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Samsung Releasing Nvidia Ion Netbook in July

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 13 comments

The Samsung N510 could be the first Nvidia Ion netbook.

Intel chipset-based netbooks are everywhere to be found, but not so for the Nvidia Ion, despite its technical advantages. Luckily, those looking for a little more muscle in their netbooks will be able to get one this summer.

Netbook Italia revealed specs for the upcoming Samsung N510 netbook, which will have an 11.6-inch screen, Atom N280 1.66 GHz, 1 GB RAM and of course, the Nvidia Ion and GeForce 9400M chips. Everything else in the specs department looks like your usual netbook, but it’s the graphics part that really sets this apart.

Nvidia confirmed to CNet that Samsung will indeed be releasing a netbook with the above parts, though neither company has yet to issue an official press notice. Nvidia did confirm that the netbook would be shipping in July, which will put it ahead of the Lenovo S12’s release.

Interestingly, Nvidia admits that the Ion chipset grants the Atom such an expanded capability set that it could be considered more of a notebook than netbook.

"The Netbook term was created by Intel to define a segment offering a limited experience, but with Ion you don't have those same limitations," said Rene Haas, general manager of notebook products at Nvidia. "These systems can handle mainstream gaming, HD video, and new GPU-powered applications. You might as well call them notebooks, because that's what they are."

Update: Nvidia informed us that it has not confirmed any specifications or shipping dates to any of the media, including the outlets mentioned in the above story. Nvidia told us that it hasn't communicated any ETA for the product other than "coming soon."

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  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , June 30, 2009 12:37 AM
    To me averything that have a Atom CPU and doesn't have a optical drive (and is portable of course) is a Netbook....
  • 1 Hide
    jhansonxi , June 30, 2009 12:40 AM
    Phoronix posted a review of the ZaReason Ion Breeze 3770 which is a 9400M nettop (compact desktop) but it would be interesting to see netbook performance and battery life with it.
  • 2 Hide
    sublifer , June 30, 2009 2:47 AM
    I only want to know two things about ion netbooks.
    1. How much?
    2. How does the battery life compare to the standard atom platform?
  • 0 Hide
    thejerk , June 30, 2009 3:28 AM
    i'm going to hazard the guess they're releasing this statement to justify the ridiculous price they're going to charge for it. calling it a notebook is somehow going to warrant the... i bet $599+... price for it.
  • -1 Hide
    radguy , June 30, 2009 3:40 AM
    I'm all for ion but mainstream gaming on atom and 9400m is kinda of a joke,
    -and HD video is only important if you are trying to play a clip that is only available in 1080p or your are going to hook up the netbook to external monitor. My msi wind plays 720p which doesn't fit on the screen just fine.
    With atom the netbook term fits better sorry but nice try Nvidia. Now if it came with 2gigs of ram and an intel pentium dual core like the T4200 or heck even the cele 585 I might go for the term notebook with your 9400m
  • 3 Hide
    astrodudepsu , June 30, 2009 4:30 AM
    Atom processor = netbook.

    nVidia can call it whatever they want, that doesn't change the fact that it is still a netbook.

    "These systems can handle mainstream gaming.."

    I stopped right there. Gaming on a netbook? Really???
  • 0 Hide
    scook9 , June 30, 2009 12:56 PM
    as long as Starcraft and WoW are mainstream haha. Is it still going to have the same crappy low resolution as all past netbooks? 1024x600 just cant get me excited....at least bump it to 1280x800 ffs. That is doable on an 11.6" screen I hope....

    And for the HD playback stuff guys, I'm sure that this will have an HDMI output (with HDCP), although I guess you are still stuck using a USB Blu Ray drive
  • 0 Hide
    theholylancer , June 30, 2009 12:58 PM
    i think they meant wow and maybe cs 1.6

    more likely wow which is as mainstream as you can get lol
  • 0 Hide
    theholylancer , June 30, 2009 12:59 PM
    scook9as long as Starcraft and WoW are mainstream haha. Is it still going to have the same crappy low resolution as all past netbooks? 1024x600 just cant get me excited....at least bump it to 1280x800 ffs. That is doable on an 11.6" screen I hope....And for the HD playback stuff guys, I'm sure that this will have an HDMI output (with HDCP), although I guess you are still stuck using a USB Blu Ray drive

    faster than me by 2 minutes....
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , June 30, 2009 3:55 PM
    jhansonxiPhoronix posted a review of the ZaReason Ion Breeze 3770 which is a 9400M nettop (compact desktop) but it would be interesting to see netbook performance and battery life with it.

    There have been tests and benches done on the ion platform here at toms and other sites.
    The performance only benefits gaming and 1080p or blueray playback.
    HD videocontent upto 720p and 9Mbps can be played back with the intel 945/950 chipset pretty fine; although it does not have the capability to do some post processing on lower quality video's.

    HD Flash seemed to be a problem for both, and there where the Atomprocessor with Intel chipset worked fine on 800x600 screen resolution, the Ion does fine on 1024x768 resolution in gaming.
    You would not notice that much difference though, because a general netbook screen is 1024x600. The intel, slightly too slow to get fluid screen reso in this settings, the nvidia slightly too powerful.

    The NVidia 9400M graphics processor at games was said to have slightly too much graphics power for the Atom single core to follow in certain games (The atom N270 shows to be the bottleneck).

    As for power requirements, if battery life on the intel system equals 4,2hours, battery life on the ion system equals 3,8 hours.

    NVidia would do well in creating a new graphics card, more optimized for power consumption and for pairing with the Atom processor.
    Perhaps lowering GPU/VRAM speeds will not affect gaming performance that much to the point where a balance is found.
    What good is having many stream processes when the atom is only able to feed 3/4s of them?
  • 0 Hide
    montanabay , June 30, 2009 4:29 PM
    Whats the deal with Lenovo's S12 w/Ion, they claimed bragging rights on the "first" netbook with Ion...but where is it? Looks like Samsung is going to beat them to the punch.
  • 0 Hide
    amdgamer666 , July 1, 2009 5:34 PM
    astrodudepsuAtom processor = netbook.nVidia can call it whatever they want, that doesn't change the fact that it is still a netbook."These systems can handle mainstream gaming.."I stopped right there. Gaming on a netbook? Really???


    exactly my thoughts. the atom would be way too much of a bottleneck for gaming. i'm not even quite satisfied with my turion x2 @ 1.9 ghz to get the fluidity that i want
  • 0 Hide
    cer0 , August 26, 2009 9:33 AM
    If you need this much from your nettbook, google "-pc name-overclock". Here nVida is making the right choice for us pc knowhows. The little extra "juice" that the ion paired to atom can be greatly shortened when my asus eee 901 managed to push my intel atom n270 up to an 125% (1,60 GHz to 2.00 GHz)by increasing the FSB also gave a better drr2 so-dimm preformance.

    This processing power should be more than enough to play single core games (such as World of Warcraft, Starcraft and a lot more.) to me the bottleneck is the integrated intel gpu controller.

    For me, 40 min less battery time is quite a bargin for getting more than enough of gpu power which makes a new sub-market of pc "porable gaming computers, at a low price." I like gaming but dragging around a 800$ 17" laptop. the word "portable" is kinda lost for me there.

    and to you whiners wanting portability, you can get umid m1 mit as this is ultra portable. The sudden popularity increse in netbooks might come from the financial crisis, then ppl fell for it not being "as big" as ordinary laptops. How often do the "average" joe use the cd/dvd-rom?
    I sure never miss it enough to not learn how to make a "bootable usb device." anyone putting of a 10 min to learn it, will see the uselsess'ness of the dvd-rom on something so portable.