7 Comments

Summary:

With yesterday’s debate on netbook expectations, this video demonstration from Notebooks.com is perfectly timed. In it, Xavier Lanier shows his Call of Duty 4 skills with one hand, while operating the camera in another. What’s different about this netbook is that it doesn’t use Intel’s standard […]

With yesterday’s debate on netbook expectations, this video demonstration from Notebooks.com is perfectly timed. In it, Xavier Lanier shows his Call of Duty 4 skills with one hand, while operating the camera in another. What’s different about this netbook is that it doesn’t use Intel’s standard graphics chip normally paired with the Atom CPU. The gaming session is done on the new HP Mini 311 netbook using the Nvidia ION solution. Xavier has the game preferences set to the lowest level of detail, but it looks buttery-smooth at over 30 frames per second. He also has some additional vids that highlight the ION solution, so check ‘em out.

With the 11.6-inch Mini 311 starting at $399, I can see some casual gamers show some interest in the device. Since it offers a 1366 x 768 display, I’ll admit it has my interest as well. 3.22 pounds isn’t much more than I carry today with the Toshiba NB205, but I’m wondering how the added graphical benefit of the ION affects battery life. Hmm….

You’re subscribed! If you like, you can update your settings

  1. Michael Anderson Friday, September 18, 2009

    Just wondering – I’ve heard that this is a lower model ‘ION e’ that is weaker than the full ION chip. Anything on that?

    1. According to the HP Mini 311 product page, it’s the NVIDIA ION LE. I’m not certain what the LE means, but I have a meeting with NVIDIA scheduled for next week. If I don’t find out by then, I’ll ask them directly.

  2. LE stands for Limited Edition (something nvidia likes to do with its graphics chips) which usually means a weaker version of the chip from what I’ve seen… though not always.

    But I am interested… Not enough to buy one as the 950 is satisfactory (gasp) for the light gaming I do on my netbook.

    Another interesting tidbit of information I read at tomshardware is that the atom + ion use quite a bit less power than the atom + gma 950.

  3. It’s doable, but for things like netbooks with ION, they’re best sticking to the sort of things you’d find on Good Old Games.

    As for the GMA950-based ones, they were never meant for anything other than very casual gaming to begin with. I mean, the GMA950 doesn’t even support HT&L, while the GeForce 4 Go 420 in my TC1100 does.

    Personally, I can’t wait to see the day where things like StreamMyGame develop to the point where something like a netbook makes a decent gaming platform just by being a thin client to a high-end gaming desktop at home, through the Internet.

  4. The ION LE version is not compatible with DirectX 10 and is suitable for Windows XP. The ION version is DirectX10 compatible and is suitable for Windows 7.

  5. I noticed that many of the Ion notebooks coming out list in their specs that they can have “up to 1 GB” memory. Does this mean there’s a chipset limitation to 1 GB?

  6. Michael Anderson Sunday, September 20, 2009

    Thanks for that info – I’ll wait for one with a ‘real’ ION. Had my eye on the Lenovo anyway.

    I’ve been pleased with my Lenovo s10 for gaming, aside from GoG stuff I’m thrilled with the whole Jedi Knight series, NWN, Gothic 1 & 2, and more!

Comments have been disabled for this post