Lenovo Unveils First Ion Powered Netbook

Portable High Definition thrills on a budget.

Despite Intel’s moaning nVidia’s Ion platform does mark a significant step forward for budget desktops and netbooks. So following the arrival of the former in the shape of the Acer Aspire Revo it’s nice to finally see the latter…

Lenovo is first to herald an nVidia loving netbook in the shape of the ‘S12’, a 12.1in machine with WXGA (1280 x 800) native resolution and LED backlit panel. Integration of Ion – which is based around a GeForce 9400M GPU – enables the S12 to handle full 1080p High Definition playback so helpfully you’ll find an HDMI output along with the usual VGA. Also worthy of note is a 100 per cent full size keyboard which should please heavy typists.

Away from this things become more standard with a 1.6GHz Atom CPU, 1GB DDR2 RAM, WiFi, Bluetooth, an ExpressCard slot, 4-in-1 card reader, Ethernet and 3x USB slots. Hard drive choices include 160GB, 250GB or 320GB but sadly no SSDs while there’s also an optional six cell battery allowing up to six hours of use.

Should you bizarrely wish to bypass Ion, Lenovo will be offering the S12 with Intel’s basic GMA 950 integrated graphics but with prices starting from a very reasonable $449 (£283) you’d have to be one beer keg short of a dorm party to entertain such an idea.

The Lenovo S12 will go on sale in GMA 950 form in June with the Ion edition arriving during the wonderfully imprecise timeframe of “later this summer”.

Lenovo UK