Base price: $399
Lenovo might not have as high a profile in the netbook world as, say, Asus or Acer, but the company has a respectable reputation. That reputation rests squarely on the S10, which offers a nice feature set for a competitive price. The unit combines a larger screen a spacious 10.2 inches with keys that are 85 percent full-size (or almost as large as the largest netbook keys).
About that screen: the big WSVGA display, with a matte surface, is clear and vibrant while being easy on the eyes. The matte surface will improve visibility under glare, like when youre netbooking outside in the park.
A nice option: the trackpad is configurable. So you can assign various areas as forward or back, depending on your personal preferences.
Another nice option: the ExpressCard slot, which enables you to plug in the peripheral of your choice: Have ExpressCard slot, will travel. Also, the built-in Bluetooth allows you to use a wireless mouse or keyboard without needing plug into a USB.
The all-plastic construction is solid, with little status lights and a wire-mesh covered speakers that give it a touch of fashion. (Okay, its no Apple, but its thinner than the Asus Eee PC 1000H and the MSI Wind.)
A downside: even the top-end S10 has only a 3-cell battery. Thats a mystifying choice. Netbooks are supposed to be made for life on-the-go; battery life is key. Why not put out a six-cell netbook like everyone else?
Bottom line: apart from the small battery, this is a well-equipped unit for the price.
Newsflash: Lenovo came to its senses and released the Lenovo IdeaPad S10e, which has a longer battery life. It also has a Quick Start OS for fast boot up a seriously nice option for mobile computing. Check Google prices for the Lenovo IdeaPad S10e; the base model is available for about $350.
Notebook Review praises the audio speakers on the Lenovo IdeaPad S10 as reasonably impressive for a budget netbook but says that it's still possible to find a computer with more features and performance for almost the same price on sale.
PCWorld disagrees, opining that the Lenovo IdeaPad S10 speakers sound no better than those on most mini-notebooks: It delivers substandard sound that's barely audible since the maximum audio setting is fairly low.
However, PCWorld give the Lenovo S10 an ultimate compliment, enthusing about its comparatively fast performance: It's hardly a speed demon, but it's fairly fast when you consider that the nearest competitor, with the same guts, received only a 37 [benchmark score].
The Lenovo IdeaPad S10 (photos courtesy of Lenovo)
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