Lenovo announces IdeaPad S12 netbook

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Lenovo S12 Netbook - the first ION-based netbook to market

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May 25, 2009 We were starting to worry that it had been a couple of hours since we'd heard news of another netbook launch, but Lenovo has put our minds at ease by announcing the IdeaPad S12 - an ION-based netbook that borders on being classed a laptop, with its 12.1-inch LED display and full-sized keyboard.

While some parts of the world can choose between VIA Nano 2250 (which will include Chrome9 HC3 graphics) or N270 processors, those in the US will have to limit their choices to the N270, with either GMA 945 or Nvidia ION graphics. The ION packing S12 (a netbook first) should handle GPU-accelerated Blu-ray/1080p video playback and playing modern 3D games. It also includes HDMI out, but that’s where the differences among the three different S12 models end. All units boast a 12.1-inch 1280x800 LED screen, full-sized keyboard, multi-touch touchpad and up to six hours of battery life from the six-cell battery.

All the S12 series also include 1GB of DDR2 RAM, 160GB HDD, 802.11b/g Wi-Fi, 4-in-1 card reader, Dolby sound, Bluetooth and three USB ports. The integrated 1.3-megapixel camera will come in handy, with VeriFace face recognition security software, while the inclusion of Lenovo’s Quick Start application gives the S12 “instant on” capabilities. By booting the stripped down Linux-based Splashtop operating system, you can access a web browser, Skype, as well as photo and music applications without waiting for the full OS to boot. All models come with XP Home.

The 3.7lbs, 1.14-inch thin S12 netbook from Lenovo will be available in either white or black, starting at USD$449.99 for the S12 with integrated GMA 945 graphics, next month. The S12 with ION graphics will retail for USD$499.99 from August.

Darren Quick

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