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Acer launches Ion 2 netbook

Acer launches Ion 2 netbook

The Acer Aspire One 532g comes equipped with both low-power Intel graphics and an Nvidia GeForce G 310M GPU.

Acer has become the first manufacturer to release a netbook using Nvidia's Ion 2 graphics platform.

As revealed over on Electronista, the Acer Aspire One 532g appears at first to be a fairly standard netbook: the 10in screen and 1.66GHz Atom processor you'd expect from this type of machine are all present and correct.

Where the device differs from previous netbooks is in the presence of a low-power GeForce G310M graphics processor capable of providing full hardware accelerated 1080p video playback along with reasonable 3D performance - something which has been sadly lacking in prior netbook devices.

The 532g also has the in-built Intel graphics hardware that comes as part and parcel of the company's Pine Trail platform, but uses a neat trick to save battery: using Nvidia's Optimus hybrid-SLI technology to flip between the integrated and GeForce graphics on the fly, Acer claims that its latest netbook will get a full ten hours of life from a single charge - although that figure will drop as you watch HD video or play games and the GeForce chip kicks in.

While more detailed specifications haven't been released, the promise of 1080p video suggests that the 532g will feature a high-resolution external display connection - most likely HDMI - to make full use of the Ion 2's capabilities. Wireless is likely to be 802.11g, although it's possible that a 3G modem will be included if Acer is looking to position the device at the top end of its range.

The Aspire One 532g is set to launch in the US towards the end of March, at an as-yet unannounced price point - but the device is likely to set you back a premium compared to existing Aspire One models.

Does the idea of a netbook that can do some pretty beefy 3D and video acceleration in hardware fill you with joy, or has Acer missed the point? Will it all depend on how much the company decides to charge for the Ion 2-based device? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

10 Comments

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retrogamer1990 16th February 2010, 11:09 Quote
why make a netbook that can play 1080p HD content, with a non-HD screen and no optical drive?
Dave Lister 16th February 2010, 11:19 Quote
I'd only pay £400 max for one of these because most games still need a cpu faster than 1.66ghz ! I really don't see the point if a 15" laptop can do a better job for half the price.
Mr T 16th February 2010, 11:28 Quote
I hope they manage to ship this for ~£350
Stelph 16th February 2010, 11:36 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by retrogamer1990
why make a netbook that can play 1080p HD content, with a non-HD screen and no optical drive?

For HDMI out and XBMC with 1080p files :-)
null_x86 16th February 2010, 11:38 Quote
So whats the benchmarks on the G310M? And how is it in comparison to the GT 335M in the M11x?
Tyrmot 16th February 2010, 11:49 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by null_x86
So whats the benchmarks on the G310M? And how is it in comparison to the GT 335M in the M11x?

^^
javaman 16th February 2010, 13:23 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Lister
I'd only pay £400 max for one of these because most games still need a cpu faster than 1.66ghz ! I really don't see the point if a 15" laptop can do a better job for half the price.

Yea but 15" laptops that can manage 10hours battery life and don't break your back carrying them are non exsistant. I got my Acer Aspire one net book for £250 with an 8hour battery. Its fantastic for uni since its light, therefore takes up less bag space, long battery means Im not needing to sit beside a power outlet and powerful enough to handle BBC iplayer for when Ive time between lectures. Yes the screen size is slightly annoying for doing basic c programming since I have to scroll alot, but it does the job perfectly. The extra advantage with ion is that you can play Wow, TF2, CS:S while on the move too and also hook it up to a friends TV for 1080p movies.

How many people these days actually need a dual core anyway? My entire family are more than happy with the sempron build in my sig. Most people spend time surfing, updating their facebook etc its that market the atom is aimed at. If flash is offloaded to the GPU then atom has overcame its biggest weakness. Apart from screen size the £300-£400 laptop market cant really offer many advantages over a ion netbook apart from a DVD-RW and a larger screen. I doubt anyone getting a laptop from that price range will be doing photoshop (interesting to see how ion GPU effects it) or gaming on anything more demanding than farmville.
elGafas 16th February 2010, 14:13 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Lister
I'd only pay £400 max for one of these because most games still need a cpu faster than 1.66ghz ! I really don't see the point if a 15" laptop can do a better job for half the price.

Most people think like you cause they never used an Atom based computer. I bought an AAO 150 (Atom n270) about a year ago, and since then I can't imagine my day without one of these low-power based pcs.

No more heavy bags, no more backpack + laptop bag, no more heavy power bricks, no more overheat on my lap when I'm finishing some work on the bus. You can play games, watch videos, surf the internet, connect it to a projector and show your work for hours without running out of battery.

No dvd drive? Get a slim usb drive, It's still lighter and smaller to carry both things than a 15" laptop.

I even replaced some of my desktop computers for IONs.
xaser04 16th February 2010, 15:15 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by null_x86
So whats the benchmarks on the G310M? And how is it in comparison to the GT 335M in the M11x?

Given its running the Atom CPU it will perform, well, poorly. (assuming you mean gaming performance?).

The G310m from what I can tell is a rebadged G210m, which itself is a rebadged 9400mGT (16 shaders). Compared to the GT335m (72 / 76 shaders _ I can't remember which it is) it will be slow(er).

For other uses it should be adequete (just like Ion 1).

In fact apart from a slight name change I am not really seeing a massive performance boost over Ion 1.
Stonerd 19th February 2010, 10:20 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by elGafas
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Lister
I'd only pay £400 max for one of these because most games still need a cpu faster than 1.66ghz ! I really don't see the point if a 15" laptop can do a better job for half the price.

Most people think like you cause they never used an Atom based computer. I bought an AAO 150 (Atom n270) about a year ago, and since then I can't imagine my day without one of these low-power based pcs.

No more heavy bags, no more backpack + laptop bag, no more heavy power bricks, no more overheat on my lap when I'm finishing some work on the bus. You can play games, watch videos, surf the internet, connect it to a projector and show your work for hours without running out of battery.

No dvd drive? Get a slim usb drive, It's still lighter and smaller to carry both things than a 15" laptop.

I even replaced some of my desktop computers for IONs.

+1
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