I am a big fan of netbook computers and small desktop systems based on Intel's Atom processor. I think the Atom and platforms using it offer plenty of performance for your average PC user looking to do nothing more than a bit of word processing, surfing the web and enjoying the occasional video or game.
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The biggest downside of the average netbook or nettop is that they don’t offer much graphical prowess making it hard to enjoy games and HD video. NVIDIA has announced a new, very small computing platform called Ion that will change that. The Ion platform consist of a GeForce 9400 GPU with an Intel Atom processor aimed directly at netbooks, SFF systems and all-in-one PCs.
NVIDIA says that the Ion platform offers up the smallest premium PC experience available today. The 9400 GPU allows for playback of full 1080p HD video, supports Windows Vista and the forthcoming Windows 7 OS. Gamers can even play 3D titles like Call of Duty 4 on systems using Ion according to NVIDIA. We already know that the 9400M GPU is a powerhouse in the integrated graphics front so this should make for some great machines. We can fully expect to see netbooks running Ion on display at CES. I for one can’t wait.