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Netbooks have always been pretty underwhelming in the graphics department, but all that looks set to change with the release of the Acer Aspire One 532G -- one of the first netbooks to use Nvidia's next-generation Ion 2 graphics technology.

Ion 2 promises significantly more graphics power than the standard Intel integrated graphics you find on most netbooks. Little is known about this latest iteration, but word on the street is it'll have more than twice as many graphics shaders as the original Ion, so the Aspire One 532G should allow smoother 3D gaming, YouTube HD compatibility, 1080p playback with 7.1-channel audio and enhanced CUDA support. That's technology that allows the graphics processing unit to assist the CPU in non-gaming apps, such as when transcoding video.

Ion 2 isn't the only Nvidia technology in use on the Aspire One 532G. It also benefits from Nvidia Optimus, which extends battery life by automatically switching between the fast, power-hungry Ion 2 graphics and the wimpy, battery-friendly Intel integrated graphics -- depending on what sorts of tasks you're performing. Using this method, Acer claims the netbook can last as long as 10 hours on a single charge, which is nothing short of miraculous if it's true.

Despite the added horsepower, the Aspire One 532G should still be highly portable. The machine -- which will be available in Sapphire Blue, Ruby Red and Pearl Silver -- will weigh approximately 1kg and measure 25mm thick. It'll also benefit from an Intel N450 CPU, a 10-inch, 720p-capable display, HDMI video output and optional 3G.

The Aspire One 532G will ship by the end of Q1 2010. Pricing is TBC. For a look at the silver version, hit the 'Continue' link below.

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Here it is in a fetching shade of 'pearl silver'. Down the side, we can also see a couple of audio jacks plus USB and Ethernet ports. We assume the HDMI video output lives on the opposite side.

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