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!
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.
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)
In Short:
If you like the Lenovo S10, I’m sure you will definitely love the Lenovo S10-2.
Quick Start
Good looks
Improved keyboard
Dim status light
Many thanks to Derrick from Lenovo for sending me the Lenovo S10-2 before it hits the shelf.


  1. No wonder Singtel was giving the S10 during the IT fair. I feel so dumb now signing the broadband with Singtel for a free netbook.

  2. Hi. US Lenovo website and other review site list the the CPU as Intel Atom N270. Can confirmed the release in SG is N280.

  3. JawPaws: Yes, the version I got is using Atom N280. Checked the specs and the control panel/system.
    Maybe US is selling a different configuration of the S10-2. Let me check with the guys from Lenovo. 🙂

  4. Hi guys,
    Yes the IdeaPad S10-2 in Singapore is based on the N280. The IdeaPad S10-2 replaces the S10 as the 10” netbook. Its new form factor is thinner and lighter, starting from 18mm in height (one of the thinnest in the market) and weights only 1kg (3 cell). Now including Dolby® Headphone™, it can provide more vivid sound. Other specs:
    Intel® Atom ™N280
    Up to 1GB DDR2 533MHz
    Integrated Intel® GMA 950
    SATA HDD up to 160GB
    10.1’ WXGA screen
    4-in-1 Card reader
    3 USB 2.0 connectors and 3G embedded (option).
    89% keyboard with standard touchpad
    Dolby® Headphone™
    1.3M pixel camera
    Lenovo Quick Start
    – Music/ Pictures
    – Games
    – Internet
    – Social networking
    OneKey™ Rescue System for virus attack recovery
    Long battery life
    – 6cell 2.2Ahr (Up to 6 hours)
    Environment friendly
    – RohS & Mercury free
    – Energy star
    Energy Management
    Will be available in lightly patterned black, white and pink covers. No 3G yet in this model, unfortunately! Hope this helps!
    Derrick Koh

  5. Hi, I have a few questions about the S10-2:
    1. Fan noise–is it the same as that of S10? This was one of the hugest complaints about the S10.
    2. Battery life on real-world usage?
    Thanks! 😀

  6. Alex: How come funny leh?
    Nique: I didn’t notice any significant fan sound. I got almost 3 hr on a 3 cell battery. The specs says 6 hr on a 6 cell battery.

  7. Good review.
    1. DDR2 FSB is 633 and not 533 MHz right?
    2. Does the 6-cell battery protrude at the back and changes the size of the machine?
    3. Can the power management be set so that the S10-2 is always on with AC on?
    4. Can the HDD be changed or is it fixed?
    5. Isn’t there an express card slot at the HDD slot?

  8. I would like to ask something.. I just bought a S10-2 off the PC show recently and formatted it to Windows 7..
    What I’m actually not quite sure is about the Dolby headphone technology.. Is it a software or a hardware thing? Cos I formatted my xp already so I do not know if we have to install any drivers to enjoy this or not..

  9. Thanks for the great review. Two questions:
    1. Any idea when this will be released in the UK.
    2. How useful would/was the ExpressCard (34) slot? I like using PCMCIA type slots over using USB attached devices. Am I out of date, or would having the ExpressCard slot be better for connecting 3G, Firewire, and the like to the S10 netbook?

  10. Faizal:
    1. Yeap, DDR2 is 667MHz.
    2. I didn’t see the 6 cell battery for myself. But from some pictures online, it protrude at the bottom, thus lifting the netbook at an angle. But I cannot confirm on that.
    3. 4. 5. I’m not sure about that. Sorry. I’ve already returned the review unit to Lenovo. 🙂

  11. Richard: Sorry, I’m not sure the release date for UK. Expresscard has higher bandwidth and faster speed. But the problem is, most devices are still supporting USB2.0.

  12. Hi WiRuS,
    The Dolby technology is special Dolby processing software on top of Lenovo’s hardware. It uses Dolby labs psychoacoustics in order to process sound. Do you have a Win 7 driver for this yet (may not be released till Win7 official gold release – pls check with Microsoft, ok?) The Vista driver MIGHT work, but no guarantees. If you don’t include the Dolby driver, it will simply operate as normal sound.
    Hope this helps
    Derrick Koh

  13. hi derrick, thanks for your help.. But actually I couldnt find any dolby drivers on the lenovo site? could you kindly point me to the site where I could download the vista drivers?
    Currently all vista drivers are working perfectly with windows 7..
    Thank you.

  14. Just got one in the mail with a 6-cell battery. Does protrude a bit from the back but it’s not unsightly. It does cut down on the sleekness of the computer. IF you need a long long battery life it does not matter that much.

  15. Hi DK, got one from Funan during the last IT show period. For my first netbook, it is a great experience. More entertaining to me that my PSP. With a mobile broadband can do facebook everywhere!. Only issue is the pc mono beep every time the power hit 10%. not every polite in public. Any suggestions? I tried mute PC beep in Volume control as well as the beep device in device manager. It is still there. Next to try is remove the power management software.
    What do you think?

  16. Jax Paws: Don’t think can mute. All laptops are like this if I not wrong. Try setting the alarm to sound off at 5% instead maybe?

  17. The S10-2 is 20% heavier with the 6-cell battery than with the 3-cell battery (1.2kg vs 1.0 kg), so it’s a pity the machine is currently being sold only with the 6-cell battery…

  18. Hello
    I planning to buy a S10-2 I have one quesiton
    If I will format the OS of Home version and replace it with windows XP professional. does the QS(Quick start) will be included in my format activity? If yes, how can I reinstall it?

  19. I have tried removing the power management software and the beep is still there. It seems to run independent of all available hardware and software options. It is similar to my office Lenovo T60 except that the hardware mute will stop the batt low alarm. Guess both the BIOS and hardware is a little lacking in S10-2.
    I notice a SIM card slot hidden by the batt that does nothing, yet?

  20. Just brough one and upgrade HDD to 320gb and 2gb ram and install Leopard OS successfully on it, everything works except LAN which I dont use. Excellent netbook 🙂 I also obtain the Ericsson F3507g 3G mini PCI-E works great with s10-2 too, no need external 3G device anymore 🙂

  21. Anyway for those interested, search for iDeneb v1.5.1 OSX86 v10.5.7 and install the driver according to ur s10-2 spec and choose MSI wind driver as well, that should work almost perfectly, and you will have a small Mac netbook 🙂

  22. KM – Antenna i use the build in one for ur Wifi card… But Wifi still get very good signal. I cant get the original antenna for the 3g card, else the GPS might work properly.

  23. I have a S10-2 with a 6 cell battery, but I think it completely cuts down on the sleekness of the computer.
    Is it possible to buy a separate 3 cell battery anywhere?

  24. LL: It really depends on what online games you are playing. But most online games aren’t memory/processor intensive. So the netbook should be able to handle it well.

  25. Lenovo S10-2 With intergraded 3G…
    I have a proble of get my 3G work with Window XP. What software should i perhaps use so that i get connected?

  26. If your S10-2 comes with 3G card build it, then you should check in your driver folder. For me I using the x200 laptop’s 3G card on my S10-2 so i download the driver meant for x200 model which works well. Otherwise please goto lenovo website to download it.
    Refer to:
    the 1st one is driver and the 2nd link is the software for 3G.
    Do post here if still doesnt work. 🙂

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