Acer launches first Nvidia Ion PC

Written by Ben Hardwidge

April 8, 2009 | 11:03

Tags: #aspirerevo #atom #console #controller #cuda #hornet #ion #nettop #wii

Companies: #acer #blu-ray #motion #nvidia

Back in February, Intel’s controversial “Nvidia Ion Competitive Positioning Guide” stated that “Nvidia claims that many OEMs are exploring the Ion, but as of this writing, no customer has publicly disclosed plans to design Ion-based products.” However, this is now a redundant point as Acer has revealed its AspireRevo, which is based on Nvidia’s new Atom-based Ion platform.

The pictures of the AspireRevo show that this is the official release of Acer’s Wii-esque Hornet concept, which was revealed in a leaked presentation in February. Nvidia describes the AspireRevo as being “no larger than a typical hardcover book,” but adds that it’s also “a fully capable desktop with advanced graphics and impressive multimedia features.”

Unlike your typical Atom-based nettop, Nvidia says that the Ion-based AspreRevo “can handle a wide variety of computing needs,” which include HD video playback and gaming. The company says that you can play Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare and Spore on the tiny system, and that it can also playback 1080p video with 7.1 audio.

A variety of connections are provided on the box, including six USB 2 ports, HDMI and VGA display connectors, an eSATA port and a memory card reader. The machine will come with Windows Vista Home Premium installed as standard, and will feature an Atom 230 CPU and up to 4GB of DDR2 memory. There will also be a choice of either an SSD or a hard drive for storage.

Nvidia also notes that the tiny PC’s integrated GPU can enable “accelerated video enhancement and transcoding using Nvidia CUDA technology.” Nvidia’s senior vice president of marketing, Dan Vivoli, said the GPU would enable you to “watch Blu-ray movies and HD movie trailers, or clean up jerky, dim cell phone videos for internet streaming. This is the perfect PC for today’s consumers.” However, no Blu-Ray drive is included in the PC as standard, so you would have to attach an external drive to watch Blu-Ray movies on the AspireRevo.

Acer’s corporate vice president of marketing, Gianpiero Morbello, said that “the AspireRevo is small and quiet enough to go anywhere, yet big enough to handle all the needs of your digital lifestyle.” He also added that “it’s perfectly suited for the living room, because Nvidia Ion provides a brilliant graphics experience with digital photos, watching video, and playing family-friendly games.”

As the presentation slides for the Hornet first revealed, the AspireRevo will also be available in a bundle with a game controller much like Nintendo’s Wiimote. Acer describes this as “a game controller with 3D motion sensors offering numerous functionalities.”

“Besides being able to be used like a pointing-device (air mouse) or remote control for the media center,” says Acer, “the controller transforms into 3 primary different gaming scenarios from an airplane/race-car steering device, or a tennis racket/baseball bat or a shooting device with built-in trigger. The device is very sophisticated and does not only keep track of points during the game, but captures and tracks very precise user motion.”

There’s no official word on pricing yet, but the original leaked presentation slides for the Hornet said that it could cost “couple hundreds [sic] dollars.” Would you be interested in purchasing a small Ion-based PC such as this? Let us know your thoughts in the forums.
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