When you look at an ION platform from nVIDIA, you might mistake it for a router or maybe an external HDD cage, but hidden in that box is a full PC.  The GeForce 9400 and Intel Atom beat the pants off of the Intel 945GC, but unless you want to replay Quake 4 at 800×600 with an average frame rate hovering around 20fps you may not want to use it at a LAN party.  On the flip side, with HD content in H.264, VC-1 or  MPEG-2, you can expect great performance, no dropped frames and a CPU utilization that stays well under 50%.  If you do try some other formats, you might run into some problems, some of which you can see at X-bit Labs.

“Nvidia proposed a way to improve typical nettop and netbook platforms by adding an integrated chipset with high-performance GeForce 9400 graphics core. We tested an engineering sample of a system like that and are ready to tell you with all certainty if Nvidia could make the nettop and netbook world any better.”

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