It's shaping up to be quite the month for Lenovo
. Just weeks after it unveiled a refreshed version of its IdeaPad S10 netbook (understandably deemed the S10-2
), the company is dropping yet another new rig on the world. Today, the IdeaPad S12 came to light, bringing with it the title of world's first netbook with NVIDIA's Ion technology
. How significant will this be in the netbook world? If we had to guess today, we'd say "very."
If you'll recall, NVIDIA's Ion is a new chipset that aims to provide 1080p capabilities to otherwise underpowered and low-cost machines. It's the same technology that launched in Acer's Aspire Revo
nettop, and the same technology that recently shipped in a Zotac mainboard
. Most netbooks today ship with lowly integrated graphics that can't handle multimedia at 720p or higher and cannot run any of the latest 3D gaming titles. Thus, most netbooks are stricken to handle only Office-type tasks and Web browsing.
Lenovo's IdeaPad S12 promises to be the first netbook that can seriously handle high-def tasks, with a 12.1" display and the ability to play back 1080p content (via the HDMI output, of course) in "silky smooth" fashion. As if that weren't enough, Lenovo also made sure to bless this machine with a 100% full size keyboard, something that's extraordinarily rare on netbooks. In fact, we'd say the tight, often misshaped keyboards are the worst attributes on netbooks. With this machine, it's just like typing on any standard 15.4" notebook. Nice touch, Lenovo.
The company hopes to begin shipping the S12 next month with prices starting at $449, though the Ion version (the flagship model) will cost $499. Still, for a netbook with a full size keyboard, Ion graphics and a six cell battery good for nearly six hours of life, that's not a lot to ask. Full specifications are below in the press release from Lenovo.
- Display: 12.1 WXGA (1280 X 800) LED 200 nit, 250g
- Processor: Intel Atom N270
- Graphics: Intel integrated GMA 950, Nvidia ION
- Memory: Up to 1GB DDR2 533 MHz
- Hard Drive: Up to 160 GB SATA (160, 250, 320)
- Battery Life: 3 hours with 3-cell, 6 hours with 6-cell
- Weight: 1.4kg with 3 cell, 1.55kg with 6 cell
- Dimensions: 292 X 216 X 22-28.9mm
- Connectivity: 10/100m Ethernet, Broadcom 578M, Intel WiFi Link 5150 1X2 AGN, Intel WiFi Link 5100 1X2 AGN, Non-Intel wireless b/g, Non-Intel wireless b/g/n, Bluetooth
- Other: 3 USB, 1 Expresscard slot (Intel and VIA platforms), 4-in-1 card reader, VGA, RJA45, HDMI
- Software: XP Home SP3 (32 bit)
NVIDIA also took the opportunity to brief us on their proud new design win with Lenovo, underscoring the benefits of the platform over Intel chipset based solutions for the Atom processor.
And Lenovo's official press release came through over the wire this morning as well....
Lenovo Energizes Mini-Computing with its First 12-Inch Netbook Debuts World's First Netbook with NVIDIA's ION Graphics Processor
RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC – May 25, 2009: Lenovo today announced the IdeaPad S12, the company's first 12-inch netbook. The new netbook takes the best in connectivity, style and entertainment features in Lenovo's other netbooks and brings users the next level in netbook computing with improved usability and performance. These enhancements include a 12.1-inch screen, a 100 percent full-size keyboard and new graphics options with the NVIDIA ION™ platform.
"We've heard from consumers loud and clear about the need for affordable and extremely portable computing devices, and we've responded by introducing our third netbook with a completely new form factor, making mini-computing more usable and redefining value in today's market," said Dion Weisler, vice president, Business Operations, Idea Product Group, Lenovo. "We are pioneering new territory in the developing netbook arena by being the first vendor to give customers high quality video and entertainment capabilities in a netbook with optional NVIDIA ION graphics."
Elevating Power and Performance
Whether it's looking at photos, playing music, emailing or cruising online, consumers want smaller and more portable PCs. The Lenovo IdeaPad S12 netbook is raising the bar for higher levels of netbook computing with choices of the Intel Atom processor with Intel integrated graphics or the Intel Atom processor with NVIDIA ION graphics. Also, for the first time on a netbook with NVIDIA's ION graphics platform, users will be able to enjoy brilliant 1080p high definition video with silky smooth playback.
"NVIDIA ION graphics help deliver the same features found in premium PCs at lower price points and new form factors," said Rene Haas, general manager, Notebook GPUs, NVIDIA. "With enhanced graphics, the Lenovo IdeaPad S12 netbook is perfect for watching movies, playing popular games like Spore, flipping through vacation pictures or enhancing family videos."
The IdeaPad S12 netbook offers plenty of up and running time with up to six hours of battery life to support the mobile demands of netbook users1. Because netbook users need to stay connected wirelessly, the netbook comes with WiFi connectivity and ready for 3G with an ExpressCard slot to enable connectivity2. To hold the photos, music and videos users keep on their netbooks, the IdeaPad S12 netbook offers ample hard drive storage and memory with up to 160 GB of storage and 1 GB of memory. For peace of mind in case data becomes corrupted, Lenovo's OneKey™ Rescue System can help recover user data or device settings.
Loaded with Style and Entertainment
In addition to the netbook's sleek and sophisticated ring pattern design in black or white, users can make the netbook their one-stop entertainment device, starting from the moment they turn it on. Lenovo's expanded VeriFace facial recognition technology makes logging in a snap by recognizing the user's face. If users want "on demand" functionality, they can go into the Lenovo Quick Start environment and check email, browse the Internet and more without waiting for the full operating system to boot. They can also don any set of headphones and enjoy surround sound audio with Dolby Headphone technology. If opting to watch video on an external monitor, they can easily connect through the netbook's VGA port or HDMI port on select models. They can also choose among several multimedia formats to upload through the 4-in-1 multicard reader.
An Improved Computing Experience
Lenovo designed the IdeaPad S12 netbook for consumers looking for a super thin, portable and affordable device that offered a familiar, computing experience. Lenovo enlarged the netbook's WXGA screen from 10.1 inches to 12.1 inches for better viewing and made the keyboard 100 percent the size of a full-size laptop to make typing easier and less cramped. And when it comes to portability, by measuring less than an inch thick4, the netbook leads the industry for thinness compared to other 12-inch netbooks. The lightweight IdeaPad S12 netbook weighs in at just three pounds5.
Pricing and Availability
The IdeaPad S12 netbook will be available in June through business partners and www.lenovo.com. Pricing for models starts at $449. Models with the NVIDIA ION graphics will be available later this summer.