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MWC 2010: Acer Unveils First Ion 2 Netbook

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While we still don't have specific details about just what makes Nvidia's Ion 2 graphics chip tick that didn't stop Acer showing off the first netbook to come packing it.

The 'Aspire 532G' is an update of the '532h' and while they share the same 10.1in chassis that's about all they do. For a start the 532G comes with a 'High Def' LED backlit display (read 720p) packing a Pine Trail Atom CPU (1.66GHz, N450), 2GB RAM (praise be) and a large 320GB HDD, but the real star of the show is Nvidia's Ion 2 GPU.

Just like Nvidia, Acer wouldn't give any details about the boosted graphics tech, but it did enjoy showing off Full HD 1080p streaming video - incidentally something the first generation Ion can also do. We did get the usual generalities about "increased performance" and "better battery life", but until these are put in context it is all meaningless hyperbole. The hot talk right now is of a G310 GPU being used and dedicated memory is confirmed at a whopping 512MB, so we should have some serious power on tap - though the Windows 7 Experience score here of 3.1 isn't exactly barnstorming.

As for the 532G itself it is nicely made, the keyboard performs well without flex and the inclusion of an HDMI port is a vital addition. When not racing along on Ion, the netbook reverts to Intel's fairly naff GMA 3150 graphics, but that'll do for most things. Furthermore, with Nvidia's exciting Optimus technology onboard it should make for a pretty seamless experience and Acer is confidently predicting "up to" 10 hours of battery life.

One other notable feature is the thought Acer has put into the charger. Like netbooks we've seen before there is no 'brick' with everything integrated into the plug, but cleverly Acer has made the AC converters interchangeable. This is a brilliantly simple idea and not only helps the end user on their travels, but also makes international shipping for Acer a snap. Everyone else, copy please.

The Acer Aspire 532G will ship in Q1 and given the identikit nature of most netbooks this certainly has enough differentiators to get us excited.

PS - yes I was on onboard. Thank you for the multitude of tweets to my personal account. I'm fine. Nothing stops TR news getting through ;)

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