Lenovo Unveils ION-based S12 Netbook

Lenovo has launched the first ever 12.1-inch Netbook with a Nvidia Ion graphics subsystem, all for less than $449.

One might doubt the S12's categorisation as a Netbook. After all, apart from the "ageing" Intel Atom N270 processor, it has almost the same configuration as Apple's new 13-inch Macbooks.

The ION-based graphics from Nvidia - which is based on the 9400M motherboard GPU - will ensure that you can play relatively recent games at decent rates and with 10 times more oomph, the company claims that HD H264, VC-1 and MPEG-2 won't make the S12 break a sweat.

Expect 4 to 5 hours worth of working time with a six-cell battery. Other Specifications of the device include that fantastic 12.1-inch screen with a 1280x800 pixels, 1GB RAM, a 160GB hard disk drive, Windows XP Home, a 1.3-megapixel webcam, multitouch trackpad (yes!), HDMI port, 3 USB ports and a full size keyboard.

If that's not enough, you will sure be overwhelmed by its connectivity options; WiFi (b/g only), HSDPA capabilities and an ExpressCard slot. Lenovo has also bundled in its proprietary VeriFace, OneKey Rescue System and Linux-based Quick Start environment. Only niggle is the weight, at a hefty 3.7 pounds.

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Our Comments

Lenovo has struck a great price/performance point. If the S12 is available in the UK for around £350, it will be a sure seller. The 12.1-inch screen and the Ion graphics subsystem are, as it stands, above the rest of the competition including the newly released Samsung NC20.

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