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The just-announced Lenovo S12 Netbook will become the first netbook to sport Nvidia's Ion HD video and gaming platform, when the Ion variant debuts late this summer, priced at $499. The netbook, like its predecessors, features an Intel Atom processor and runs on Windows XP.  (Source: Gizmodo)
The new Lenovo netbook is the first netbook to feature the new integrated graphics chipset from NVIDIA

When the NVIDIA Ion high-definition integrated graphics platform was announced last year, the instant question which came to most was -- "When will this be appearing in netbooks?"

That question appears to have finally been answered, with the unveiling of the IdeaPad S12 by Lenovo.  The new netbook will become the first to use the new graphics chipset. 

The portable computer combines Intel's Atom processor with NVIDIA's 9400m graphics unit, the heart of the Ion platform.  This results in a machine capable of offering silky 1080p video decoding with h.264 playback acceleration, Blu-ray playback, and moderate gaming capabilities -- all in a netbook package.

The 12-inch notebook is a larger sibling to the successful S9 and S10 IdeaPads.  The Ion comes as a $50 premium option.  The notebook is otherwise almost unchanged in design from its predecessors, except for the screen size and screen resolution, which has been bumped to 1280x800.  The system comes with 1GB of RAM, 160GB HDD, a 4-in-one card reader, a 3-cell battery (upgradeable to 6) and an ExpressCard slot for 3G expandability.  It runs on Windows XP.

One minor gripe with the computer is that the 1080p capabilities of the Ion will likely go to waste, for lack of a screen with sufficient resolution.  You have to hook up an external monitor via the HDMI port to get 1080p. 

The S12 will first launch in July, priced at $449.  However, customers who want the Ion model will have to wait until an unannounced "late summer" launch, and will pay $499.  Expect battery life to significantly be decreased by such graphically intensive uses, though.

Other than the S12, Ion has only found its way into a few Taiwanese HTPC motherboards and the Acer Revo nettop (bigger and pricier than a netbook).

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By chmilz on 5/25/2009 10:38:47 AM , Rating: 2
Specs read like your average entry level laptop with a cheap processor.

RE: Netbook?
By koenshaku on 5/25/2009 10:48:28 AM , Rating: 2
and no CD-Rom but it is ultra thin which seems to be the latest thing. I would much prefer the AMD congo processor at the very least and the battery life on a 3 cell is a joke which is stock.

RE: Netbook?
By aegisofrime on 5/25/2009 12:02:12 PM , Rating: 2
Well, I laughed at this:

One minor gripe with the computer is that the 1080p capabilities of the Ion will likely go to waste, for lack of a screen with sufficient resolution. You have to hook up an external monitor via the HDMI port to get 1080p.

1080p on a 12 inch screen? Things are going to look very tiny on it indeed.

RE: Netbook?
By chrnochime on 5/25/2009 12:47:48 PM , Rating: 2
1080p cannot be displayed on a screen with max of 720p resolution, so technically you can't even watch anything in 1080p in its native res. on this screen.

RE: Netbook?
By wifiwolf on 5/25/2009 5:37:42 PM , Rating: 1
What he meant is that anyone needing 1080p would have need for some big display anyway. That's what I do. Just plug it to the tv, otherwise you won't see any difference in the video anyway.

RE: Netbook?
By Alpha4 on 5/26/2009 8:36:52 AM , Rating: 2
I agree. The requirement of an additional display is definitely a non-issue.

RE: Netbook?
By ET on 5/26/2009 5:04:18 AM , Rating: 2
Right. I'm waiting for 17" 1920x1080 netbooks weighing 4kg. Will still use an Atom with 1GB RAM.

RE: Netbook?
By afkrotch on 5/26/2009 8:53:43 AM , Rating: 3
I'm waiting for a 5" 1920x1080 netbook weighing 0.01 ounce and is powered by subspace vacuum module.

Awesome HTPCs?
By dsx724 on 5/25/2009 10:38:57 AM , Rating: 2
Sounds like the most awesome HTPC ever. You can't really ask for more except a 10TB NAS to go along with it.

RE: Awesome HTPCs?
By TomZ on 5/25/2009 1:35:52 PM , Rating: 2
Sounds terrible to me. My HTPC has a PCIe dual-tuner card and a couple of 1TB drives. Netbook for HTPC? No way.

RE: Awesome HTPCs?
By Murloc on 5/25/2009 1:59:54 PM , Rating: 2
maybe he was referring to the ion platform..
I hope :P

RE: Awesome HTPCs?
By karkas on 5/25/2009 2:13:36 PM , Rating: 2
The idea for HTPC is there. They need to drop the laptop functionality & put the ion platform into a tiny box like WDTV size with some proprietary linux OS so you just connect it to the HDTV and can stream movies to it or add some stuff a HDD. Really, the different configurations are endless for those the thoughtful company.

RE: Awesome HTPCs?
By SunAngel on 5/25/2009 8:48:33 PM , Rating: 2
I think what he is referring to is a dedicated Windows Media Center front-end. For a total of ~35 watts you can have it all....hardware-assisted audio and video decoding, small, lightweight and portable, HDMI out, ... and the list goes on.

I never thought of using a netbook as a front-end but it is intriging.

RE: Awesome HTPCs?
By FITCamaro on 5/26/2009 9:40:54 AM , Rating: 3
Apparently you missed the article for the already available ITX Ion board available.

RE: Awesome HTPCs?
By Chadder007 on 5/26/2009 1:52:02 PM , Rating: 2
Yet no company has capitalized on it being a media box....

By DerwenArtos12 on 5/25/2009 11:03:15 AM , Rating: 2
Are we ever going to see a netbook with an Atom 330 and the nVidia chipset? If anyone would drop a 12" Ion netbook with an Atom 330 and 2GB of ram I'd have it on pre-order the day it was announced.

RE: 330?
By stmok on 5/25/2009 11:27:11 AM , Rating: 2
Are we ever going to see a netbook with an Atom 330 and the nVidia chipset?

No, we won't.

If you want dual-core, you're going to have to consider the next step up: Intel's "Consumer Ultra Low Voltage" (CULV) platform.

This uses low powered version of the Core 2 Duo (Penryn).
=> 5.5W TDP for single core => Core 2 Solo SU3500
=> 10W TDP for dual core => Core 2 Duo SU9400

Both run at 1.4Ghz.

Side Note:
This is how Intel has defined its netbook/notebook lines for the rest of 2009.

14- to 18.4-inch display
Calpella (traditional notebook)
Above US$1,200

12- to 13-inch display
CULV (ultra-thin notebook)
US$699 to US$1,100

10-inch display
Atom N270 + 945GSE chipset (Before September) (netbook)
Pineview CPU + Tiger Point chipset (After September) (netbook)
US$399 to US$599

8.9-inch display
Atom N270 + 945GSE chipset (white-box netbook)

RE: 330?
By DerwenArtos12 on 5/25/2009 2:12:41 PM , Rating: 3
I've been checking prices on those and they're about three times these netbooks. I just want some extra multi-tasking ability and the ability to play video in a tiny, light, inexpensive package. In other words, I want my cake and to eat it too! If I just want to check e-mail and crap I'll get a PDA or iPhone, I want a netbook that can at least do standard lite applications besides internet. Atom 330 and Ion 9400 just makes sense, sure it draws more, bump the price for the processor, don't sell it with a traditional hard drive, just with a mini-pci-e SSD of about 32GB with 2GB of ram, I'd pay 699 for it.

RE: 330?
By hybridr6 on 5/25/2009 3:47:14 PM , Rating: 2
If you are willing to spend that much I would get the hp dv2-1030 with a AMD neo processor which is actually 64bit and a Radeon HD 3410 w/ 512mb of dedicated memory. Personally I feel that the neo is a much more capable processor than the atom and has not been getting the attention it deserves.

RE: 330?
By iFX on 5/25/2009 4:18:18 PM , Rating: 1
Same here. Give me an Atom 330, 2GB of DDR2800 and nVidia 9000 series or 200 series graphics for $399 and I'll order ten of them.

RE: 330?
By iFX on 5/27/2009 4:53:34 PM , Rating: 2
Alright, alright! I'll order twenty!

more please
By Visual on 5/26/2009 3:39:58 AM , Rating: 2
I love the increased resolution, though a step up to 1440x900, 1400x1050 or even 1680x1050 would have been even better. And I would definitely be willing to pay almost double this price if it came with a touchscreen and converted to a tablet. Those resolutions are finally getting usable for browsing most websites in portrait mode, and the 12" size seems like the perfect balance for a tablet.

I wonder how long more will I have to wait for this dream tablet of mine.

By Alpha4 on 5/26/2009 8:46:54 AM , Rating: 2
Will the GeForce 9400M chips be fabricated on a 40nm node process? I'm surprised a 6-cell battery wouldn't come standard otherwise.

Yeah, but...
By FaceMaster on 5/25/09, Rating: -1
RE: Yeah, but...
By swizeus on 5/25/09, Rating: -1
RE: Yeah, but...
By Ozziedogg on 5/25/2009 4:57:31 PM , Rating: 4
..and why dont you activate your humour chip.

RE: Yeah, but...
By HostileEffect on 5/25/2009 7:32:25 PM , Rating: 4
Maximum humor!

RE: Yeah, but...
By MrPoletski on 5/26/2009 12:34:27 PM , Rating: 2
Geordi: Data... I made that joke seven years ago.
Data: I know! I just got it!

"If a man really wants to make a million dollars, the best way would be to start his own religion." -- Scientology founder L. Ron. Hubbard
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