Video: Ion-Powered Lenovo S12 Looks Great, But Not Coming Until Fall

s12-ionWhy would anyone want souped up graphics on a netbook? Good question. And we got our answer during a brief video demo with Nvidia today, who showed us its Ion platform (which combines 9400M graphics with an Atom processor) running on the eagearly anticipated Lenovo IdeaPad S12 (though it’s not this Ion-packing model, we’ve got a full review of the Lenovo S12). The good news is that the performance looks pretty stellar. The bad news is that you’ll now have to wait til the fall to scoop up this version of the S12, which will sell for $495. Lenovo had originally said “later this summer” in its May 25th press release. We’re guessing that this could be a launch netbook for Windows 7. Based on our brief hands-on time, we think the Ion-powered S12 will be worth the wait. The S12 we saw played a 1080p trailer of the Dark Knight (most netbooks can handle 720p but choke on 1080p), while the CUDA-enabled BodaBoom software transcoded another video clip in the background. We didn’t notice many dropped frames, and the S12 finished processing a 2-minute clip in about 2 minutes, whereas the typical Atom-only netbook takes 30 minutes to transcode a 5-minute clip. We still have high hopes for Ion, but we’re curious to if and when other big names jump on the bandwagon.


Mark Spoonauer
Mark Spoonauer
Responsible for the editorial vision for Laptop Mag and Tom's Guide, Mark Spoonauer has been Editor in Chief of LAPTOP since 2003 and has covered technology for nearly 15 years. Mark speaks at key tech industry events and makes regular media appearances on CNBC, Fox and CNN. Mark was previously reviews editor at Mobile Computing, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc.
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  1. Anonymous Says:

    Was that demo running Windows 7 or Windows CE? Other articles have mentioned Nvidia considering Windows CE or Android, but I’m hoping for an OS that was designed for desktop applications. Is this demo an indication that they’ve decided on an OS?

  2. Nicole_Scooter Says:

    30 seconds before seeing the gadget! More product less dude!! And I’m a girl. . . ha ha ha

  3. ikkefc3 Says:

    nVidia is considering Windows CE / Android fot their Tegra platform. Tegra is completely different from Ion. Ion is for x86(_64) computers, Tegra is for ARM computers (i.e. Phones).

  4. motive Says:


    judging from the taskbar in the video, it looks to be windows 7 with the icon based taskbar units rather than title…

    can’t be for sure, as it seems disabled the aero function from it if it is so

  5. motive Says:

    nevermind, as you can see from the windows animations @ 1:44, it definitely is either the windows 7 beta or RC

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