The 10-inch display on the S10e looks good on first inspection, but closer analysis reveals several problems. Firstly, it's fairly glossy, so it's difficult to use it in direct sunlight or in rooms where the lighting isn't completely diffuse. Secondly, the resolution is fairly poor. It runs at 1,024x576 pixels, instead of the 1,024x600 pixels you get on most laptops. It's not an awful lot less, but you know you have a problem when even Windows XP pops up with status messages complaining about how low the resolution is.
Windows XP is the primary operating system on the S10e, but it also has a pre-Windows Linux GUI known as 'Lenovo QuickStart'. Hit the power button once, wait 5 seconds, and you're presented with a splash screen with icons representing a Web browser, music player, photo gallery, instant messenger and Skype chat.
The idea is sound -- QuickStart should let you access the most common computing functions in less time than it would take you to access them in Windows. In practice, however, QuickStart is fairly redundant. Launching the Web browser, for example, takes approximately 30 seconds, which is about the same amount of time it takes to boot into Windows XP.
The S10e's core performance pretty much matches every other netbook on the market. It struggles with high-bit-rate, high-definition video and other such demanding tasks, but is quick enough to carry out everyday tasks without you thinking you're on a machine you bought back in the '80s. It scored 1,385 in the PCMark05 benchmarking test, which is roughly what we expect for this type of device.
Battery life on the S10e is disappointing. It ships with a tiny 2,800mAh power cell, so it's no surprise that it achieved a mediocre 2 hours and 15 minutes in Battery Eater's Classic test. In contrast, the 1000HE achieved almost 6 hours in the same test.
It's hard to think of a good reason to buy the Lenovo IdeaPad S10e, as it doesn't stand out from its competitors and comes up short in the crucial area of battery life. If you can find the S10e for a cheap price, it may be worth considering, but otherwise the Asus Eee PC 1000HE is better.
Edited by Charles Kloet