Intel chipset-based netbooks are everywhere to be found, but not so for the Nvidia Ion, despite its technical advantages. Luckily, those looking for a little more muscle in their netbooks will be able to get one this summer.
Netbook Italia revealed specs for the upcoming Samsung N510 netbook, which will have an 11.6-inch screen, Atom N280 1.66 GHz, 1 GB RAM and of course, the Nvidia Ion and GeForce 9400M chips. Everything else in the specs department looks like your usual netbook, but it’s the graphics part that really sets this apart.
Nvidia confirmed to CNet that Samsung will indeed be releasing a netbook with the above parts, though neither company has yet to issue an official press notice. Nvidia did confirm that the netbook would be shipping in July, which will put it ahead of the Lenovo S12’s release.
Interestingly, Nvidia admits that the Ion chipset grants the Atom such an expanded capability set that it could be considered more of a notebook than netbook.
"The Netbook term was created by Intel to define a segment offering a limited experience, but with Ion you don't have those same limitations," said Rene Haas, general manager of notebook products at Nvidia. "These systems can handle mainstream gaming, HD video, and new GPU-powered applications. You might as well call them notebooks, because that's what they are."
Update: Nvidia informed us that it has not confirmed any specifications or shipping dates to any of the media, including the outlets mentioned in the above story. Nvidia told us that it hasn't communicated any ETA for the product other than "coming soon."
1. How much?
2. How does the battery life compare to the standard atom platform?
-and HD video is only important if you are trying to play a clip that is only available in 1080p or your are going to hook up the netbook to external monitor. My msi wind plays 720p which doesn't fit on the screen just fine.
With atom the netbook term fits better sorry but nice try Nvidia. Now if it came with 2gigs of ram and an intel pentium dual core like the T4200 or heck even the cele 585 I might go for the term notebook with your 9400m
nVidia can call it whatever they want, that doesn't change the fact that it is still a netbook.
"These systems can handle mainstream gaming.."
I stopped right there. Gaming on a netbook? Really???
And for the HD playback stuff guys, I'm sure that this will have an HDMI output (with HDCP), although I guess you are still stuck using a USB Blu Ray drive
more likely wow which is as mainstream as you can get lol
The performance only benefits gaming and 1080p or blueray playback.
HD videocontent upto 720p and 9Mbps can be played back with the intel 945/950 chipset pretty fine; although it does not have the capability to do some post processing on lower quality video's.
HD Flash seemed to be a problem for both, and there where the Atomprocessor with Intel chipset worked fine on 800x600 screen resolution, the Ion does fine on 1024x768 resolution in gaming.
You would not notice that much difference though, because a general netbook screen is 1024x600. The intel, slightly too slow to get fluid screen reso in this settings, the nvidia slightly too powerful.
The NVidia 9400M graphics processor at games was said to have slightly too much graphics power for the Atom single core to follow in certain games (The atom N270 shows to be the bottleneck).
As for power requirements, if battery life on the intel system equals 4,2hours, battery life on the ion system equals 3,8 hours.
NVidia would do well in creating a new graphics card, more optimized for power consumption and for pairing with the Atom processor.
Perhaps lowering GPU/VRAM speeds will not affect gaming performance that much to the point where a balance is found.
What good is having many stream processes when the atom is only able to feed 3/4s of them?