Lenovo IdeaPad S10e netbook
The ThinkPad of laptots?
Review Ah, netbooks... everybody is making them - cue Psion lawyers - and everyone wants one. Yet despite the stiff competition, Acer and Asus combined own around 70 per cent of the market. So what are the rest of them doing so wrong? Not distinguishing themselves well enough, if the Lenovo IdeaPad S10e is anything to go by.
Lenovo's IdeaPad S10e: 16:9 aspect ratio screen
Aside from a minor change in screen size - 10.2in reduced to 10.1in - the primary difference between the previously released S10 and the S10e is the inclusion of Lenovo's “Quick Start”, which apparently makes it ready for the education sector - hence the 'e'. Quick Start is a rebadged version of DeviceVM's SplashTop, which is included on several Asus motherboards and its Eee Box desktop. SplashTop is a lightweight Linux distribution that can boot in a matter of seconds to give access to the web, music, photos, Skype or IM.
From pressing the power button, it takes around 23 seconds to get into a web browser. The S10e has 802.11g Wi-Fi and you'll need a few more second still for this to connect to an access point – bringing you up to around the 30-second mark before being able to check your train times. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to support any 3G dongles, which are becoming our firm favourites for working on the road.
SplashTop has a few other issues too: the lack of a word processor, leaving you reliant on web-based apps, and no option to customise the trackpad sensitivity, which has a default setting that's far too sensitive. A couple of minor additions and SplashTop would be competitive enough to take on the Xandros based distribution that Asus uses on its Eee PC range. For now, though, it can't.
One inch thick but still very portable
Underneath the S10e's exterior lies a 160GB hard drive with Windows XP pre-installed. As with all Lenovo machines, there's a recovery partition too should you need to return XP to the factory settings, although this does take a few hours. With 1GB of DDR 2 memory and the almost netbook-standard 1.6GHz N270 Intel Atom processor, you certainly don't feel you're being held back.
The latest Ubuntu works a treat with every 3G dongle I've tried, even the Split-Mode ones. I was merely saying that SplashTop didn't support it - which is a big down side.
As far as the lack of nipple - remember that this is not a ThinkPad branded laptop - it's a Lenovo :) Personally, I love the nipples and would have liked to have seen one!
Who decided to swap the Ctrl and Fn keys?
"Who decided to swap the Ctrl and Fn keys?"= Nobody. This is the absolutely normal layout at all IBM / Lenovo keyboards.. like the one i'm typing now...
@AC No 3G
It's just that splashtop doesn't have support for 3G dongles built in. Most dongles work fine under linux, but depending on the dongle and the distro you might need to get the helper app from here:
good review - great netbook
i have owned one of these for about four months now.
i bought it because it was the smallest physical shall that contained a 10" screen, as this is what matters to me in a netbook above all else; diminutive size.
i can recommend it to all except netbook gamers who might find the vertical screen resolution of 576 pixels an impediment.
operation flashpoint from GoG works great tho.
"At £249, it's competitively priced and worthy of consideration. If you need extra battery life, consider the similarly specced Samsung NC10, with double the battery life, for only £50 more."
£50 represents an increase of over 20%... on the other hand, I guess it's the cost of a good 3 course meal with wine...