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MWC 2010: Acer Unveils First Ion 2 Netbook

Gordon Kelly


MWC 2010: Acer Unveils First Ion 2 Netbook

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 ;)


February 19, 2010, 3:44 pm

At last! I've only been waiting 2 years for this. 10 inch form factor with high resolution screen, HDMI and big battery? Gran's on ebay already. Just hope the price isn't silly. Thanks Gordon.


February 19, 2010, 3:51 pm

That same power brick design has appeared on the Packard Bell Dot S2, a review of which will but up shortly. What's particularly cool about it is that the interchangeable plugs can be attached at whatever orientation you like so can be made to fit in even the most awkward sockets.


February 19, 2010, 9:14 pm

Its been pretty much known what the GPU is and that it will actually just be a GPU rather than a chipset package (ION1).



February 19, 2010, 9:36 pm

@ Andrew Violet - Yes, Intel pretty much buggered them with the newer Atoms. I really hope Intel make a hostile bid for Nvidia sooner rather than later so much talent goes wasted.


February 19, 2010, 10:33 pm

I really hope that doesn't happen. I wish nvidea would start making their own CPU's already. With their expertise they could have technology that should be able to make a GPU run pretty much as a CPU (a hybrid if you like).


February 21, 2010, 1:49 am

Hmm, given Nvidia's absolute inability to execute I think they wouldn't survive long in the CPU market. Part of the reason I would love to see an Nvidia/Intel tie up would be that Nvidia would get access to Intel's massive fab fire power and ability to execute in a timely fashion while Intel could finally include half decent integrated graphics rather than the dogpoo we get now...

Jim McSlim

February 22, 2010, 4:19 am

These interchangeable AC converter plugs are a good idea, except that there appears to be no standard between manufacturers, and the alternative plugs to the one that came with your device (since they rarely seem to come with plugs other than for the market in which you purchased it) don't seem to be easily/cheaply available.

Perhaps consumer electronics manufacturers should stop shipping these converters and we should buy our own AC/DC converters... perhaps if the device could have the smarts to tell the converter what voltage/amps it wants when it is plugged in.


February 24, 2010, 5:00 pm

Can someone tell me what screen resolution is actually in play here ?

I've read other reviews stating that the resolution was an underwhelming 1024 x 600 !

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