Lenovo IdeaPad S12 first to implement ION on mobile platform
Another step forward
Today is going to be an exciting day for NVIDIA and its team of ION product managers. After the first retail system to use the chipset was unveiled last month as the Acer Aspire Revo nettop, it was followed by the first consumer ION platform motherboard from Zotac and today's product announcement is the first one that could be a truly revolutionary step for NVIDIA. The Lenovo IdeaPad S12 will likely be an extremely popular choice of small notebook with a mix of size, speed and price.
The IdeaPad S12 will feature an Intel Atom N270 single-core processor running at 1.6 GHz and the NVIDIA ION chipset with a much higher performing graphics core than the Intel 945G chipset that other notebooks use. Neither NVIDIA nor Lenovo is calling this computer a "netbook" though - and with a 12-inch screen it would be hard to classify it as one (especially with the recent news out of Microsoft for Windows 7 Starter Edition). The keyboard on the S12 is full-size so users that were complaining about the typically shortened width of netbook keyboards will be glad to see that change made.
Update: Apparently in some documentation Lenovo is in fact calling the S12 a netbook. Regardless, I think the term is over used and not warranted in this case.
The Lenovo S12 won't be available until later in the summer, sometime in the July or August time frame most likely, with a price tag under $600. That definitely puts the S12 in a great spot in terms of price and performance but I am bit worried about the length of time between this product announcement and actual product availability. We have already seen the netbook market beginning to compress slightly, and even though this unit wouldn't fit our technical definition of a netbook, its close enough that NVIDIA and Lenovo should be wary of missing the wave completely.
Either way, the team at Lenovo seems to be excited about the S12 as well:
The S12 will be offered in both black and white with a bit of added texture to the back cover. More images below!