How much can one learn in 30 minutes? That’s how much time I had to play with Lenovo’s Ideapad S10 Netbook.
Yes. I took an S10 low cost netbook for a spin for 30 minutes the other day. Read on to find out what I think of it after that brief 30 minute session.
Before I continue with my review, allow me to first clarify the specifications and configuration of the Lenovo Ideapad S10 Netbook which I tested. The Lenovo S10 Netbook Configuration is as follows:
- CPU: Intel Atom
- Memory: 2GB DDR2 RAM
- Disk: 160GB SATA
- Video: 10″ Back Lit LCD
A 10 For Looks
My initial thoughts upon seeing it for the first time was, it surely is a nice eye candy. It is certainly a netbook that’s attractive to the eye. However, the looks department is probably the one area where all current netbooks excel at.
The S10 I tested came in black. Now, black is certainly a good color for most gadgets. However, I would have preferred a red IdeaPad. Black is just too common a color for a notebook or a netbook these days.
For the ladies, you would probably go for the model in pink. The pink colored netbook, however, is going to cost you slightly more. Don’t ask me why the pink costs more than the rest though, I don’t have a clue.
Using the Keyboard
Seeing that the netbook is somewhat small in size, the first thing I wanted to try out is the usability of its keyboard. Now, my hands are not large. Nevertheless, I just don’t like typing on tiny little keyboards.
The S10 is only a 10″ netbook. As such, I picture it having very limited keyboard space. Limited keyboard space means they have to put in them tiny little keyboards to compensate for the lack of room.
I was really impressed when I first opened up the netbook. Yes, the keyboard keys are small. Just slightly, though. If compared to normal sized notebooks, they are perhaps about 10% smaller. The size and placement of the keys in the S10 also made it still very usable.
There is not much difference in key placement too. If you are familiar to the placement of keys on a normal sized notebook, you certainly would not have too much of a problem adapting to this netbook. The only noticeable difference would be to the size of some keys – namely the CAPS LOCK, TAB, and RIGHT SHIFT.
Them being smaller than normal, I did miss them quite a bit during that 30 minutes of testing.
The placement of the four arrow keys is probably one of the reasons I had problems hitting the Right Shift key. Due to the lack of keyboard space, the up arrow is placed between the Question Mark(?) and the Right Shift keys.
The keyboard should not pose any problems to users. Well, unless you have really big hands, though. You would probably still need some time to adapt to the keyboard. Not too long a time, I believe.
The one thing almost everyone would like to know would probably be the startup time for the S10. Well, this little piece of a gadget took slightly less than 30 seconds to startup. That is, from the moment I press the power button until I am presented with the full desktop, with all intray icons appearing.
Yes, it is not an empty netbook. It’s got quite a number of applications already installed. Quite a number of them starts up automatically too. Thus, the sub 30 seconds startup time really is impressive. It surely beats this 3 year old Intel Core 2 Duo notebook workstation of mine (in terms of boot up time).
The next thing I tested was the performance when browsing the net. It took a while when opening up my Current Events In Computer Technology site. However, this could be due to the recent connection problem we in Malaysia is having.
Yes, the surfing the net is a pain lately. Problems with some underwater cable or something to that extent. Hopefully they get it fixed soon.
Browsing local Malaysian sites were a breeze though. Thus, I reckon that there should not be an issue with browsing the net. Browsing performance is respective to the bandwidth made available by the Internet connection.
The S10 really is a small wonder. It performed admirably well when put under pressure to run three normal everyday applications – word processor, spread sheet and a presentation applications. Perhaps, the 2GB of memory it was configured with helped a bit. It certainly had no problems to multi-task between the three applications.
What about more CPU intensive application? Hmmmmm. I’m not too sure about that. What type of CPU intensive application would you want to run on this tiny little gadget? Are you thinking of rendering your 3D project in this? You have got to be kidding me right? Don’t you have that big machine with them disk arrays and multi processors to do that?
Well, yes, I think you can run CPU intensive applications on the S10 Netbook. Just don’t expect split second, or even a split hour type of performance from it. It is only running on the Intel Atom.
What are my final thoughts?
Well, after the brief 30 minutes exposure to this mini wonder, I’d say that I am indeed impressed. The Lenovo IdeaPad S10 NetBook surely gets a thumbs up for its looks, usability and functionality. The truth is, if I were indeed looking for a new computer, I’d certainly get one for myself.
The icing on the cake would probably be its price tag. The sub USD500 (RM1699 at the recent PC Fair in KL) price tag certainly makes it a bargain.
Have you taken a netbook for a ride? What’s your say on this currently hot mini wonder. Would you spend that hard earned USD500 on a netbook?
Are you in the market for a low cost netbook? Well, if you are, then head on over to the Low Cost Netbook Market.