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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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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....

"Intel is investing heavily (think gazillions of dollars and bazillions of engineering man hours) in resources to create an Intel host controllers spec in order to speed time to market of the USB 3.0 technology." -- Intel blogger Nick Knupffer
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