Nvidia announced today that its ION platform was named as the "Best Enabling Technology" during last week's CES '09 expo.
Nvidia cleverly sets the scene with the following description kicking off a recent pres release: "CES attendees stopped in their tracks to admire breathtaking HD video running on a 50-inch display, but the real shock came when they realized that those images came from a PC the size of a paperback book." Indeed, those who visited the trade show know exactly why LAPTOP Magazine named Nvidia's ION platform "Best Enabling Technology" at the show.
The Tech Report seemed just as ecstatic after sampling Nvidia's portable love, writing that the ION platform has the potential to endow compact, inexpensive Atom-based systems with "new levels of competency." Hot Hardware said that the ION platform is a "home run in the making," whereas Legit Reviews considered the ION as one of the most interesting PC designs seen in years. TechGage slapped the ION platform with its "Best of CES 2009" award.
So what exactly wowed all those tech-savvy enthusiasts? It was actually the intertwining relationship between Intel and Nvidia that did the trick. Like some sensual ying-yang symbol, both companies combined the Atom CPU with the GeForce 9400 GPU, offering premium PC power to notebook and small form factor PCs. The joint venture actually surfaced last month, perking the eyebrows of Epic Games' Mark Rein and EA Games' Lucy Bradshaw just to name a few.
“Until now, a high definition affordable PC was an oxymoron,” said Drew Henry, general manager of the MCP business unit at Nvidia. “The Ion Platform pairs the GeForce 9400 with a truly great Intel Atom CPU and lets consumers surf the Internet, play top games, edit photos, and watch videos all in high definition. This will really energize the PC market in 2009!”
Amazingly enough, consumers can enjoy not only full-spec 1080p high definition playback, but support for popular PC games such as Call of Duty 4, World of Warcraft, The Sims 2 and even the DRM-ridden Spore. According to Nvidia, the platform also supports Windows Vista Premium, the upcoming Windows 7 OS, and even faster photo and video editing with Adobe's Creative Suite 4. The company also said that netbooks utilizing the ION platform will see 10x faster graphics and video transcoding. All-in-one PCs will have the capability to display resolutions of 2560 x 1600, whereas CPU cost will be 80 percent cheaper when utilizing the ION platform in notebooks.
"Based on what we saw, the power held in the platform is a superb start for Nvidia," said Techgage's Greg King. "The Atom, paired with their GPU, is a potent little computer with almost limitless possibilities."
Nvidia that affordable PCs built around the ION platform should hit retail outlets sometime this summer.