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Lenovo IdeaPad S10-3t, S10-3: Netbooks for the multi-touch tablet generation

Lenovo has two new netbooks to kick-start 2010, one of which has a swivelling tablet display, while the other gets multi-touch. Children, meet the S10-3 series

Rory Reid
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Lenovo has just unveiled a couple of brand-new additions to perk up its solid, if uninspiring IdeaPad S10-2 line of netbooks. The IdeaPad S10-3, you'll be intrigued to learn, has a multi-touch display, while its S10-3t brother features a swivelling, folding screen that enables use in tablet mode -- like a big iPhone, except without the phone bits.

The IdeaPad S10-3t bears a striking resemblance -- in concept, at least -- to the Asus T91, which brought transforming tablet screens to the netbook fore a year ago. Lenovo's effort, however, promises to be a heck of a lot better, as its larger chassis accomodates a keyboard that wasn't designed for the fingers of a 5 year-old, and a 10.1-inch display which, unlike the T91's, is capacitive, meaning you needn't apply pressure with your poking finger to get it to function.

The S10-3t will likely use an Atom N470 CPU, up to 2GB of RAM, have Intel GMA 3150 graphics, accomodate hard drives as large as 320GB and weigh 1.25kg with the standard four-cell, 4-hour battery. The eight-cell, 10-hour battery pushes the device to a still-manageable 1.5kg. Prices start at £379.

The more conventional IdeaPad S10-3 lacks the fancy twisting hinge, but its multi-touch 10.1-inch display might appeal to those who believe an ordinary mouse trackpad is too much effort, anyone who's a fan of Minority Report, or people with an unhealthy obsession with cleaning fingerprint smudges off screens.

It will have the same core specs as its more flambouyant S10-3t brethren, but weighs a slightly more manageable 1.1kg. Battery life isn't as good, however. With the four-cell unit, it's said to return 3.5 hours, while with the eight-cell block, it can manage around 7 hours. Still, at £279, it's £100 cheaper than the S10-3t, so it could be the pick of the pair.

Both machines will go on sale from 12 January. Have a closer look at both machines by clicking the 'Continue' link below.

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The IdeaPad S10-3t is definitely the fancier of the pair. Its screen rotates 180 degrees and folds flat, upright against its keyboard to run in tablet mode. Here, you can tap its capacitive touchscreen to your heart's content.
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The IdeaPad S10-3's screen is multi-touch compatible, meaning you can tap to launch applications, scroll and use gestures to navigate. Its chiclet keys should make typing a breeze, too.
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Here's the IdeaPad S10-3t in ordinary laptop mode.
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And here it is in tablet guise. The machine will use Windows 7's touch-friendly graphical user interface, so it shouldn't be too difficult to manage without a keyboad.

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