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Samsung Ion Netbooks Might be Too Expensive

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 22 comments

It's $599 for a netbook. Can you dig it? We can't either.

The netbook market is ruled by price, which is not much different from other markets, but with the defining line between netbook and notebook prices basically non-existent now with 17-inch machines going for under $350.

That very notion is what endanger the upcoming netbooks powered by the Nvidia Ion. First things first, we love the Nvidia Ion. It gives multimedia muscle to an otherwise rather modest netbook platform. While some may argue that the Ion grants the Intel Atom-based netbooks capabilities that it wasn't designed to have, it's still a nice option for those who want to be able to play 3D games and 1080p HD video in a small form factor.

With news now that the Samsung Ion-based netbook will cost $599, this has many prospective buyers now taking a step back and questioning whether or not it's actually worth it. To make matters worse, the Ion in the Samsung N510 will be the Ion LE, which will be locked to DX9 operation.

Nvidia told Ars Technica that it was unable to comment on Intel's OEM pricing schemes (which could potentially incur additional costs for any OEM making an Ion system), and that pricing of Ion products would vary among OEMs. Nvidia did point out that it believes that the Lenovo S12 with Ion would be less expensive than the Samsung N510, but pre-release speculation now has that model at up to $550.

We still feel that Nvidia's Ion is a Good Thing for netbooks, but the added cost is pushing them beyond the point at which the consumer deems it a good value relative to full-featured notebooks.

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Top Comments
  • 11 Hide
    warezme , August 18, 2009 10:57 PM
    I don't know, slap an Apple logo on it and macidiots will stumble over themselves to buy it.
Other Comments
  • 4 Hide
    astrodudepsu , August 18, 2009 9:13 PM
    $600 is certainly too steep for this market. Give it some time, they will find a way to bring it down to $300-400 range.
  • 0 Hide
    steiner666 , August 18, 2009 9:19 PM
    well of course they're going to be expensive at first. then they'll release them and realize that hardly anyones buying them at the price and then other manufactures will release ion based netbooks for less and competition will bring the prices down.

    if not, ppl who want mobile gaming can just get a PSP/DS. And who the hell wants to watch a 1080p video on a screen that cant even support that resolution (at least current ones cant) and is only ~10"?
  • Display all 22 comments.
  • 2 Hide
    dextermat , August 18, 2009 9:29 PM
    Don't worry a rich parent will buy that for their kids and He/She wont even use it anyway

    Damn rich people for that :p 
  • -2 Hide
    sot010174 , August 18, 2009 9:33 PM
    I don't get it. Nvidia is trying to grab the market and provides a crippled product to Samsung (the first OEM to come out with their solution)?

    And yeah, I don't think a netbook is worth $599. Gaming and HD video playback aren't the main purpose of those little machines. For that amount I would save a bit more and get a 12" laptop.

  • 1 Hide
    Major7up , August 18, 2009 9:38 PM
    I am not certain nVidia is to blame here as they stand to lose as much as anyone when overpriced Ion-based netbooks fail to move. My suspicion is that Intel is driving the prices up through incensing but I cannot prove that. Regardless of who is too blame, all parties involved need to get a grip on things if this segment is to remain viable.
  • 2 Hide
    Ramar , August 18, 2009 10:17 PM
    The thing to consider here might be the power of the ion versus the "17-inch 350 notebook." I'd like to see the graphics unit in that notebook push the same power as the 9400 powering the ion.

    It also makes perfect sense to me that a powerful netbook would be more expensive than a notebook. The smaller we can cram the same functionality into something, the more we're going to pay for it.
  • 1 Hide
    ThisIsMe , August 18, 2009 10:47 PM
    The pricing scheme that nVidia can't comment about is how Intel sells OEMs their Atom and the chipset for something like $30-$40, but if they just buy the CPU they charge something near $60-$70. Add on the price of the nVidia ION and the extra components and connections for the device support that the ION adds and you will have a $100-$150 increase in cost.

    I know these numbers aren't 100% accurate, but this is how it works. They are only meant for an example.
  • 11 Hide
    warezme , August 18, 2009 10:57 PM
    I don't know, slap an Apple logo on it and macidiots will stumble over themselves to buy it.
  • 0 Hide
    tayb , August 18, 2009 11:49 PM
    For the life of me I still haven't found a reason to buy a netbook. A solution in desperate search of a problem.
  • 0 Hide
    megamanx00 , August 19, 2009 12:41 AM
    It seems nice for a field or travel device. It's nice, but I think it's a bit much for what a netbook should be used for and thus should have a pretty tiny market. I sure wouldn't buy one :D .
  • -6 Hide
    bk420 , August 19, 2009 3:01 AM
    This is big flop. For that price just buy a HP DV2. Better graphics, HDMI, 12" led backlight LCD, external usb dvd burner...heck even more AMD cpu power. I knew this ION junk was a failed attempt. Nvidia is overrated by TH.
  • -1 Hide
    stumpystumped , August 19, 2009 5:30 AM
    obviously these are targeted at company executives who can spend as much as they want and don't really know about computers
  • -1 Hide
    tacoslave , August 19, 2009 7:44 AM
    I don't know, slap an Apple logo on it and macidiots will stumble over themselves to buy it./quote]

    you forgot to raize the price to at least $999.99 its not a thousand! (oh shit damn california tax. its 10%!!!!)
  • -4 Hide
    Regulas , August 19, 2009 12:02 PM
    I have extensivly used them all and all 3 major OS's too.

    I have a 9" ASUS netbook. It is just too small, screen and keyboard. It is now my home stereo with iTunes and a Radio Shark hooked up to it.
    They (Asus and kind) know this and the new wave of larger netbooks like the one above is better but you still have Windows on it and no Linux option or if it is cheap netbook like Dell's new 11.6" one it lacks badly. You end up sacrificing big time.

    I see this crap and it re-enforces my idea of, "Screw this I don't need to sacrifice and will pay more but get much more. I want a laptop that can do it all for me, I am going for it and getting a slightly modified 13" Macbook Pro instead of messing around with Windows and all these freaking netbooks"

    Snow Leopard will rock and I can stay away from the Swiss cheese OS known as Microsoft and worrying about Viruses so I have to run anti-virus & anti-spyware software software just to safely use the net. Then there is Windows NT file system, disk defrage because the file system is still so f*cked up and using registries still, LOL.

    The 13" Macbook Pro is small and easy to carry around, great battery life, DVD burner built on a Nvidia platform better than ion.
    # 2.26GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
    # 4GB 1066MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 2x2GB
    # 160GB Serial ATA Drive @ 5400 rpm
    # SuperDrive 8x (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
    # Backlit Keyboard
  • 1 Hide
    zak_mckraken , August 19, 2009 1:25 PM
    ^ Prepare to get flamed in 3... 2... 1...
  • 1 Hide
    LawstCawz , August 19, 2009 1:38 PM

  • 2 Hide
    krazyderek , August 19, 2009 2:05 PM
    what exactly is so "full featured" about a "real" notebook vs. a netbook other then the screen is bigger, it weigh's more, and the battery life isn't as good? Most people aren't using notebooks to render animations, or compress a DVD, and frankly word, msn, and firefox simply don't need a quad core processor 2ghz processor.
  • 2 Hide
    Honis , August 19, 2009 3:41 PM
    You guys are comparing notebooks to netbooks. Find a notebook with the battery life of a netbook. Now the netbook can do light gaming and video playback with a better battery life than a notebook. As a travling buisness person I'm more likely to get the netbook. It now does everything I could want it to do at a lower price and dimension.
  • 2 Hide
    WheelsOfConfusion , August 19, 2009 6:12 PM
    Price is definitely a defining factor in netbooks, but then again so is size and portability. You can't throw a laptop with a 17" screen into a purse, and you'd have to make more room for it in a small briefcase or backpack. Ultramobile PCs already had the niche worked out where size mattered, it just took netbooks to break the pricing scheme from "even MORE expensive for crappy performance" to "much less expensive for crappy performance" if you wanted a very small computer.
  • 2 Hide
    americanbrian , August 20, 2009 10:10 AM
    If intel are charging $30-$40 for chipset & CPU and $60-$70 for just the cpu then buy the chipset and CPU and just throw away the chipset. Or even better, sell on the chipset alone for a ridiculously low price.

    It doesn't take a genius to work it out. Its the same as one-way flights, if they are going to charge 2 or 3 times as much for a ticket one way, buy the round trip and don't use the return.

    It seems so obvious.
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