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.