Nvidia's Ion graphics solution for netbooks provides the extra video power that's lacking from Intel's current Atom processor. It can handle Direct X graphics as well as 1080p "full" HD. After taking a while to get Ion-based products to market, Nvidia is already back with Ion 2, though the company is keeping it low-key as the first generation of Ion systems is still selling. Ion 2 may pack 5-10 times as much graphics power as Intel's new "Pine Trail" Atom processor.
While there were rumors that Asus would release an Ion 2-based EEE netbook in April, it hasn't been officially confirmed. But the Acer Aspire One 532G now has, making it the first official Ion 2 netbook to be announced. It makes use of Nvidia's new Optimus switchable graphics technology, which means the Ion 2 graphics turn on to handle gaming and other graphics-heavy chores, while less demanding tasks are handled by the onboard graphics of the Atom N540 processor. It otherwise comes with the usual specs for a netbook: a 10.1-inch LED-backlit screen, built-in Wi-Fi, and option for 3G connectivity, and 10 hours of battery life. The 532G is offered in three color choices: red, blue, and silver.
No pricing has been detailed, but Acer says the system will be available sometime during the first quarter of 2010. Then Ion 2's gaming prowess will be put to the test to see if you can do "real" gaming on it.
[Via CNET UK]