Mobility

Review: Lenovo S10 netbook

The Lenovo S10 is a true netbook in every way and was designed for user's looking for a light and inexpensive machine adequate for surfing the Internet, writing and answering e-mails, and running low-system-impact applications.

Netbooks continue to evolve as user's look for inexpensive, lightweight alternatives to the bulky notebook. The Lenovo S10 falls squarely into this category and compares well to the other netbooks TechRepublic has reviewed to date.

Specifications

  • Intel ATOM Processor N270 Single Core (1.60GHz 533MHz 512KB )
  • Windows XP Home Edition
  • Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 950
  • 1GB PC2-5300 DDR2 SDRAM 667MHz
  • 10.2" WSVGA AntiGlare TFT with integrated camera 1024x600
  • 160GB 5400
  • 3 Cell Lithium-Ion battery
  • Broadcom 11b/g Wi-Fi wireless
  • 2.0 USB ports (2)
  • VGA video out
  • Multi-media reader slot
  • PCI Express card slot
  • Ethernet LAN port
  • Headphone and microphone jack
  • Cost: $423
  • Additional information

Who is it for

The Lenovo S10 is a true netbook in every way and was designed for user's looking for a light and inexpensive machine adequate for surfing the Internet, writing and answering e-mails, and running low-system-impact applications.

What problem does it solve

The Lenovo S10 is lightweight enough for users looking for the near negligible-weight PC when traveling. However, this netbook is also powerful enough for answering e-mails and surfing the Internet.

Features

  • Size: When the criterion is size and weight, the Lenovo S10 meets the definition of a netbook to the point of perfection. This is a true netbook — lightweight, thin, and compact.
  • CPU: The Intel ATOM Processor N270 is moderately powerful and can handle typical tasks like Web browsing, e-mail, and light client-side applications. However, the main benefit of the CPU is the reduced power consumption. The battery life of the Lenovo S10 is five hours, but the practical battery life is closer to four hours.
  • Storage capacity: Unlike some competitors, the S10 is equipped with a 160GB hard drive. Large enough for most business uses, especially if the user is on the road for extended periods.

What's wrong

  • Screen size and resolution: Just like the other machines we have reviewed in the ultraportable/netbook form factor space, the built-in LCD screen is quite small at a resolution of 1024 X 600. While the LCD is bright and readable, the aspect ratio can throw off some applications and this especially true if the application is Web-based.
  • Keyboard: The keyboard is serviceable, but the positions of several of the keys have been modified, which may frustrate touch typists trained on a traditional keyboard. There may be a learning curve to work through for users.
  • Battery: The standard battery contains three-cells. An optional six-cell battery would effectively double practical uptime and is recommended.

Competitive products

Bottom line for business

While the Lenovo S10 is certainly a capable netbook, it is definitely not the most powerful ultraportable around. For about a hundred dollars more, you could get a more traditional notebook, but at the sacrifice of increased weight. For about fifty dollars less, you could get a comparable in performance Acer Aspire One. Overall, the Lenovo S10 falls into the middle of the bang-for-the-buck comparison.

User rating

Have you encountered or used a Lenovo S10 netbook? If so, what do you think? Rate your experience and compare the results to what other TechRepublic members think. Give your own personal review of the Lenovo S10 in the TechRepublic Community Forums or let us know if you think we left anything out in our review.

About

Mark W. Kaelin has been writing and editing stories about the IT industry, gadgets, finance, accounting, and tech-life for more than 25 years. Most recently, he has been a regular contributor to BreakingModern.com, aNewDomain.net, and TechRepublic.

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