Lenovo just send me their updated version of the Lenovo S10. They called it the Lenovo Ideapad S10-2 although I feel that there are enough changes on this netbook that warrant a new model number. Oh, and by the way, we can now officially call a netbook as a netbook thanks to Psion. The Lenovo S10-2 is a netbook! Woohoo!
OK, I’ll be making lots of comparsion between the Lenovo S10-2 and the earlier Lenovo S10 so it would be good if you have read the Lenovo S10 review.
The most noticeable difference between the Lenovo S10 and S10-2 is the casing. The Lenovo Ideapad S10-2 now comes with a good looking glossy casing with some printed design. I mentioned previously that the Lenovo S10 lose to the HP Mini 1000 in the looks category. But if you were to compare the Lenovo S10-2 with the HP Mini 1000, I would say that its a tie in the looks category. Although I know some people still loves the simple, no nonsense design on the original S10. Well, I guess it depends on the eye of the beholder.
The Lenovo S10-2 comes with the Intel Atom N280 processor. As I’ve mentioned previously, most of the netbook manufacturer will be releasing their N280 netbook soon. So its better to hold your wallet if you are planning on a Atom N270. Like the Lenovo S10, the S10-2 has a 10.1 inch LED backlight screen which looks great. The S10-2 is running on Windows XP home edition and comes with a quick start function (I’ll talk more about it later). It weighs 1.25kg (with a 6 cell battery) and is 25.8 x 18.3 x 1.8/2.54 cm which is almost the same weight and size as the S10. Note that my review unit comes with a 3 cell battery. I understand that the retail package in Singapore will come with a 6 cell battery instead of 3 cell. The 6 cell battery is said to be able to provide 6 hours of battery life. Should be around there since I’m able to squeeze around 3 hours of battery life on a 3 cell battery.
Comes with 1GB RAM, 160GB harddisk and the standard WIFI and Bluetooth. Ethernet port, VGA port, switch to turn on/off WIFI/Bluetooth, Mic in Jack and headphone jack can all be found on the Lenovo S10-2. The Express Card slot is gone. The card reader supports SD and Memory Stick. Memory Stick Duo is not supported. You need the adaptor to convert your Memory Stick Duo to Memory Stick. And the Lenovo S10-2 comes with 3 USB port this time. (Seems 3 USB port is going to be the new standard for most N280 netbook)
The best difference between the S10-2 and S10 is the keyboard. The keyboard has been redesigned completely! Woohoo! The S10-2 keyboard is now 90% the size of a full size keyboard compared to 85% on the S10. Although it is still not the best netbook keyboard that I’ve tried, this new keyboard is pretty good once I got used to it. The touchpad, like the S10, has multi-touch feature which is quite useful for web browsing and pictures.
Lenovo added some features laptop features on the Lenovo S10-2. (Some of these features are already found in the S10) Lenovo energy management software 3.1, Onekey Rescue system 6.0 (for quick restore) and Veriface (for using webcam to login). I love the energy management and quick restore. But I’m not exactly a fan of Veriface. Biometric or password is much faster compared to waiting for the webcam to start.
One of my favorite feature on the Lenovo S10 is the quick start function. It takes just 10 seconds to boot up the system into the Lenovo QuickStart powered by SplashTop. (9 seconds on a good day) Check out this video to see for yourself.
And when you are in the QuickStart, all it takes is less than 20 seconds to launch the web browser. Which means it takes just 30 seconds for you to turn on the netbook and start surfing. Isn’t that great? Other than web browser, you can also view photos, listen to music, Instant Message (AIM, Gtalk, MSN and Yahoo supported) and skype. I can’t get my Huawei 3G modem to work on SplashTop yet. Let’s hope someone will write the drivers soon. The quickstart is very useful if you need to quickly access your computer to check some stuff. But if you are to use it for long period, the Window XP is still recommend.
I’ve been using the Lenovo S10-2 for almost a week. It took me a while to get used to the keyboard. But once I’m used to the keyboard, I love this machine. It seems like Lenovo is listening to everyone’s comment on the Lenovo S10 and they fixed every complaint on the Lenovo S10-2. And on top of it, they added a quick start feature which surprised everyone. Its a pity that the Lenovo S10-2 no longer supports Memory Stick Duo without adaptor. But if you don’t have any Memory Stick Duo devices, this shouldn’t be much concern for you. Besides, most netbook in the market doesn’t even support Memory Stick to begin with. And it would be great if the SplashTop can support Huawei 3G modem. That will greatly extend the usability of the quick start feature.
The only minor complain I have on the Lenovo S10-2 is the dim status light (Power/charging/wireless status light). It is so dim that it is hardly visible. Not really a big issue here. Other than that, the Lenovo S10-2 is a great netbook.
I think Lenovo has done a great job with the Lenovo S10-2. I don’t know if you guys notice, but I always see a lot of people using the Lenovo S10 in the public. The Lenovo S10-2 should be available next week during the PC show at $749. (Usual price is $799)
If you like the Lenovo S10, I’m sure you will definitely love the Lenovo S10-2.
Dim status light
Many thanks to Derrick from Lenovo for sending me the Lenovo S10-2 before it hits the shelf.