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.


  • 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.


  • 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.


Mark Kaelin is a CBS Interactive Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He is the host for the Microsoft Windows and Office blog, the Google in the Enterprise blog, the Five Apps blog and the Big Data Analytics blog.


Bought it a month ago and still thinking it's the best ever thing I've done. It's true, I have the S10E though, and it was quite a surprise to me, Atom duo!!!!! waw Let's try dreamweaver on it, it works just fine!!!! hmmm, now Fireworks??? cool it's runing with problems!!!.. ( to my surprise) Now!!! PHOTOSHOP??!!! bloody hell it's runing just fine!!!!! The bottom line, I think I just found my lova machine, light weight, powerfull enough for my needs and the very pleasing fact!!! the battery :) the least I got out of it is FOURRRRR Hours :) yes yes yes Never will think of changing it.


The reviewer missed the boat with one important aspect of a 'netbook' review. WHAT DOES IT WEIGH? With 3-cell battery and with 6-cell battery. Looking at portability with these types of devices.


If it had Linux and the 6 cell battery, would be a pretty nice machine.


I own an Acer Aspire One with Linux and I have set up 2 of the S10's and I think the S10 is a better Windows Computer for the following reasons: 1. 10.1" screen is noticably bigger than Acer's 8.9". 2. The S10 has an access panel to the RAM and hard drive while the Acer must be dismantled to get at those. 3. The S10 has bluetooth (Skype anyone?). 4. I find the backup and restore capabilities of the S10 superior to Acer's e-Recovery console because Acer didn't partition the hard drive on the Aspire One. 5. The S10's speakers are louder than the Acer's. The street price on the S10 is $350 and although I like my Acer, I think the S10 is better.


I own this netbook - shied away from the HP (although the HP has a the best keyboard on any netbook at any price) because the HP has a crazy proprietary video out connector. I wanted a normal industry standard VGA 15 pin D ring connecting and that's what the S10 has. I loaded Windows 7 and Linux Mint on my S10, got the 6 cell battery (which gives me about 6 hours of practical use time as long as I don't watch Hulu for 3 or 4 straight hours) and I'm super happy with it except for the one thing which *kills* me (as I am a touch typist) - the right shift key is the same size and immediately next to the up arrow key. I press up arrow a lot more frequently than shift which makes for some interesting email spelling errors.


And I'm not even going to dispute any of the claims. The Lenovo name, post-IBM, is either a selling point, or it isn't. I enjoy the build quality, the ease of upgrading, and I think that as Netbook sales grow, pages will learn to accomodate the non-standard resolution that seems common to them. 1024x600 is most awkward for me in traditional apps that will not resize screen boundries, when I end up with menus either off screen and unreachable or truncated (run Super C video convertor for a great example of this). A lot of it is subjective. I've seen reviewers blast the Lenovo as toy-like and rave about the MSI Wind, I've seen other reviewers do the exact opposite. You should absolutely check these machines out before you buy, because as pointed out, there are some limitations that are simply DEAL BREAKERS for some users. I find myself more adjustable. People interested in modding are probably better suited to an ASUS EEE PC.


I bought my S10 +- 3 months ago and its all a I.T guy needs


I had the same problem with the right shift key and the up arrow. I also had an issue with the standard function/control key swap that lenovo is famous for. I used sharp keys app to rebind my keys and I'm much happier. I ended up binding control to caps lock key and shift to the up arrow, then bound the up arrow to the context menu key.


I migrated to the S10 from a 13 inch Fujitsu notebook. Definitely takes some getting used to especially the screen. Using a Flock browser with all the add-ons reduces the pleasure of surfing. Had considered other brands prior to purchase. HP was a consideration but I found that I couldn't add additional RAM. With S10, I could add an additional 1GB. The keyboard is comfortable enough for use. But the heat. It does heat up with prolonged use. Overall, a good unit. I'm satisfied.

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