Intel's weedy Atom has come in for a lot of abuse since it first appeared on the scene and by contrast Nvidia's ION chip takes a lot of credit for papering over the shortcomings. So what if both suddenly upped their game?
That appears to be what is on the cards with eeepc.it reporting a spec leak for the new Asus Eee PC '1201N' netbook (pictured) shows it could be the first dual core Atom netbook on the market. By contrast Nvidia reports it will have second generation ION architecture ready to go before the end of the year.
Looking at the CPU side of things first and the 1201N appears to read like the netbook many have always wanted with a 1.6GHZ Intel Atom N330 Dual Core processor backed up with Nvidia ION graphics, 3GB RAM, a hefty 320GB HDD and Windows 7. The machine's 12in display will likely see many question whether it is really a netbook at all, but I suspect consumers don't care if the price and battery life are right.
If you're impressed by ION however you should be thrilled to bits by ION2 since Fudzilla writes that Nvidia's chipset boss has confirmed it will ship to manufacturers before the end of the year. ION2 allegedly has double the number of shaders of ION and should bring substantially improved performance. That said, whether manufacturers can turn around ION2 in time for graphically dazzling netbooks by Christmas seems very doubtful.
Still, if you do receive a netbook under your Christmas tree this year you can feel warm and fuzzy inside knowing impending next generation architecture will make it a laughing stock within a month or two. Season's greetings!
via eeepc.it (Translated)