A Jack of all trades is probably the fastest way to describe the S10-2
Today we’re looking at yet another netbook- the Lenovo ideapad S10-2. Like almost all other netbooks we’ve tested of late, the ideapad S10-2 is also based on an Intel Atom N280 CPU running at 1.66GHz along with 1GB RAM and a 160GB Hard Drive with Windows XP installed. It has a 10.1″ screen with a 1024×600 resolution powered by the Intel 945 chipset- again, pretty much the norm with all netbooks.
The design for ideapad S10-2 is very average- it’s a fairly basic looking unit with a glossy finish on the lid. While its slimmer than Lenovo’s previous netbooks you can find slimmer and better looking netbooks by ASUS and Toshiba. However, the build quality on the S10-2 is better than many netbooks I’ve tested. There were no creaking parts and in general, it feels sturdy and robust which means that it should handle the everyday abuse that we throw at netbooks fairly well.
The left side has an Ethernet port, VGA output, one USB port and audio jacks while the right side has the power connector, two additional USB ports and a switch to enable/disable wireless connectivity. Lenovo places the SD card reader on the front for quick access while the webcam sits above the 10.1″ screen. Buried inside the battery compartment is your most interesting feature on the S10-2: a slot for a SIM card that allows you to be connected from pretty much anywhere you can get a mobile data reception.
Lenovo’s Thinkpad series has a keyboard that is considered a legend and unfortunately, that didn’t translate too well to the ideapad. I found the keys to be a bit smaller in size and had to correct myself quite frequently. A chiclit style keyboard might have been a better idea. What I did like very much is the touchpad- although its small in size, its pretty responsive and has a nice feel to it. You might think that should be a given with any netbook but you’d be surprised if I told you how many of them I had to struggle with.
Performance on the S10-2 is identical to what you’d expect- it is after-all, made up of identical components found in other netbooks. The 6-cell battery included with our unit sticks out of the design but also provides a good tilt to the netbook as long as you’re using it on a flat surface. On your lap, it tends to tip over which is not something you’d want. Battery life turned out to be a bit better than average for a netbook. Under normal usage we got a bit over five hours out of it.
The problem with the S10-2 is that there is nothing outstanding about it. It feels as though Lenovo wanted to release a “no-frills” netbook with the S10-2. Yes, you might argue that all netbooks are similarly configured but at least you can get a better design or better battery life out of some of the other models by other vendors for the same price.