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March 19, 2010

Lenovo IdeaPad S10-3t Review

Lenovo’s got one of the most good-looking tablet netbooks to date. The IdeaPad S10-3t combines a light weight and small netbook form factor and the performance of the new Intel Pine Trail platform at an affordable price. Check out our full review after the jump.

Lenovo added some eye-candy with the design of the netbook, starting with a wallpaper-style imprint on the lid. They did this with the 2nd iteration of S10-2 before. The glossy finish is still a fingerprint-magnet but the colorful prints somewhat helped hide the smudges.

Unlike most other netbooks out there, the S10-3t (including its sibling, the S10-3) seems wider in terms of physical dimensions. That gives a perception that the display has an aspect ratio of 16:9 instead of the usual 4:3.

With close inspection though, the screen size is almost similar to the regular ones (minus a couple of millimeters in the height). The wider aspect ratio can be attributed to the fact the Lenovo shaved off about a centimeter or two off of the palm rest and added about an inch in the width.

To achieve this, Lenovo had to reduce the size of the trackpad. The left and right clickers were removed and are now integrated into the trackpad (similar to what Apple did with the new Macbooks). However, with the reduced area of the trackpad and the clickers integrated into it, the usability has been affected. Multiple-finger gestures like left-click and drag becomes harder and cumbersome most of the time (an external mouse would be best to remedy this).

In the tablet mode, the S10-3t has a dedicated button on the left side of the panel that allows you to switch the screen orientation (at 90, 180, 270 and 360 degrees). That is paired with two more buttons for sound mute and another one for launching the custom UI. The webcam is placed on the upper right side while the power button just below it along with a power lock. The extra bezel space on the side provides better grip in portrait mode.

Another dedicated button is allocated for NaturalTouch, Lenovo’s custom UI that sits on top of Windows used for navigating thru videos, photos, music and eBooks, among others.

Unlike previous tablet notebooks that have resistive touch screens and require a stylus, the S10-3t has a capacitive one and works just fine with multiple finger gestures. We ran Google Earth on the system and it worked fine. However, there are noticeable lags once in a while (I believe upgrading the RAM to 2GB should help fix that). The 250GB HDD and WiFi 802.11n are already satisfactory to complete the specs.

As for the performance of the netbook, Windows Experience Index gives it a score of 2.3 which is similar to the scores of previous Atom-based netbooks. However, the improvement in the sub-score were more prominent with the graphics performance.

A more complete set of benchmarks are posted here. PassMark did not show much improvements of the N450 CPU compared to the older N280 chip but the numbers on the graphics showed significant increase.

I think the only other disappointment in the unit is the battery life. BatteryBar shows a battery life of around 2.75 hours on a single charge from the 2100mAh Li-Ion battery. I believe there’s a 6-cell or 8-cell battery for this model but Lenovo has not returned back my question on its availability and price.

The IdeaPad S10-3t makes for an interesting netbook primarily because of the tablet form factor and multi-touch screen. Can’t expect much from performance since it’s still an Atom-based system but for the price, Php29,990, it’s well worth it. I’d suggest to bump the RAM to 2GB and look for an option to upgrade to that 8-cell battery pack.


20 Responses to “Lenovo IdeaPad S10-3t Review”

  1. symbiandreamsdotcom
    Twitter: jadejavu
    says:

    It’s so affordable…very reliable, very efficient and very productive. Oh, style and features.. This will rock..

  2. symbiandreamsdotcom
    Twitter: jadejavu
    says:

    The battery is quite mediocre and there are some available colors to choose?

  3. fr0stbyte says:

    The touch interface isn’t as good as I wanted it to be. The guys at Attack of the Show had a live demo of this tablet and it was unresponsive and sluggish. And what’s up with the battery life? It’s too short for a tablet. Changing the battery will probably have an impact on it’s appearance. So far there isn’t any definitive “tablet” everyone’s salivating for. They are either too freakin’ pricey or lacking features. I’m still waiting on HP’s Slate.

  4. Fred says:

    yes there would be a significantly negative impact on battery performance it lasted only 3hrs..also touchscreen lag when navigating bundled touched apps in windows 7. however, the unit is stylistic and reasonable lightweight for convertible netbook. it comes with a useful instant-on operating system..

  5. fidel f. oliva says:

    hi sir:
    this sounds interesting to me.my son wants to introduce me to the world of tablets although I don’t have any idea about it. actually even with computers and laptops (I’m using one at the moment)I’m learning the ropes with it most of the times alone. I am not computer literate to cut the long story short.
    I have collections of videos and recorded tapes that I want to be stored in one gadgets that can be taken anywhere, so that I don’t to carry my collection of disc. Tablets is my son’s solution but i don’t know anything about it. my son is no longer here in the philippines, he is not a good help now.
    I would like to know what a tablet can do for me and like this lenovo thing, does it work like a netbook too? When I’m abroad, netbook is the cheapest way of communication because of voip.
    any information is highly appreciated.
    thank you very much.

    fidel

  6. guyrony says:

    If the tablet and netbook functions are fine then this is one heck of a gadget! Drooling aside.

  7. Ebengt0t says:

    Lagging!? I believe it will sp0il everything…even the price.

  8. Jhay says:

    It’s a good bargain compared to the other models in its class.

    It would be interesting to see how the other makers would respond.

  9. bigmindsky says:

    I agree that touch input lag will spoil the user experience. Lenovo should fix it real soon. If the iPad does its UI as well as the iphone did, then it’s golden.

  10. piks says:

    This seems to be a great laptop except for the touch screen. have seen a live review in youtube, the touchscreen was not very responsive. Maybe it could be due to windows OS and intel atom?

  11. Yada says:

    bought one last weekend for the wife… haven’t tested it personally though, but she seems to be happy with it… i’ll return here once i get to play with it…

  12. rey says:

    yeah its just the face, it looks good but look at it, its workhorse is way back. 2gb memory and a 2 ghz processor, an intel atom. its tooo laid back if compared to toshibas, macbooks,dells and sony’s.

  13. allan says:

    hey abe, do you anyone who knows how to put a 3G modem to this type of Lenovo? Im planning to buy one today but dont know how to go around installing 3G.

  14. allan says:

    wow i just got one for 600usd. the battery is bumped up to 8 cell. very very nice so far

  15. Ian Orford
    Twitter: http://www.thinkpadtoday.com
    says:

    One of my favorite net-book out there. ultra portable and the performance seems fine for a netbook!

    But for my money the ThinkPad X1003 is the one to go

    http://www.thinkpadtoday.com/its-here-lenovo-thinkpad-x100e-full-launch-review-videos-and-specifications.htm

    I would also like IdeaPad S12 as well.

  16. Ethel Anne
    Twitter: Ethel Anne
    says:

    would like to ask for help for those who can give me advice on which gaming laptop pr tablet is very good but has a very reasonable price. email me pls. eannepareja@yahoo.com

  17. selfseeker says:

    The best talaga ang Lenovo! I’m Buying that one soon! :D

  18. Boom says:

    meron nakame nyan,, panget talaga…..logger starup pa lang log na agad ..panget talaga ang lenovo! nkaka 3 sira na ata wla pang isang taon…tapos minsan di pa nagana ang touchscreen BBOOLOK!

  19. Good blog! I really love how it is simple on my eyes and the data are well written. I am wondering how I might be notified when a new post has been made. I’ve subscribed to your feed which must do the trick! Have a great day!

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Abe is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of YugaTech. You Can follow him on Twitter @abeolandres.

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