Archive for June 2009

Review: Lenovo Ideapad S10-2

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!

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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.

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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.

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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)

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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)

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In Short:
If you like the Lenovo S10, I’m sure you will definitely love the Lenovo S10-2.

Likes:
Quick Start
Good looks
Improved keyboard

Dislike:
Dim status light

Many thanks to Derrick from Lenovo for sending me the Lenovo S10-2 before it hits the shelf.

Tiananmen Square – 20 years later

In memory of those who lost their lives 20 years ago.

Salute to the unknown rebel.

Nominated for OMY Singapore Blog Award 2009

OK, the lazy me finally went to fill in the form for the OMY Singapore Blog Award 2009 after being nominated. I’m in the “Most Insightful BLog Category”.
Its like filing tax like that. Always drag to the last few days then go fill in the form even though someone nominated me long time ago. Hee hee.

Like last year, I don’t hope for a lot. All I hope is to be inside top 10. Wish me luck!

PS: Nomination close on 7 June 2009. Hurry and nominate your fave blog now.

I’m in the final 10 for the Search for N contest!

I’m in the final 10 for the Search for N contest! Woohoo!

Round 1 was tough. It was easy to figure out the answer since they are all related to the Nokia N97. But hard to be the first 10 to enter the answer in the form and press the submit button. I was virtually refreshing the blog every second slightly before 7pm last night. (Sorry Claudia! Hee hee) I even memorize the answer so that I can fill in the form fast when the blog entry was released.

So now I’m in the final 10. One step closer to winning the Nokia N97, before its launched in the market. Woohoo! Now, the last stage for the Search for N goes like this. At 11am sharp tomorrow (4th June), the clue to the secret location will be released. The 10 of us will have to decipher the clue and rush down to the secret location within 2 hours to collect our Nokia N97. But only the first 6 person who arrives will get the phone. The remaining 4 will walk away with nothing. (I think) The chances of winning are pretty high. So may the best man/lady win.

Here is what I’m planning to do. As I’m living in Jurong West, its quite inconvenient for me to start from my house. Therefore I’ll most likely be making my way to town area, find a Starbucks that is near a taxi stand. (No prize for guessing which Starbucks I’ll be at) Then I’ll use my netbook to check the clue, decipher it and dash to the secret location either by taxi, train or run. Its like the amazing race like that. Exciting right? If I got time, I’ll twitter on my way too. So follow my twitter feed for the latest update.

Actually, I have another strategy in mind. I can go to Nokia’s PR agency office, wait outside and stalk the person when she leaves the office to the secret location. Like that confirm win. Wahahahahahaha. OK OK. I’m kidding. Don’t do that lah.

Wish me luck for tomorrow. Need lots of them.

Review: X-Mini 2 Capsule Speaker

Got my hands on the lovely X-Mini 2 Capsule Speaker early last month to review. In fact, they passed me 5 speakers to test out. You might be wondering why did they pass me so many. Well, read on.

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The X-Mini 2 Capsule Speaker is the 2nd generation of the award winning speaker that is designed in Singapore and made in China. Yes, you heard me right. This speaker is actually designed in Singapore. (Play patriotic songs)

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But do not be fool by the size. Although it is small, the sound quality and loudness produced by this speaker is amazing. OK, there is no way that I can demonstrate to you the quality of the speaker on this blog. Even our video review on Tech65 doesn’t do the X-Mini 2 justices. You must listen to it yourself to really experience the quality. Or take my words for it.

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The X-Mini 2 is very portable. It is designed in such a way that you can “compress” the speaker when not in use to save space. The cables coils around the speakers nicely too. If you need longer cables, the X-Mini 2 comes with an extension. The X-Mini 2 has a built in battery which can last up to 11 hours. You can charge the speakers using the Mini-usb port. If you have been reading my reviews, you will notice that I love gadgets that make use of Mini-usb port. You don’t need to worry about forgetting to bring the cables. Chances are, someone will have 1 in their bag.

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The best thing about the X-Mini 2 Capsule Speaker is that you can daisy chain the speakers together using their “Buddy Jack”. There is almost no limit to the number of X-Mini 2 speakers you can daisy chain together. We tried daisy chain 5 together and it amazingly loud yet retains the sound quality. The PR company told us that they tried daisy chain up to 50 once and their neighbours lodge a police complain. Wahahahahaha. Note to all: Use the daisy chain system responsibly.

Honestly speaking, I love the speaker a lot. One X-Mini 2 Capsule Speaker is already good enough for normal daily usage. But to really really feel the shiok-ness of this amazing speaker, you should try to get at least 2 of them and daisy chain it. You will surely wow your friends with it.

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The X-Mini 2 Capsule Speakers is selling at S$49.90. There are other companies out there trying to imitate the X-Mini 2 design but honestly, the quality is nowhere near the orginal. So make sure you look out for the word “X-Mini” on the speaker.

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In short:
A portable speaker with amazing sound quality

Likes:
Amazing sound quality
Daisy Chain
Portable
Charging with Mini-usb port

Dislikes:
Nil

Thanks to Sherman and Frederick from LeftBrain and XM-I for passing us the review units.