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The Netbook Is Dead! Or Not …

Anders Bylund (TMF Zahrim)
June 30, 2009

The netbook is dead. Long live the notebook!

That's the message from NVIDIA (Nasdaq: NVDA  ) today. The company's low-power but high-powered Ion graphics platform is set to remove some of the very limitations that define a traditional netbook.

Indeed, the first couple of Ion-powered netbooks coming down the hatch do look a lot like smallish laptops. The Lenovo S12 and Samsung N510, both Intel (Nasdaq: INTC  ) Atom systems due to hit store shelves this summer, have low-end specifications in some areas, such as a smallish 1GB memory allocation and a mere 160GB of hard drive storage. But the Ion-based netbooks "can handle mainstream gaming, HD video, and new GPU-powered applications," said NVIDIA notebook products manager Rene Haas. "You might as well call them notebooks, because that's what they are."

Regardless of what NVIDIA says, I think we'll see system builders like Lenovo, Dell (Nasdaq: DELL  ) , Acer, and Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ