I have been watching closely with Apple's direction in their products using alternative source rather than the state of the obvious. When we talk about CPUs, we would associate ourselves with Intel. The alternative CPU product would be from AMD. When are dealing with graphics, naturally we will talk about Nvidia as they are the mainstream graphics manufacturer today. The alternatives would be from ATI ( Parent company is AMD) and from Intel. We do have a small quantity of notebooks using VIA's Chrome 9 graphics engine.
Having said that, Nvidia is dominating both desktop and notebook discreet graphics segment while ATI is gaining ground on Nvidia. Intel, on the other hand, remains silent about their direction but so far as to say, Intel still still dominating the world's integrated graphics engine with their Intel HD graphics irrespective of whether it is a desktop or a laptop. More significantly, most of today's laptops are equipped with Intel's integrated graphics. Not bad for Intel, eh?
From experience, integrated graphics will not only save energy, it is also a cheaper option when it comes to budgeting for a laptop/netbook. A good look at the current netbook market will see that any netbook which is fitted with an Nvidia graphics, usually the 9300/9400 GM, will see that the price of the netbook will cost more than a similar netbook with an Intel graphics. The argument for using the Nvidia ION platform is that it will boost the graphics quality in terms of better frame rates while playing games and it allows users to watch HD movies and so on. The downside is that it will most probably use more energy than the Intel graphics.
Presently, there are many laptop manufacturers who are interested in providing hybrid graphics. The idea is to use an integrated graphics card when the user is not using the laptop/netbook for graphic intensive acitivies. Once graphics intensive tasks have been identified, the system will automatic switch to a more powerful graphics engine.
These days, ATI is proving itself to the world as the better graphics card manufacturer than Nvidia. We did have news about the overheating on various Nvidia GPUs due to bad heatsink/drivers but we seldom have such problems with ATI's GPU. Besides, ATI's graphic cards are always cheaper than Nvidia's. Why would you want to waste more money on Nvidia when ATI is proven to be a better graphic manufacturer? We are concerned about less heat and a graphic card using less energy. ATI can do a better job than Nvidia these days. The question is why do you still want Nvidia?