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Lenovo's Netbook Offers 3G, Dolby

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 8 comments

Yesterday Lenovo revealed its IdeaPad S10-2 netbook, featuring 3G connectivity and Dolby headphone technology.

Yesterday Lenovo said that its IdeaPad S10-2 netbook will be available by the end of May, with models starting at $349 over on Lenovo's website and other "business partners." The company designed the new netbook for entertainment buffs looking for a device capable of streaming online TV while providing social networking, digital photography, and more multimedia goodness on one device. With models offering 3G and Dolby headphone technology, consumers can experience music and movies usually reserved for laptop devices.

 According to the company, the new IdeaPad S10-2 is thinner and lighter than the previous IdeaPad S10 netbook currently listed on the website. The new model also sports an "expressive, colorful new ring pattern design" printed on the top cover (in a choice of grey, pink, white, or black) so the device looks hip and cool, and not quite as nerdy as the hardware Tuan drags around the office. Weighing just over two pounds and measuring just under an inch thick, the netbook doesn't feel like luggage, or hog up excessive desktop space.

Although Lenovo slimmed down the netbook (compared to the previous model), the company managed to retain a keyboard that's 90-percent the size of a standard keyboard, making it easier for consumers to comfortably chat online or flame writers on the Tom's forum without having to condense keystrokes. In addition to the keyboard, the IdeaPad S10-2 provides additional improvements over the previous model such as three USB ports, a 4-in-one card reader, and a battery that can hold a six-hour charge thanks to the netbook's battery saving software, achieving up to 30-percent more life than before. But while the new model features a lighter, slimmer figure, the weight loss comes with a price: a slightly smaller display, now 10.1-inches compared to the IdeaPad S10's 10.2-inch display.

What caught our eye in regards to this netbook is that it offers a 3G connectivity (on certain models). The company made many references to "on demand," whether it's connecting the netbook anywhere with a wireless connection, to using Lenovo's QuickStart feature to launch applications on the fly. The netbook even saves time when logging in, using VeriFace facial recognition technology to grant users access to the netbook without the need for typed passwords. VeriFace actually uses the netbook's built-in web camera to scan and approve the user's face, however the camera isn't locked by the software, and can be used for other applications such as Skype calling, video message recording, or to launch one of those kinky "Live Cam" websites Marcus likes to frequent.

 “With the netbook scene rapidly changing, consumers are telling us they want to merge the capabilities of their most commonly used sources of electronic entertainment, such as digital photographs, online TV, music and social networks all into one portable and affordable device,” said Dion Weisler, vice president, Business Operations, Idea Product Group, Lenovo. “We’ve incorporated that feedback into our new IdeaPad S10-2 netbook, giving consumers around the world more ways to connect with options for wireless connectivity, a more portable and expressive design and entertainment-packed features.”

Unfortunately, Lenovo didn't bother to send any hardware specs outside the meager helpings found here. The company did offer a few tidbits, saying that the IdeaPad S10-2 uses the latest Intel Atom processor, a 10.1-inch LED screen, and "plenty of hard drive storage." The netbook also offers Dolby headphone technology, allowing consumers to plug in any headset and hear surround sound audio from 5.1 channels of sound. Other than this handful of clues, we're not exactly sure what each model with provide until Lenovo launches the product page by the end of the month. Still, this netbook shows promise, and with a (starting) pricetag of $349, the IdeaPad S10-2 doesn't seem to have any ideas of trageting the low-end netbook market. 

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  • 0 Hide
    Master Exon , May 13, 2009 11:01 PM
    Ion?
  • 2 Hide
    mrfisthand , May 14, 2009 12:36 AM
    People who want an all in one solution should go with a normal laptop instead, that wasn't the concept behind netbooks.
  • 0 Hide
    apache_lives , May 14, 2009 12:57 AM
    if its around the netbook price who cares
  • 2 Hide
    WheelsOfConfusion , May 14, 2009 2:17 AM
    Master ExonIon?

    I reckon if they had that, they'd have made much about the feature. The silence probably means no.

    mrfisthandPeople who want an all in one solution should go with a normal laptop instead, that wasn't the concept behind netbooks.

    I really don't care, though, because the "ultraportables" market used to carry a premium price for gimped hardware. Now the prices are starting to get gimped along with the hardware ;) 
  • 2 Hide
    cruiseoveride , May 14, 2009 5:24 AM
    Less than $300 please

    Netbook > $300 = Notebook
  • 1 Hide
    mdillenbeck , May 14, 2009 3:48 PM
    It sounds like they are starting to move in a direction to capture my attention. I use a 4G Eee PC, and what do I do half the time with it? Pull up Netflix or Hulu in full screen mode - and I use cellular broadband to get internet on the go. (Other half varies, from research papers to general internet browsing to checking emails to a quick simple game.)

    Am I going to reject it just because it cost over $300? Will I opt to get a full laptop instead? No. There are other factors that come into play.

    Battery life of 6 hours is usually a lot better than any $400 laptop I can find. Size is also an issue. Although you personally may prefer a bulky laptop, I may really have a maximum size and weight requirement - so that means many cheap laptops are out. Then there is the noise factor. Sure, my Eee PC with EEECTL can make quite an annoying high pitched whine with the tiny fan in it, but that is far quieter and less disturbing than my tablet PC's hoover-ish whooshing. (Oh, and with EEECTL, I can push extra power into my screen brightness, allowing me to use a 'wimpy' 4G in FULL daylight!)

    Now, for many, choosing a netbook in the $350 to $500 range doesn't make sense, but that does not mean it is an unwise choice. Some people need only analyze on price/performance ratios, but some people have different concerns and priorities that mean they need to consider more expensive alternatives. After all, computers are like any other high cost goods we buy - dish washers, washing machines, cars, houses, and so forth - different people have different needs, so a diversity exists in the market to meet them.
  • 0 Hide
    starryman , May 14, 2009 9:19 PM
    I don't get the 10.2" screen. The whole point of a netbook is ultra-portability. I have a really old 10.5" IBM laptop which is about 2" thick... but even if it was 1/2 inch thick the overall form factor is still large. Next thing... 17" netbook. Ideal size is 7-8". And having 3G makes perfect sense.
  • 0 Hide
    bigkumadog , July 22, 2009 5:56 AM
    No 3g if you are in the US as sure there is a slot behind the battery but no SIM reader behind it. I know as I got duped and bought one for 3G unless you are in Asia you don't get the reader soldered on the MoBo just the slot with a SIM symbol for decoration. Oh yeah you also get a mini-pci socket for a 3g modem that will never work without the reader more dead space.