Tech expert Michelle Thatcher grew up surrounded by gadgets and sustained by Tex-Mex cuisine. Life in two major cities--first Chicago, then San Francisco--broadened her culinary horizons beyond meat and cheese, and she's since enjoyed nearly a decade of wining, dining, and cooking up and down the California coast. Though her gadget lust remains, the practicalities of her small kitchen dictate that single-function geegaws never stay around for long.
Like a smaller, less-ornate version of the IdeaPad U110: That's my initial impression of Lenovo's new Netbook, which I saw in prototype form at a meeting this week.
What I saw was not quite the same as the IdeaPad S10 that will make it to the States come October--this was the 9-inch version for international markets--and it wasn't yet fully functional. Still, it was enough to get an idea of the look and feel of Lenovo's first Netbook. The glossy case, which will be available in red, black, and white, proved rather prone to fingerprint smudges. The light interior calls to mind past laptops from Apple and Averatec. And the overall size and shape reminds me of the Sony VAIO T350P from several years ago, with one key difference; while the Sony cost $2,300 when it was released, the IdeaPad's price will start at $399. (Now that's progress!)
In fact, I anticipate the primary drawbacks of the IdeaPad will be the same as the VAIO: The compact keyboard and screen are really too small for extended typing and viewing.
Then again, the IdeaPad's compact size--about that of a trade paperback--makes it ideal for basic computing while on the move.
When it's released in October, the IdeaPad S10 will include a 10.2-inch LED-backlit display, an Intel Atom processor, and Windows XP. A $399 model will include 512MB of RAM and an 80GB hard drive, and $449 will bump those specifications up to 1GB of memory and a 160GB drive.
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