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Asus Eee PC 1201PN: 12.1-inch Pine Trail netbook with next-gen ION

March 1, 2010 at 3:20 pm

Asus Eee PC 1201PNIt was only a matter of time, but Asus will launch a Pine Trail update to its popular dual-core ION Eee PC 1201N netbook. The Asus Eee PC 1201PN has been spotted at CeBIT but will not be a dual core machine, it will sport a 1.66GHz N450 Atom processor and come with next generation Nvidia ION graphics.

Design wise, the Eee PC 1201N looks exactly the same as all of the other Eee PC 1201 ranges from Asus (1201HA, 1201N, 1201T, 1201 and 1201NL). It is from the Seashell range and comes with a 12.1-inch (1366 x 768) display, chiclet keyboard and dimpled touchpad. Read more

Nvidia Optimus tech demoed on Acer Aspire One 532G ION netbook

February 27, 2010 at 5:31 pm

Nvidia Optimus tech demoed on Acer Aspire One 532GThe 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. Read more

Two versions of ‘next-generation ION’ due

February 24, 2010 at 8:30 pm

NvidiaThere are still many question marks over how Nvidia’s next-generation ION will shape up. We reported recently that benchmarks for ION 2 might signal that performance may lag or be worse off than the original ION, something refuted by Nvidia. Now we are hearing from Fudzilla that Nvidia may in fact launch two ION chips, the slower one of which was benchmarked on the Acer Aspire One 532g netbook at MWC in Barcelona last week.

The slower ION will have less shaders than the current ION, whilst the faster version will have more and should be more powerful than the current ION chipset. They go on to say that Nvidia will not brand these chips ION 2 and will instead continue to brand it ION. Read more

Nvidia ION 2 benched; performance lags original ION?

February 21, 2010 at 9:01 pm

Nvidia ION 2The Acer Aspire One 532G emerged as the first officially announced Nvidia ION 2 netbook earlier this week. This is despite still knowing very little about the “next generation ION” apart from the evidence suggesting it will be a discrete GPU part, possibly the GeForce GT218.

The 10-inch AAO 532G netbook was on show at MWC in Barcelona this week and NetbookNews managed to do some sneaky testing to see how ‘next-gen’ the new ION really is. They conducted the 3DMark03 graphics benchmark test on the netbook and initial results don’t look too promising for those hoping ION 2 would be a leap in performance over the original. Read more

Latest Chrome OS build adds ION hardware acceleration

February 19, 2010 at 10:55 pm

Chrome OS FlowGoogle’s Chrome OS is still months away from an official release, however, there is already a large group of underground developers trying to keep things fresh. The latest release from Hexxeh called Flow is interesting as, amongst other things, it includes Nvidia GPU support i.e. full ION hardware acceleration.

This means 720p and 1080p YouTube HD video content should be no problem for those on ION-powered netbooks using this latest build. Other features include user-customisable menus, automatic updates, battery life improvements, webcam support and various other bug fixes. You can download the release from here.

Via Engadget.

Acer Aspire One 532G Nvidia ION 2 netbook; first pics & specs

February 15, 2010 at 12:00 pm

Acer Aspire One 532gThe Acer Aspire One 532G will be the first Pine Trail netbook to sport Nvidia ION 2 graphics along with Nvidia’s Optimus power-saving technology. Details on the ION 2 implementation are still scant however we have been told it is a GeForce G218 part with dedicated 512MB memory.

The Aspire One 532G will be powered by a 1.66GHz N450 Atom processor, 2GB RAM, a 320GB HDD and a 10-inch high-resolution display. As you would expect it also comes with a HDMI out and optional 3G. Acer says that the netbook will have a 10-hour battery life, this falls to five hours if using ION 2 graphics constantly. Read more

Modern Warfare 2 on the Samsung N510 netbook [Video]

February 14, 2010 at 4:59 pm

Modern Warfare 2 on the Samsung N510 netbookNetbooks aren’t meant for gaming, or so the saying goes. Nvidia has other ideas with its ION chipset that means you should be able to play even recent games as long as you don’t mind sacrificing settings and resolution. To give you an idea of how well an ION netbook can play games, we have a quick video demo of one of the current best-sellers, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 playing on the 11.6-inch Samsung N510.

It is being played at a resolution of 800 x 600 with the lowest settings. We managed to score between 20 to 30fps on average with the occasional drop below that. I’ve tried it quite a few times and it is actually reasonably playable. Obviously it’s not as smooth as my quad-core PC, but for those times when my desktop isn’t around, it gives you a quick gaming fix. Check out the video of my demo playing the game (badly) below as well as a couple of extra videos looking at HD YouTube Flash and 1080p video content. We have also updated our Samsung N510 review with these videos. Read more

Asus to reveal “killer product” in June

February 10, 2010 at 6:21 pm

Asus Eee PadAsus Chairman Jonney Shih has said that the company is prepping a “killer product” for launch in June, probably during the Computex show in Taiwan. Whilst he didn’t give any further hints, the most likely reference is to its tablet device (dubbed Eee Pad) that is will sport the Nvidia Tegra 2 chipset.

The Eee Pad was first spotted at CES 2010, although no specs were detailed. It was simply referred to as the “Asus Tablet Concept” along with a placeholder saying that it is powered by a Nvidia Tegra chip. The news came as Asus announced it will be spinning off its Pegatron manufacturing arm. The device is said to be manufactured by Pegatron and be launched at a sub-$500 price point. If true, Apple iPad may have some stiff competition in the second half of this year.

Via Slashgear.

Nvidia Optimus automatic GPU switching officially detailed; heading to ION 2 [Video]

February 9, 2010 at 3:15 pm

Nvidia OptimusNvidia has formally announced details regarding its Optimus technology that allows for seamless graphics switching on netbooks and laptops. We briefly talked about Optimus earlier with rumours that ION 2 may support this technology, but now that the NDA is lifted, there’s a lot more detail on just how impressive this new technology is. We can also confirm that those earlier rumours are true, next-generation ION will have Optimus technology support.

It’s worth emphasizing that Nvidia Optimus technology is different to the switchable graphics that you may be familiar with. Optimus is designed to be invisible, working in the background and automatically switching between integrated Intel graphics or Nvidia discrete graphics depending on the application used. No rebooting, logging out or closing apps is needed here. Read more

Nvidia ION 2 to support Optimus power saving technology?

February 9, 2010 at 11:43 am

Nvidia ION 2All fingers are pointing to the fact that Nvidia ION 2 will be a discrete graphics part, rather than a chipset as seen in the original Nvidia ION. One of the benefits of this is that it will support Nvidia Optimus technology according to Fudzilla. Optimus is a power saving technology, particularly useful for netbooks/laptops, as it can switch between both discrete and integrated graphics depending on the task at hand, ultimately extending battery life.

It differs from current switchable graphics technology as there is no manual selection, Optimus will automatically detect what kind of application is running (i.e. word processing or gaming) and switch between the GPUs with no input required from the user. Intel’s Centrino 2 platform does have similar functionality although it only automatically detects when a laptop is running on AC or battery power, it doesn’t work at the application level. Read more

Jolicloud announces Pine Trail 1080p video support

February 1, 2010 at 10:39 pm

Jolicloud announces Pine Trail 1080p video supportJolicloud has already demonstrated 1080p HD video on netbooks running on Intel’s Diamondville processors (N270 & N280), but now it has also announced 1080p support of Intel’s new Pine Trail processors (N450 Atom). No external decoder (like the Broadcom Crystal HD) is needed and most codecs should work. Liliputing says that only 1080p H.264 content will not work.

This new update is expected to go live in the next couple of weeks and will also bring with it support for Nvidia ION, Intel GMA 500 graphics as well as the VIA C7-M. Until then, check out a demo of 1080p video content playing through Jolicloud on a Samsung N210 netbook. Read more

MSI prepping 10-inch Tegra/Android tablet for $500 later this year

January 29, 2010 at 9:30 am

MSI TabletMSI is planning on launching its 10-inch Tegra tablet, first shown off at CES, later this year for $500 according to Digitimes. It should be armed with Tegra’s Cortex A9 chipset and Android operating system.

This will pit it against the Apple iPad, with a similar price point, display and computing power. However the MSI tablet should benefit from multitasking and it is reported to be “thin and light.” Tegra should also be able to handle 1080p video as opposed to 720p for the Apple iPad. There are still question marks over a full spec-list but we’ll keep you posted.

Netbook shipments drive Intel’s graphic chip share

January 27, 2010 at 8:12 am

IntelThe rise and rise of netbooks has helped to drive Intel’s graphic chip share over both AMD and Nvidia. According to the latest Jon Peddie Research, Intel’s Q4 2009 market share stood at 55.2 percent, comparing to Nvidia at 24.3 percent and AMD at 19.9 percent.

Out of the three main players, Intel saw the strongest quarter-on-quarter growth of 17.9 percent in the fourth quarter last year, which also relates to the largest year-on-year growth of 114.7 percent. Intel’s growth came mainly from Atom sales in netbooks as well as strong growth in the desktop segment due to the Windows 7 launch. Read more

Asus prepping ION 2 powered Eee PC netbook for April?

January 22, 2010 at 3:30 pm

Nvidia ION 2We still don’t know exactly how Nvidia plans to introduce its ‘next-generation’ ION chipset/GPU into Pine Trail netbooks, but despite that Digitimes is reporting that Asus is planning an ION 2 powered Eee PC to launch in April.

The report goes on to say that Pine Trail netbooks should drop in price by the end of the second quarter as N270/N280 Atom-based netbooks fall out of the market. It also said that the Eee PC T101 touchscreen netbook will launch in February.

Broadcom’s HD media accelerator benched against Nvidia ION

January 22, 2010 at 1:04 pm

BroadcomThose looking to enjoy high-definition video content on their netbooks currently have two main choices. The first is to seek out an Nvidia ION-powered netbook and the second is to get one installed with Broadcom’s Crystal HD media accelerator card for $30.

The guys over at Laptop Mag did some tests comparing a Dell Mini 10 netbook with Broadcom Crystal HD card against the HP Mini 311 armed with the Nvidia ION chipset. Read more

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