Wow.. Here I thought that I ould come up with some real original ideas.. and man o man did you guys get alot!
Ok, from what I understand, You want to build a dream computer using the ION.. to emphasize:
GPU Power: How powerful this thing can be!
Small Form Factor: So small, it can fit it anywhere.
Green/Low Power: Going green seems to be the issue nowadays!
Well here is my first idea. Since it seems this device is small in size.. and obviously can fit it into almost anything, why not create a new "PowerBook" Obviously we can play on the name heh.. As far as what you can do, Using the images below, the "Book" built doesn't have to exactly mimic the examples, But my idea is to create a Tome/Grimoire/Book. Due to this ingenious devices small size, You have plenty of room to play with inside the main body of the book. Now using the supplied images below, those are just a few ideas as far as the appearance. I dont know where we would stand as far as Copy Write issues, So you wouldn't have to exactly match any of the books, I would picture a heavy Leather bound book, plenty thick enough page wise to fit the ION's case, and as far as customization wise, allow you to fit in plenty of extras, such as a slim factor DVD or Blu Ray. The book obviously cant be opened, and due to its appearance and small size, you could carry it with you, even disguise it amongst other books. I would think that it shouldn't be too expensive to acquire supplies to build a book body... Framework, Leather, extra doo-dads for looks.
For an easier breakdown as far as how its built:
Book Body: Refer to images for general idea on its look, but a thick Grimoire style would be best, allows you room to play, and most importantly, heating consideration.
Hidden Panels: Where one would normally see the pages of the book, along its sides, used some hinged doors, spring loaded or whatnot, to cover up the panels of the ports and what not. The idea is to look at it and think its just another book, press a few key spots, and wala, you can plug in your monitor, peripherals... what have you.. and start chugging away at those blasted "Spahs" that are sappin ur sentrehs!" Heh. Of course considering the WiFi antenna, it should be detachable, or possibly use some sort of cord type antenna that can be fixed to the inside of the book's shell, hidden away like most laptops do with their screen lids.
Heat Dissipation: The one problem you hear about with ATOM based minibooks, and all small form factors, is heat. I would assume that with such a graphically powerful device, Having just vents with heat pipes probably wont be enough. I would think that a custom designed heatsink system with small turbine like fans would be best, keep the air flowing inside, shunting out the hot. Again, use some of your larger laptops as a reference for how such an application like this is done. Especially with the ram and CPU/GPU, pull that heat away and out the back... Hopefully it wont generate enough heat to compromise the custom materials used for the case. The Fan vents or heatsink vents could be covered when not in use with the same idea for the hinged doors. Another idea is to pad the outer layer, where the leather would be, with the heat absorbing crystal/gel substance that you see in the laptop cooling pads, for instance, the I Xoft from Thermaltake.
Peripherals: Ok here is a list breakdown what could be used to build the computer:
Memory: 4Gigs(2x2gig) Shouldn't cost you more then $40. Would be a good idea to get ones that you can attach heat sinks to, possibly even attach a heatpipe from the heatsink to the blowers towards the rear.
Hard Drive: Either by using a custom made tray, or a tray such as the StarTech HotSwap Bay You can use dual 2.5 factor HDs, say around 250Gigs each... price depending. This Drive Would be a good option. Again Price wise is rough, I am sure your techs will find better prices. The cool thing about this setup, having easy access to hot swap drives like this will allow your user to be able to swap drives easily, without the need to pop open the "case" to get at it. Its small size should also give you plenty of room for anythign else you can stuff in there.
Optical Drive: As far as having a DVD or Blu-Ray drive on this, I wouldnt know where to look for small form factor drives, like you use in laptops, I would suspect a slot loading drive would be best, you wouldnt need to hide its face I would think, the slit needed shouldnt be too obtrusive or easily visable. Would suspect it would be a cost issue that would determine what you use. If you have to use a tray based drive, well obviously that can be easily masked as well. With the plethora of USB ports available, obviously an external drive can be used if the user wants.
WiFi Antenna: Sure the MoBo comes with a basic antenna, but I would assume it would be easy to detach it and substitute it with one that would allow better reception.. or at least make it so that you can keep it hidden within the book, you are the professionals, I would assume something is possible.
Express Card: If room is available, not to sure if someone would want this on the card, or if you can use it with this MoBo, but have an ExpressCard slot available. Main purpose would be versatility for add ons, but then again, is it needed...hmmm Can open up posibilites as far as additional eSATA ports, or even a Solid State Drive.
Media Buttons/Fan Control: Via a hidden panel, either on the cover of your PC Book, give access to some buttons to allow the person to control basic functions: Power/Reset/Media Control/Lighting
Lighting: Since your going to have plenty of vents/slots/openings in your case when it is in use, why not have some LEDs on the inside that allow your light to glow out through these openings, give it a glow of power. Also, in theme with NVIDIA, you could have a LED based Logo on the cover of the book(In place of the various symbols shown in the example images) That can be turned on when in use, and toggled. Even more so, using LED Tape, which is quite versatile, you could add accents along the outside, say along the binding. Its cheap, flat, easily manipulated, and apparently far more brighter then standard LEDS (lumen output wise) Since the whole point of this is to showcase the ION product, use these lighting ideas to show it off. I am not PhotoShop savvy, so I cant draw it up... better at showing it with words. I know you can use(from personal experimentation) variable resistance dials(like a knob on a stereo) to adjust the brightness of the lighting...And I have no true knowledge in electronics..I assume the professionals who are building this will figure out something heh.
Overall, the construction of the book can be easily scaled to allow you to fit everything comfortably, Since it would be likely you will need to extend the ports from the small form factor of the ITX MoBo a bit so that everything is easily accessible. Visually, have the book laying Cover up, binding to the left. The northern edge will give access to the bulk of your ports and plugins, serving as the back of the computer if you will. Also along the back edge you should have opening for ventilation, as far as where the vents are placed in relation to the MoBo... well I personally dont build computers, so I wouldn't know whats best.. I will leave that to the Techs. Now, the eastern can Give you access to the Hard Drives, and also leave room for Vents if possible. The southern edge can contain the Blu-Ray access, or you could leave it solid and have both the Hard Drive and Blu_Rays on the wider Eastern Edge. Idea here is to disguise this all so it looks like some big book Heh. If I could find a good picture of the book, the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy...not the book about it, but the actual Guide itself... Making a replica of that would be funny. Ok, below this is where I will post examples for what I have in mind for its appearance... Leaving the coloration of the book and size to be decided If and When it is made^_^ Have fun with this idea people!