptop with a 10'' screen

    fusereduardor2k, you have a choice between the two chipsets. You don't get both.


    I can see most suppliers buying the cheaper Intel solution because of the lack of care for that better video performance - i see it all too often sadly.
  • -1 Hide
    Anonymous , May 27, 2009 1:07 PM
    apache_lives
    I can see most suppliers buying the cheaper Intel solution because of the lack of care for that better video performance - i see it all too often sadly.

    I think not; There are sufficient other models out there that have the atom + GMA950.

    the boost in resolution is pretty nice! They need a 12" to get the 1280x800 working. You could cram that resolution in a 10" screen, but then things are going to become extremely small.
    I personally prefer 9" models over 10-12" models, they're generally more battery effient too, due to less light needed for the screen.
    If I need a bigger screen I might as well go with a regular notebook.

    I think that the 12" is about the smallest one could cram an ION platform in. The 'IGP' board isn't really integrated. It's a motherboard the size of a notebook's harddrive. Amazing they got it to fit in a 12" device!

    Hope technology catches up and a sub 32nm processor + IGP and 32nm fabricated chipsets on the mobo will be fabricated soon! That way everything the ION is today could fit in a 9" device, but with 10hours of battery!
  • 0 Hide
    danimal_the_animal , May 27, 2009 2:11 PM
    Quote
    "I'm sure someone will be doing hardcore multitasking on an ultra portable laptop with a 10'' screen"

    Intel has been promising dual core atoms for the mobile market for a while.....yet nobody has bothered.

    the ion itx mini PC that nvidia let tom's review was a dual core atom, and then later they let others review the same box but it was a single core.


    it's as if they are trying to see how much they can hack it down.

    besides....how much more would it cost the manufacturer to put a dual core instead of a single core??? 20 bucks???

    heck....you can get a dual core itx motherboard for 69 bucks if you look hard enough.....so i don't understand what the problem is here.

    cant they offer the dual core at least as an option?

    the Cheapest netbooks with a 160gig drive (like my daughters ACER aspire one) are 299 and they aren't bad at all.....make it a dual core and add an nvidia chipset.....maybe a 10 inch 720p screen like dells I bet they could sell it for around 399.99 before the end of the year!

    Damn intel and their netbook maximum specs.

    I tried windows 7 on my daughters netbook and even though it was decent.....it could be GREAT with a dual core.
  • -1 Hide
    jacobdrj , May 27, 2009 3:56 PM
    Too expensive. Not enough added functionality to compensate for that. What is the battery life? Too big to be portable. Why not get a full-fledged HP tablet (base configuration) for a few dollars more? And that would have a removable CD drive, loads of upgrade possibilities, and a touch-screen.
    Fail.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , May 27, 2009 4:08 PM
    Tested an Ion Platform Atom based Acer Revo ES, 720p is smooth n crisp, but for 1080p mkv format, it was choppy making it unwatchable. But for MOV format, it run kinda smoother but it seems drop a few frames, not that smooth. Din't run testing on it, just a brief testing. BTW, I was using KMPlayer to play d all d file.
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