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.