NVIDIA's Ion platform has been more talked about than seen in action on existing netbooks or desktops but NVIDIA gets a major client with HP betting the new Mini 311 netbook on the Ion. With its 11.6-inch display, the Mini 311 is of the newer generation of netbooks with larger displays. The processor however remains the same old Intel Atom N270, with the NVIDIA Ion chipset capable of handling high-definition content.
The Ion's hardware accelerated HD decoding assist won't work with streamed HD videos using Flash though, so that's a disclaimer there for those who think the Ion is a sure bet for HD. Other than the change of the chipset, the 1.36kg Mini 311 has a 92% full-size keyboard with a 6-cell battery promising up to seven hours of usage.
The HP Mini 311 is available now from US$499.
Besides the Mini 311, HP continues to issue collaborative netbooks designs with renowned designers. After Vivienne Tam, it's the turn of Dutch industrial designer Tord Boontje, which gets to 'skin' the exterior of the HP Mini with a flora 3D imprint that's the industry's first 3D PC surface and adds layers and depth to the imprint. We aren't sure how consumers will take to this unique design but beneath the flowers, they can be reassured (or disappointed) that it's the same HP Mini 110.
The HP Mini by Studio Tord Boontje with Windows XP is available now from US$549 and it will come with Windows 7 Starter Edition at US$599 from October 22, 2009 onwards.