Updated at 3:50 p.m. PST: correcting for Intel GN40 graphics support and adding pricing information for target market.
Acer launched a PC Tuesday that attempts to bring PC-class performance to Atom-processor-based PCs.
The Acer AspireRevo is the first Atom-based PC from a major PC supplier to use Nvidia's Ion chipset that packs GeForce 9400M graphics, the same graphics used in the Apple 13-inch MacBook and MacBook Air.
By design, Atom is a more power frugal and, concomitantly, slower processor than Intel's mainstream Core 2 chip architecture.
The AspireRevo's marquee external feature is the diminutive size: the desktop is comparable in size to a laptop (though slightly thicker, about the size of a typical hardcover book). Internally, the device will test Nvidia's thesis that devices, such as Netbooks, that pair the Atom processor with Nvidia graphics offer much better performance than Intel-only (i.e., Atom-with-Intel-chipset) platforms.
This won't be quite the slam dunk that it was before, however. Intel recently started shipping the Atom N280 and the accompanying GN40 chipset, which for the first time on an Intel Netbook platform delivers 1080p HD playback.
"The AspireRevo...is perfectly suited for the living room, because Nvidia Ion provides a brilliant graphics experience with digital photos, watching video, and playing family-friendly games," said Gianpiero Morbello, corporate vice president of marketing for Acer, in a statement.
Nvidia listed the following capabilities for the Ion-based AspireRevo:
- Ability to run
- 1080p HD video with true-fidelity 7.1 audio
- Popular games including Spore, Call of Duty 4, and Sim City 4 *
- DirectX 10 graphics with advanced digital display connectivity
- Accelerated video enhancement and transcoding using Nvidia CUDA technology
(* Correction: originally listed as "Sim City 5" )
Pricing information was not immediately available. Generally speaking, Ion-based desktops are expected to be priced under $300.