Lat week we saw Asus’s Italy-only ATI GPU-equipped netbook. It looked to be promising, making it possible to do more graphically intense tasks than standard netbooks. Now it might seem a bit outdated, however, as Lenovo is finally bringing a new chip base to netbooks.
The Lenovo IdeaPad S12 is just barely a netbook with a large 12-inch screen and full size keyboard. What makes this so exciting is the S12 will be the first ever netbook to use Nvidia’s new Ion platform for netbooks. Being an Nvidia platform, Ion is better suited for more graphically intense tasks such as HD video and gaming. It’s even said to be capable of playing Spore, which granted can be played on Intel integrated graphics, but is still a bit impressive. Perhaps it won’t choke on high quality Hulu streams as the Intel Atom can at times.
Nvidia’s Ion platform makes the IdeaPad an enticing buy. It’s finally making netbooks exciting again. Perhaps it will push Intel to make the Atom platform better suited to graphically intense situations. The idea of actually being able to play games on a netbook aside from casual PopCap games sounds wonderful. I have no reason to doubt it would probably play Team Fortress 2 or World of Warcraft decently well if it can play Spore. It would also be nice to be able to watch high-definition video, or at the very least better quality video than what the Atom is capable of. True, we haven’t had a chance to really play with the Ion platform yet, but from the looks of it, it might actually make netbooks finally worth if to some people.