Lenovo IdeaPad S10-3t Multi-Touch Tablet/Netbook Review

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Introduction and Specifications



Lenovo's IdeaPad line is somewhat unpredictable. In our estimation, it's the company's "fun" line of products; in other words, it's the range of notebooks that they can tinker with, while the ThinkPad caters to business-class users. The IdeaPad S10 line of netbooks has been going for a few years now, obviously with a good deal of success. But as netbooks become more and more popular, the risk of creating another "also-ran" increases. Lenovo is hoping to set its newest netbook apart from the crowd by doing a couple of things: dressing it up, and providing a multi-touch, swivel screen that few others will include.



The S10-3t ("t" is for touch) is the latest iteration of the S10 netbook, and it's also one of the first IdeaPad machines to incorporate Intel's newest Atom processor. The 1.83GHz Atom N470 should improve performance somewhat, and the inclusion of Windows 7 Home Premium also gives a fresh face to a line that was previously saddled with Windows XP. The design here has also been stepped way up, with gorgeous (and funky) overlays splattered about and a swivel display that can pivot 180-degrees in either direction or be flipped entirely to "iPad mode." We made that last bit up, but it can definitely become a full-on tablet with just a swing and a click.



This is one of the first Atom N470 machines that we have been able to test, and we have very high expectations for the chip. With AMD's Athlon Neo performing very well in low cost, small machines, Intel has no excuse for not cranking things up a notch with Atom. And thankfully, we now have competition to turn to in the market. Lenovo managed to include 2GB of RAM as well as integrated Intel GMA 3150 graphics, which should be plenty for the average tablet task. Have a look at the actual hardware specs below:

Lenovo 10.1" IdeaPad S10-3t Notebook
Specifications and Features (as tested)
  • Intel Atom N470 @ 1.83GHz, 667MHz FSB; 512KB Cache
  • 2GB of DDR2 RAM (667MHz)
  • 10.1" LCD (1024x600); LED backlight, glossy
  • Intel GMA 3150 integrated graphics
  • 250GB (5400RPM) Seagate Momentus 5400.6 Hard Drive
  • 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi
  • No Optical Drive
  • 1.3 megapixel webcam
  • VGA output
  • USB 2.0 x 2
  • Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR
  • RJ-45 (Ethernet 10/100/1000)
  • Headphone / Mic Input Jacks
  • SD / MMC / SDHC Multimedia Card Reader
  • Stereo Speakers
  • 3.3 Pounds (with 4-cell battery installed)
  • Removable 4-Cell Li-ion Battery
  • 11.1" x 8.0" x 1.4" (Dimensions)
  • Windows 7 Home Premium (32-bit)
  • Price (as tested): $649.99
  • Price (starting): $549.99
  • 1-Year Warranty

 





Here's something you don't see on a netbook too often: a price tag well above the $600 mark. Right from the get go, Lenovo has a lot to prove. Why would we pick a netbook at a price point like this, when the company's excellent ThinkPad X100e is available for less with a larger screen and a more robust build quality? The multi-touch panel is great, but Asus' own
Eee PC T91 offers the same for under $400 in some configurations. Can the IdeaPad S10-3t prove that it is worth its asking price? Join us in the pages to come to find out why we think the netbook/tablet combo doesn't quite hit the mark, and leaves some things to be desired as both a netbook and a tablet.

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