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.

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5 replies on “Zotac nettop with NVIDIA ION 2 coming in March?”

  1. No, it is July and still you cannot find it anywhere.

    I would like to know what the time span is between a typical “hype & bandwagon” article like this one is, and it actually being available on the market. I think it is about 2 years.

    The more they hype these NEW UPCOMING and “possible” features, the more I am NOT going to buy anything currently available, because … well whatever is currently available is obsolete against anything you are hyping.

    So I will basically never own a Nettop. With, or without the latest because the fact that whatever I’m about to buy is old technology is rammed down my throat on thousands of speculative reviews.

  2. I’m not real sure about the Mini PCI-e rumor; I’d think that if this sort of thing was possible it would have been done already. From what I gather, standard Mini PCI-e ports don’t have enough bandwidth capability to handle a full-fledged GPU solution.

    Judging from the fact that this nettop shows “PINE TRAIL + GT218,” I’m going to take a stab in the not-so-dark and peg ION 2 as an Asus UL30Vt-style hybrid GMA 3150/nvidia G 310M discrete GPU solution.

  3. great. Here I have been holding off buying a nettop until the crop if ion platforms show up, and you have to go and ruin it for me….

  4. I look forward to finding out more about this platform. I would also LOVE it if they came out with a CULV version of this with the ION 2… If it’s a descrete card there’s no reason they couldn’t, and that’s something I’d gladly pay money for in nettop and ‘netbook’ form.

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