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Samsung Readying Ion-Based N510

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What's not-a-netbook, measures 11.6in and is based on nVidia's Ion platform? The answer, of course, is Samsung's forthcoming N510, demonstrated at a recent nVidia event.

That 11.6in display will offer a 1,366 x 768 pixel resolution, which is fast becoming the minimum expected from this size of system, and thanks to the 9400M graphics chip offered by Ion should be able of playing video and running applications too graphically demanding for Intel's own Atom platform. The Atom CPU in question is the 1.66GHz N280 which has slightly higher power draw than the newer Zxxx Atom's, but probably not enough to worry the kind of user that wants an Ion system over a 'normal' netbook.

Otherwise, 1GB of RAM a 160GB hard drive, Ethernet, Draft-N Wi-Fi and Bluetooth should hardly be cause for surprise. Unsurprisingly there's no optical drive; although on this size machine it might be more welcome an inclusion.

Samsung hasn't been tempted to move away from Windows XP to Vista - unlike Acer with its Revo nettop - which is good from an operating-speed perspective. Ion may offer more GPU power, but Atom is still a relatively low performance CPU.

The biggest catch? Samsung will apparently be asking €570 (~£485) for the N510 when it launches, rumour has it, next month which is hardly pocket change.

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