Asus said it was switching to Nvidia's Ion platform for future netbooks, and making good on that promise, the Eee PC maker on Thursday announced the Eee PC 1201N Multimedia Netbook.
Up until now, a multimedia netbook could be considered an oxymoron, if not a cruel joke, but that certainly isn't the case here. Pushing the boundaries between a netbook and notebook, the 1201N sports a 12.1-inch LED display and comes built around Nvidia's pixel-pushing Ion platform. That's great for graphics, but it doesn't stop there. Instead of the ubiquitous Atom N270 processor found in most netbooks, Asus equipped the 1201N with Intel's Atom 330 dual-core processor.
On the storage front, the new netbook comes with a 250GB hard drive and 500GB of online Asus WebStorage. The online storage space is provided for free for the first year, and after that, you'll have to pony up for a subscription plan.
Other specs include 2GB of DDR2 memory, Wi-Fi, three USB2.0 ports, a 6-cell battery good for up to 5 hours of run time, and Windows 7.
MSI on Wednesday announced it has begun shipping its new Wind Top AE2220 all-in-one desktop PC. The AE2220 takes its place as MSI's flagship all-in-one and expands the company's fast growing Wind Top series.
"The MSI Wind Top is an awesome all-purpose family PC. Share photos, edit videos, play games, watch HD video -- our Ion graphics processor means you can have it all," said Drew Henry, general manger for Ion and GeForce products at Nvidia.
In addition to the Ion platform, the AE2220 boasts an Intel Core 2 Duo T6600 processor clocked at 2.2GHz (Pentium dual-core T4300 also available), a 21.5-inch multitouch display, 4GB of DDR2-800 memory, a 500GB hard drive, optional Blu-ray player, 1.3MP webcam, built-in 6-in-1 card reader, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, two mini-PCI-E expansion slots, IR receiver, and Windows 7 Home Premium.
The new all-in-one is still a no-show at most retailers, though Amazon still has it listed for pre-order for $700.
Asus is about to make a big change to their Eee PC line of products. The netbook pioneer has announced that all their future Eee PCs will come equipped with Nvidia ION instead of the slower Intel solution most netbooks and nettops use now. Nvidia claims that ION is ten times faster than Intel’s integrated solution.
ION is famous for being capable of outputting 1080p video without using much power. The ION platform is also able to run Aero cleanly on Windows 7. “These PCs will run circles around most Atom-based systems, so they are an excellent solution,” said Industry analyst Jon Peddie. With the upcoming Flash 10.1 supporting video acceleration, you can expect smooth flash video at long last.
Bill "Overkill Bill" Owen from Mnpctech walked away a winner in Nvidia's Ion case mod contest announced a few months back. The contest tasked 5 professional case modders with building a "revolutionary Ion-based PC" out of an Zotac Ion ITX 330 motherboard containing an Nvidia Ion GPU and an Intel Atom dual-core CPU, along with $500 for any additional PC parts.
Owen's winning entry came in the form of a wild looking green cube consisting of hundreds of hours of labor and a whole lot of CNC milled sheets of aluminum and laser-cut acrylic.
Full system specs can be found here, but it's the worklog and plethora of pictures that are the real treat, and you can view it all right here.
More Ion-powered nettops are on the way, including three new models from Asus subsidiary ASRock. All three up the ante over the company's previous nettops with RAID support, eSATA, MCE remote (not on the lower end model), and a few other odds and ends. Blu-ray even makes a cameo in the higher-end unit.
The three new machines consist of the Ion 330Pro, 330HT, and 330HT-BD. Each one comes spec'd with an Intel Atom 330 dual-core processor clocked at 1.6GHz, up to 4GB of DDR2-800 memory, Nvidia's Ion graphics, up to 1.5TB of total hard drive space, DVD or Blu-ray drive, 7.1 channel audio, Gigabit LAN, 802.11b/g/n WiFi (330Pro excluded), and the usual assortment of ports (HDMI, USB).
No word yet on price or a release date, nor is there any mention of what OS the machines will use (we're guessing Windows 7).
The busy guys and gals over at Acer have put the final touches on the company's revamped AspireRevo R3510-U9012 "one-liter nettop." Kicking things up a notch over its predecessor, the refreshed PC now sports an Intel dual-core Atom 330 instead of a single core Atom 230.
It also comes built around Nvidia's Ion platform, 2GB of DDR2 memory, a 160GB hard drive, six USB 2.0 ports, an HDMI port, eSATA, WiFi, and Windows 7 Home Premium, fast becoming an obligatory OS in any new OEM setup. Not a bad spec sheet for a $330 nettop.
"The AspireRevo is a practical and highly adaptable nettop for the home -- powerful enough to take on games but so thin, it can be neatly hidden from view," said Susan Hu, Desktop Product Manager for Acer America. "It's also energy-efficient and quiet."
One of the coolest features of the AspireRevo is its ability to connect to the back of an LCD or TV panel with a VESA attachment. In essence, you could turn your swank LCD HDTV into a respectable all-in-one. And did we mention it's only $330?
So you want a Netbook, but you’re not crazy about dealing with a slow computer? You’re in luck. The recently leaked specs for the upcoming ASUS Eee PC 1201N should make any geek’s wallet feel a little too heavy. The 1201N is said to be packing a 1.6 GHz Atom N330 Dual Core CPU paired with 3GB of RAM. The standard configuration will have a 320GB hard drive as well.
The thing that really sets it apart is the video. The 1201N will be rocking the Nvidia ION chipset (Geforce 9400M), which will be pumping video to a 12 inch display with a resolution of 1366x768. You can also expect an HDMI out with the ION chipset.
There will also be a less powerful version, the 1201HA, with a standard Atom chipset and Intel graphics in the same 12 inch chassis. No pricing information is available right now. Release date is also a mystery. The fact that they both run Windows 7 indicates they won’t be available until after Windows 7 is released on October 22.
Nvidia's Ion platform has gotten off to somewhat of a slow start, but that's starting to change thanks to Acer, Lenovo, and Zotac, all of which have recently launched Ion-based mobos and nettops.
Relative newcomer Zotac (founded in 2006) just launched its Ion-based ITX-F motherboard series for use in nettops. And in a nod to the power of customer feedback, the company's new 'F' series also sports a PCI-E x16 expansion slot.
"Zotac always listens to user requests for features. End users loved our Ion ITX series motherboards, but some requested PCI Express expansion. We listened and thus the Zotac Ion ITX F series was born," said Carsten Berger, marketing director, Zotac International. "Our engineers managed to integrate PCI Express x16 expansion without sacrificing any of the award-winning features either."
Acer, meanwhile, recently released its AspireRevo AR1600-U910H nettop with an Intel Atom 230 processor (1.6GHz) and Nvidia Ion LE graphics, and it streets for under $200.
Finally, Lenovo has jumped on the Ion bandwagon with the launch of its IdeaCentre Q110 nettop here in the States. Priced twice as much as Acer's cut-down model, Lenovo's version comes with the same Aton N230 processor, but uses the regular Nvida Ion graphics chip.
HP's newly announced Mini 311 netbook isn't the first ION-powered portable we've seen -- the Lenovo S12 and Samsung N150 both equip Nvidia's low-powered graphics accelerator (the equivalent of a 9400M). But HP's 11.6-inch offering is possibly the first accelerated netbook with the potential to break into the mass market. Part of that is due to its aggressive $399 pricing, which isn't shabby considering that the system is equipped with an Intel Atom N270, 1GB of DDR3 memory, 160GB storage, and a relatively high-resolution display. We got some hands-on time with the Mini 311, running several processor-intensive tasks to see if the ION chip makes a difference in real world performance.
Read on for the full specs, impressions, and more pics!
Acer's overhauled Aspire Revo 3600 nettop picks up where its predecessor left off. Like the original Aspire Revo, the new 3600 model supports HD video courtesy of Nvidia's Ion platform, but the latest iteration trades in the comparatively anemic single-core 1.6GHz Atom 230 processor for a 1.6GHz dual-core Atom 330.
Right off the bat, doubling up on cores will come as a boon to anyone, um, aspiring to do more than basic tasks with the Aspire Revo. Other specs include 4GB of DDR2-533 memory, an HDMI port, and VESA mount compatibility.