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If you have been following the NVIDIA Ion story, you should know by now the long and challenging history faced by this diminutive platform as it faced down rivals from Intel and their criticisms about the viability of such a platform. There is even a rumor that the exasperated NVIDIA might be approaching and buying over VIA in order to use the VIA Nano in place of Intel Atom processors.

Nvidia

Whatever the reasons might be, it is now official:

The NVIDIA Ion has launched and will be shipping worldwide come second quarter of 2009!

This release will no doubt bring many good tidings to people like me who have always shunned the “ultraportable” market Atom-based computers because the performance on these were horrible and for the same amount of money, you could get some other PC which isn’t running on Atom, although perhaps it won’t be as compact.

The Ion marries Atom processors with NVIDIA’s own proprietary graphics technology (They are after all one of the two giants in the graphics processing unit market) to give “ultraportable” devices something that have long been missing: raw power. The Ion supposedly gives 10x more power, capable of supporting Windows Vista with all its fancy eye candy, Photoshop, 3D games and other graphics intensive applications including delivering up to 1080p of full-res HD glory, something the Atom processor definitely cannot do if not assisted by NVIDIA’s technology in the Ion.