February 17, 2019

Lenovo S10 Netbook: Fabulous Hardware, Yuck Software - page 2

The Overdue Birth of Netbooks

  • March 10, 2009
  • By Carla Schroder
Fast-forward to now, and everyone is selling netbooks, almost (but not quite) like hotcakes. And thus we arrive at the subject of this review, the Lenovo S10 IdeaPad, which I have had in my possession for a couple of weeks now, and have enjoyed greatly. This is on loan to me thanks to the nice folks at Phoenix Technologies, who sent it to me to show off their instant-on Linux-based environment, Phoenix HyperSpace. It also came with Genuine Windows XP Home, SP3.

I'm a Thinkpad fan from way back, though anymore I think it's a misplaced loyalty because Lenovo treats Linux like the perv uncle and keeps it hidden away, and plasters "We recommend Windows!" all over the place. It took some detective work to find the S-series IdeaPad netbooks on Lenovo.com, and forget finding one with Linux. I about Googled my fingers off and found a number of reviews and announcements that claimed it had either SUSE Linux or Linpus Linux options, but I never found them. In fact I am getting very tired of vendors who claim to love the penguin and Free/Open Source software, and then make it impossible to actually purchase any OEM Linux computers. That is why I stick with independent vendors like ZaReason. They tell the truth.

Even so I had high expectations for the IdeaPad. This model has the following specs:

  • 1.6 GHz single-core Intel Atom CPU
  • 1 GB RAM
  • 10.2" diagonal-measure 1024x600 WSVGA LCD display
  • 160 GB HDD
  • Webcam
  • Microphone
  • Broadcom wireless 802.11b/g
  • 3-cell 3-hour lithium-ion battery
  • Express Card slot (for 3G modem and other cool addons)
  • 4-in-1 media card reader
  • Kensingston security lock slot
  • Two-button touchpad
  • USB 2.0 x 2
  • External VGA
There is no optical drive. Of course you can connect anything via USB these days, so if you want one you can have one. There is an optional six-hour six-cell battery. With Windows XP Home (that's the ancient crippled one that cannot connect to a Windows domain) the suggested retail is $399.

Windows XP was good for about 3 hours on battery, and suspend and hibernate worked fine. The Phoenix HyperSpace environment lived up to its claim of extended battery life and delivered a little over 4 hours.

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