Given all of the interest in the NVIDIA Ion platform and its abilities to handle HD content, as well as some of things being said as well as the rebuttals, Intel has discussed the performance of it’s upcoming GN40 chipset when paired with its Atom CPUs.
Fudzilla has Intel’s official statement on HD content and the GN40 chipset:
GN40 is designed to do 1080P HD playback for typical broadband internet content; it is not designed to enable full Blu-ray capability where the bitrates and demands of multi-layer content are significantly higher than that of internet HD content.
As Fudzilla points, out, there won’t be any netbooks with 1080p displays for a long time (although the Dell Inspiron Mini 10 has a 720p-capable display). There’s also a huge difference between Blu-ray decoding and “HD playback for typical broadband internet content”.
There are netbooks with HDMI outputs coming out (such as the Inspiron Mini 10), and you could hook those up to HDTVs or HD-capable displays, but you aren’t going to be copying Blu-ray movies over to them and then playing them out to an HDTV, even if they could handle BRD movies.
Instead, many of us are wanting smoother playback of things like Hulu.com in 480p, as well as movie trailers, etc., (and don’t forget YouTube has been adding HD content).