High-definition Flash video can slow even consumer ultraportables down to a crawl, but it doesn't have to. At least, not as long as you have Nvidia graphics and a little patience. As Hexus reports, a video from German site NotebookJournal.de showing GPU-accelerated Flash has appeared on YouTube:
The (fittingly high-definition) video shows laptops with Nvidia Ion integrated graphics attempting to run a 720p Star Trek trailer, also on YouTube. The first system's attempt is unwatchable, but the second can pull off completely smooth playback. It has no trouble with the trailer for the new Harry Potter movie, either.
What's the difference? Apparently, the second laptop uses a new version of Flash that taps the GPU for rendering. We've already tested the Ion's HD video acceleration features, but so far, Flash video decoding has been a largely CPU-bottlenecked affair (unless you count those Windows CE-based Tegra netbook prototypes we saw at Computex.)
Hexus says Nvidia will make an official announcement on October 5, although the report doesn't say if the new version of Flash will be available then, too.