Lenovo S12 is the First Nvidia Ion Netbook

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.

Marcus Yam
Marcus Yam served as Tom's Hardware News Director during 2008-2014. He entered tech media in the late 90s and fondly remembers the days when an overclocked Celeron 300A and Voodoo2 SLI comprised a gaming rig with the ultimate street cred.
  • pmt82
    Just what I have been waiting to buy. Couple this with Win 7 and 2GB memory and im sold!
  • anamaniac
    Sure it's nice, but at the price, performance, and size, you might as well get a notebook.

    I like the idea of the ion as being a ultra-portable htpc with minor gaming and browsing capabilities. (Though in all reality, a $200 xbox would do the same for less).
  • Nik_I
    this looks like the perfect netbook. i've been looking for one i can bring with me to school that isn't heavy, has long battery life, and isn't thick like a regular laptop. a 10" version would be more practical tho. but hey i don't need to buy it until september so i have the chance to see what else comes out by then.
  • eduardor2k
    "Graphics: Intel integrated GMA 950, Nvidia ION"

    Why they still need, the INTEL GMA 950 if nVidia Chipset can do all the tasks much better, i imagine that having both chipset will mean higuer consumption! and higuer heat output.

    ¿Could someone answer me this? Thanks!
  • danimal_the_animal
    WHAT! no dual core atom??


  • starryman
    That's an ultra compact notebook. THIS IS NOT A NETBOOK! Come on now! The whole point of a netbook is the small form factor. This like taking an ATX board and calling it a mini-ITX. Stupid.
  • ShadowFlash
    Of course it's from lenovo, so expect to wait an extra 6 months for the actual delivery. I've tried to buy from them twice. Each time I waited 6 months, only to have to return the box for incorrect parts. It's a shame they can't get there shipping dates under control, as the products themselves look great.
  • fuser
    eduardor2k, you have a choice between the two chipsets. You don't get both.
  • IronRyan21
    Yeah but can it run vista?
  • radguy
    starrymanThat's an ultra compact notebook. THIS IS NOT A NETBOOK! Come on now! The whole point of a netbook is the small form factor. This like taking an ATX board and calling it a mini-ITX. Stupid.Clearly you haven't heard about the NC20 or the mini 12. Other manufactures are also getting on the 12 inch netbooks. Yes they are still netbooks and 12 inches isn't small. Heck they are moving away from 9 inches anyway.

    This is actually pretty nice cause the 1280x800 screen is much better than 1024x600. The gma 950 sucks not that the atom is amazing but still not a decent chipest. Ion helps out alot but I think the price is a little high. 50 bucks cheaper would be nice.

    It will barely run vist but 7 will run pretty well.