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Lenovo announces Ion netbook

Amongst other things
Tue May 26 2009, 11:22

NVIDIA BREATHED a sigh of relief yesterday as Lenovo announced it would be releasing the first Ion netbook, the Lenovo IdeaPad S12, combining Nvidia's chipset with Intel's 1.6GHz Atom N270 processor.

With its 12.1-inch WXGA display (1280 X 800) and full-sized keyboard, the not-so-little lappie seems to border more on the notebook than netbook side, but passes as an ultra-portable either way.

Measuring less than an inch thick and weighing in at 1.4kg (1.55kg with a six cell battery), the S12 comes with up to 1GB DDR2 533 MHz memory, 160 GB SATA storage, WiFi, bluetooth, ExpressCard slot for 3G, 4-in-1 card reader, three USB ports, VGA, RJA45, HDMI and Windows XP Home SP3 (32 bit) OS. Users can apparently choose between a 3 or 6 cell battery, with the former offering three hours of juice whilst the latter stretches to a semi-decent six hours.

Lenovo boasts that the S12 will allow for 1080p high definition video and video playback as well as mainstream gaming, but how satisfying this will be on a small(ish) screen remains to be seen.

In case Ion wasn't enough to wow punters, Lenovo is also touting its VeriFace facial recognition technology, allowing users to log on as soon as the computer recognises their ugly mug, as well as "on demand" functionality which lets users get to a 'Quick Start' menu to check email and browse the Internet without having to boot up the entire OS.

For those not interested in Ion at all, Lenovo is also offering the laptop with Intel integrated GMA 950, although the firm has remained tightlipped on pricing.

Lenovo isn't putting all its eggs in one basket, however, with the firm announcing several more new systems pre-Computex, including an Intel based CULV notebook and a low-power, all-in-one desktop PC.

The firm's 13.3-inch, CULV based IdeaPad U350 can run on Intel's 1.4GHz Core 2 Solo SU3500, 1.3GHz SU2700 or 1.2GHz Celeron 723 processors. Sporting a 500GB hard drive, up to 8GB of DDR3 memory and an Intel integrated GMA 4500M/4500MHD graphics chip, the machine also comes with Microsoft Windows Home Basic and an 8-cell battery offering a purported 10 hours of use. The notebook also mounts a 1.3MP camera, multi-touch trackpad and two 1.5-watt speakers and is thought to cost somewhere in the region of $650.

The bigger, bulkier 15.6-inch G550 runs on a Core 2 Duo processor, comes with either IGP GMA X4500 or NVIDIA's GeForce G105M, HDMI output, 4GB of DDR3 RAM, a 320GB hard drive and a 6-cell battery with a purported five hours of juice. It also comes complete with integrated WiFi, Bluetooth, DVD burner and a numeric keypad for around $600.

The 20-inch LCD IdeaCentre C300 is Lenovo's all-in-one PC, based on Intel's Atom 230 processor and sporting 2GB of DDR2 memory, a 160GB or 640GB HDD, Ethernet, WiFi, 1.3MP webcam, FireWire, six USB 2.0 ports, a 6-in-1 card reader and an integrated optical drive, all for around $450.


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