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.