Get a Lenovo Netbook tablet for $399

No, it's not as slim or sexy as an iPad. It is, however, a full-fledged computer, complete with QWERTY keyboard, Flash support, a Webcam, and all the rest.

Rick Broida Senior Editor
Rick Broida is the author of numerous books and thousands of reviews, features and blog posts. He writes CNET's popular Cheapskate blog and co-hosts Protocol 1: A Travelers Podcast (about the TV show Travelers). He lives in Michigan, where he previously owned two escape rooms (chronicled in the ebook "I Was a Middle-Aged Zombie").
Rick Broida
2 min read

If you're in the market for a Netbook, why not choose one that has a split personality?

I'm talking about the Lenovo IdeaPad S10-3t, one of the world's few convertible Netbooks. That means it starts out like a traditional model, complete with QWERTY keyboard and all that, but then magically transforms into a touch-screen tablet.

List price on this bad boy? A fairly steep $599 if you buy direct from Lenovo. But the company currently has them on sale, and a coupon code adds significantly to the savings.

The Lenovo IdeaPad S10-3t offers more computing power than an iPad--for less money. Lenovo

Specifically, you can get the IdeaPad S10-3t Netbook tablet for $399 shipped (plus sales tax in most states). That's after adding the item to your shopping cart and applying coupon code USPS4F524 at checkout.

The S10-3t has pretty standard Netbook specs, at least to a point: Intel Atom N450 processor, 1GB of RAM, a 160GB hard drive, 802.11n Wi-Fi, and Windows 7 Starter.

Then we come to its 10.1-inch multitouch touch screen, which can take full advantage of Windows 7's touchy-feely capabilities.

This model comes with a four-cell battery, which should be good for at least a few hours of operation. However, you can toss a spare six-cell battery into your cart for $49, a surprisingly low price. That's something to consider if you travel a lot.

I've actually had some hands-on time (pun intended) with the IdeaPad, which you can read about over at Business Hacks. You should also check out this guy's S10-3t fan site, home to all kinds of optimization tips and how-to videos. (Performance is not this Netbook's strong suit, but the site offers many ways to improve it.)

I guess a comparison between the IdeaPad and the iPad are inevitable, especially since I'm now using both. Although they're almost completely different animals, my Cheapskate logic goes like this: the IdeaPad does a lot more (it's a bona fide computer, after all) for $100 less than the base iPad.

I'm not sure when the coupon code will expire, so if you agree this is too good a tablet deal to pass up, I'd jump on it.