NVIDIA hasn’t officially introduced its ION 2 platform for providing netbooks and nettops with high performance graphics yet. But the company is expected to launch ION 2 any time now, and DigiTimes is reporting that the Zotac MAG HD-ND01 nettop that was on display at CES earlier this month will ship in march with a base price of just $249. That price reportedly includes an NVIDIA GeForce 210 graphics chip, which may be the basis of the ION 2 platform.
It’s still not 100% clear how NVIDIA ION 2 will play with the Intel Atom Pine Trail chipset, since the Pine Trail platform combine the processor and graphics onto a single chip. But there’ve been rumors that ION 2 could come on a PCI Express card much like the Broadcom Crystal HD video accelerator which some PC makers offer with netbooks to allow HD video playback on low power PCs. The difference is that NVIDIA’s solution would offer not just video acceleration, but a complete GPU that could also allow you to play video games or run other applications that require higher performance graphics.
I’m going to file everything (the Zotac nettop launch date and price, and the ION 2 specs0 in the rumor category for now. But I’d be surprised if we didn’t hear something from NVIDIA in the next few months.
Update: Apparently the $249 price tag will be for the barebones unit without ION graphics.