February 27, 2010 at 5:31 pm
The Acer Aspire One 532G is the world’s first 10-inch netbook to be armed with next generation Nvidia ION graphics. It was announced last week at the MWC show in Barcelona and we managed to get hands on with the device at a press event in London earlier this week.
The AAO 532G is expected to launch in late April/early May and will come in two configurations. The 1GB RAM/160GB HDD combo will cost £349, whilst a 2GB RAM/320GB HDD combo will cost £399. These prices are not set in stone and depending on exchange rates may end up costing another £30 more. However, Acer is keen not to price the higher end SKU above £400 if they can help it.
Both models will be powered by a 1.66GHz N450 Atom processor and sport a high resolution LED backlit display, HDMI-out and 10-hour battery life. The Aspire One 532G is only 1-inch in thickness and weighs around 1kg (including the 6-cell 5600mAh battery). It will be available in three colours on launch (Sapphire Blue, Ruby Red and Pearl Silver).
Whilst details of the next generation ION will not be announced until next week, we already know that one of its stand out features will be Nvidia’s power saving Optimus technology. Think of Optimus as automatic switchable graphics. If a task needs the extra grunt, such as gaming or Flash video, then the Nvidia GPU will switch on. As soon as you stop, the GPU will automatically switch off again.
We had already been impressed reading up on the technology but got a hands on demonstration of it in action. A Nvidia test tool shows when the GPU is switched on/off, this piece of software won’t ship with final products but shows how effectively Optimus works. The result should be a sharp improvement in battery life for ION netbooks, further enhancing its already compelling proposition. Check out a video demo of Optimus in action below.