Hands-on with the Lenovo S10 Netbook

We eagerly checked the incoming-mail pile this morning, and were very excited to find a brand new Lenovo S10 waiting for us.

Those who follow the ever-growing Netbook market have been waiting for one fairly conspicuous straggler to arrive. Lenovo's IdeaPad S10 Netbook was originally announced way back on August 4 , but has only just started shipping.

We eagerly checked the incoming-mail pile this morning, and were very excited to find a brand new Lenovo S10 waiting for us. Our review unit had an Intel Atom CPU, 1GB of RAM, and a standard 5,400rpm 160GB hard drive, as opposed to the smaller SSD hard drives found in many other Netbooks (including Dell's recent Inspiron Mini 9). The 10.2-inch display has a resolution of 1,024x600, which is standard for 9- and 10-inch Netbooks.

Checking out the Lenovo Web site this morning, only one version of the IdeaPad S10 was available. That model had 512MB of RAM and an 80GB hard drive, with a price of $439 (and a shipping estimate of 2-3 weeks), but the system should be available with other RAM and hard drive options soon.

Ever since we first saw it in person several weeks ago, we liked the chunky, squared-off design (with speakers located on the front lip), and the decent-size keyboard (for a Netbook), which doesn't need to knock out a row of function keys or mess around too much with the standard layout (we're looking at you, Dell). We were also very pleased to see an ExpressCard/34 slot, which is rare on smaller systems, but very useful for adding after-market extras, such as a mobile broadband modem.

We're currently running the Lenovo S10 through out suite of benchmark tests, so check back for a full review--it'll be especially interesting to see how Lenovo fares with the S10's small 3-cell battery, given the magic the company seems to be able to work with battery life in its more mainstream systems.

About the author

Dan Ackerman leads CNET's coverage of laptops, desktops, and Windows tablets, while also writing about games, gadgets, and other topics. A former radio DJ and member of Mensa, he's written about music and technology for more than 15 years, appearing in publications including Spin, Blender, and Men's Journal.


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