Lenovo's IdeaPad S10 is unique enough to turn some heads for those looking to purchase a netbook in an increasingly saturated market. It's definitely a sharp little system, design wise, and we think that in some of the more unique Lenovo color offerings, it will stand out more compared to the unit we have looked at today. However, to be frank, Lenovo hasn't brought anything truly outstanding to the table here, and there are also are some bits which we still think need some work.
On the upside, Lenovo's very slim and stylish external bezel design is one of the better looking designs when the unit is closed for transportation. The front bezel is quite sharp, with its open-airflow design with integrated speakers. If this was manufactured with a high quality metal composite, as opposed to plastic, we'd all be drooling over this thing (it would likely cost much more though). The Lenovo S10 is, however, extremely lightweight at 2.6 pounds, so it's lighter than most competing netbooks, despite having a larger keyboard and a 10" widescreen display. Lenovo's usage of a Western Digital Scorpio hard disk delivered very solid storage subsystem performance numbers as well. The integration of an ExpressPort34 slot is also much appreciated, as it makes the unit capable of so much more through the use of high-speed expansion cards, like eSATA or WiMax networking.
On the down side, the unit only has a 3-cell battery which will net you unplugged usage life of about three hours with most load levels. Given the battery size, it's somewhat respectable, although it would be great if 6-cell or 9-cell options were offered as well. We're not entirely thrilled with the quality of the keyboard on the S10 either, although we do appreciate that it feels slightly larger than many other netbook units we've tried.
Performance wise, the Lenovo IdeaPad S10 is not particularly fast, but our overall application performance was no better or worse than any similarly classed netbook we've tested to date. The S10 can reliably handle about a half-dozen or so (light) applications at any given time, or one to two mid-range applications. A heavyweight program like Photoshop, Maya, or After-Effects will be a bit much. The S10, like the EeePC 1000H, is not great at any kind of real multimedia content (high-res movie playback, gaming), but for basic web apps, office-type applications, and older (less system intensive) games, it's definitely sufficient.
With all that said and done, anyone who calls themselves a gadget-geek or the businessman or woman that needs to really travel light, would probably love to get one of these for the holidays this year. There is an undeniable charm with the petite size of these netbooks, especially when they can handle real-world computing tasks with surprising efficiency. The IdeaPad S10 is a definitely a solid start for Lenovo to get into the netbook market and it definitely has a lot going for it. We think the Lenovo S10 will be one of the more popular netbook models this holiday season.
If you'd like to see more of the Lenovo S10 in action, you can find our video spotlight of the unit right here.