Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Netbook market is certainly getting competitive with every possible brand working to turn out the best possible combination of performance and presentation. One brand that worked its way into just such a scenario and has come close to the top is Lenova with its IdeaPad S10.

So, what makes this brand stand out? Let’s take a look at its specs in relation with competing units. Not much difference in the processor or RAM department and that’s no surprise although upgradability, (whether that’s the storage, RAM or the wireless card), is much easier with the S10 than most other models that can’t be dissembled by the average user.
The 160GB SATA HDD (5400rpm) is faster than the hard drives found on the Asus Eee PC 1000H and the MSI Wind PC. The Chassis has a smaller footprint and is also slimmer than both the aforementioned 10-inch Asus and MSI offerings. The exterior is shiny yet resistant to finger prints unlike the Dell Inspiron Mini 9. The touchpad though smaller in size, responds excellently and supports multi-touch gestures allowing you to zoom in and out by “pinch” and “spread” movements.

The LED backlit 1024x600 display comes with anti-glare making outdoor viewing easier. Sitting just above the keyboard is the noteworthy Onekey recovery backup software emergency restore program which can also be accessed from the Start menu.
The Wi-Fi card in the IdeaPad S10, enables faster transfer rates than all other netbooks in this category except the Acer Aspire One. The ExpressCard slot is a significant plus. The built-in Bluetooth which allows the usage of an external keyboard and mouse without sacrificing the usage of the two USB ports on offer is another standout feature.

Like all other netbooks, the IdeaPad S10 does have a few downsides. To begin with the appearance is slightly toy-like. The keyboard comes with unresponsive keys and while being bigger than those of the Acer Aspire One and the Dell Inspiron Mini 9, is smaller than those of the Asus Eee PC 1000H and the MSI Wind PC. The location of the speakers at the front edge means that the sound emitted is directed towards your waist instead of the ears though the volume was decent with minimal distortion. This model tends to heat up quickly even with normal usage though that’s true for most Intel Atom based versions. The short battery life offered (2 hours and 20 minutes) by the 3-cell battery is another con.

The Lenova IdeaPad S10 certainly seems to have a lot of positives going for it in terms of the storage space offered, the ExpressCard slot and the built-in Bluetooth. However, it continues to be plagued with the regular limitations of cramped keyboard, heating up and short battery life. While it makes for a good portable laptop considering the cost, it wouldn’t be hard to find a laptop with more features and similar performance, at the same price IF you don’t mind lugging around a larger piece.

Price: Aprrox. $400

Lenova Ideapad S10 Ratings

Value for money

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