Many consumers have anxiously waited for the NVIDIA Ion to make its way into the netbook platform, and a month ago, Lenovo annouced it would be releasing the S12 Netbook in just that flavour. However, Lenovo is offering a whole new VIA approach, alongside the Ion.
It is unquestionable that Intel’s Atom processors is dominating the netbook market, and with the second major chip manufacturer, AMD, still producing no answer it would seem unlikely that any competition would arise. Yet, in an interesting turn, Lenovo has adopted the VIA Nano ULV 2250 CPU into its renditions of the S12, which is still running on the old Intel Atom N270 and 945GSE chipset.
The VIA option features Chrome9 HC3 graphics and operates at 1.3GHz versus the Atom’s 1.6GHz. However, it does boast an 800MHz FSB and 1MB of cache vs the 533FSB and 512KB found on the Atom. Whether or not the VIA unit is capable of playing HD is unknown and unlikely, but despite its slower speed, many speculate that it may in fact perform faster than Intel’s current N270.
Another attraction to the VIA option is the $50 savings, at $449 USD, from it’s regular price of $499 with the Atom. The Ion option, still has not made its way onto the Lenovo website, but with the integrated 9400M graphics, HD playback will be a breeze, and leaves room for the potential adoption of the N280 Dual Core Atom.
Details on the S12 and VIA Nano ULV 2250 can be found on Lenovo’s website