If your main issue with Nvidia's Ion platform is that it's over-powerful, take heart: the company is due to launch a slimmed down version specifically for Windows XP-based netbooks.

According to an article over on Fudzilla, the company has quietly slipped its second Ion-based product out of the door - the Ion LE. Nvidia's PR manager for notebook products, Igor Stanek, has stated that the Ion LE is "identical to [the original] Ion, except it only supports [DirectX] 9."

The original version of Ion, which is finding its way into both netbooks and netttops has full DirectX 10 support when coupled with Windows Vista or Windows 7. While the support is a nice feature to have, it's fairly wasted in a market which is dominated by Windows XP - which only supports DirectX 9 - making it a smart move on Nvidia's part, providing the price is suitably reduced.

While this is the second version of Ion to be released by Nvidia, it's most certainly not the Ion 2 we were expecting - nor does it introduce the promised support for VIA's Nano range of processors. With the DirectX 9 performance likely to be similar to the existing product SKU, the Ion LE won't be setting the gaming world aflame either.

Nvidia has yet to confirm pricing, end-user product availability, or the power draw characteristics of the new chip.

Is the removal of the DirectX 10 support a good move for Nvidia's Ion - especially as it's most commonly used in Windows XP-based systems - or is it unlikely to drop the price or power low enough to make a second version worth it? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

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