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Lenovo IdeaPad S10e review

Andy Vandervell



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Lenovo IdeaPad S10e
  • Lenovo IdeaPad S10e
  • Lenovo IdeaPad S10e
  • Lenovo IdeaPad S10e
  • Lenovo IdeaPad S10e
  • Lenovo IdeaPad S10e
  • Lenovo IdeaPad S10e
  • Lenovo IdeaPad S10e
  • Lenovo IdeaPad S10e
  • Lenovo IdeaPad S10e


Our Score:


Most netbooks have very little to say for themselves aside from "I'm a netbook" and "so am I". Yet, despite sharing most of the elements that comprise all netbooks - an Intel Atom processor, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, a 10.1in screen and a 160GB hard drive - Lenovo's IdeaPad S10e does at least have one unique feature; as well as Windows XP, it has an "instant-on" Linux operating system.

It's called Lenovo QuickStart, but this is slightly misleading since it's essentially a re-branded version of DeviceVM's well known Splashtop software. This has a small component embedded into the BIOS that allows it to boot more or less instantly from the moment you hit the power button - in the case of the S10e it's around five seconds. Based on Linux, it offers very basic functionality, comprising a fully-featured web browser, a photo gallery, a music player, instant messaging and Skype chat.

Combined with the power, flexibility and familiarity of Windows XP, on paper the IdeaPad S10e delivers an ideal balance of functionality. Such a combination has, after all, been much sought after by netbook communities for a while now.

Unfortunately, while the idea is sound, in this instance the execution leaves something to be desired. Sure enough when you hit the power button you're quickly presented with options, but actually loading the web browser, for instance, takes around 40 to 50 seconds. This, as we quickly discovered, is barely faster than booting into Windows itself and obviously puts a dent in the instant-on credentials.

Other features, such as the music player, photo viewer and instant messaging client are more successful in the speed stakes. However, another issue is an insane level of sensitivity in the touchpad when using Lenovo QuickStart. You can't adjust this sensitivity, either, so you'll simply have to make do with it. Ultimately, though it's not without merit, the implementation of this feature means it isn't quite the killer feature Lenovo no doubt hoped it would be.

Tony Walker

January 26, 2009, 7:37 am

I can't understand Lenovo. One the one hand they seem to have preserved the quality of the IBM Thinkpad range in the face of what most people (including myself) though would happen to the brand. On the other, under their own brand, rather than leveraging the design and quality of the Thinkpad bods and building a formidable name for themselves in portables, they seem content to wheel out average (I'll be kind) stuff like this.

Whilst here may I remind peeps that the Samsung NC10 keyboard is NOT good. Wind U100 yes, Asus 904HD yes, Acer Aspire One 9.9" yes. I'm the person using the IBM PS/2 "Legend" as his keyboard.


January 26, 2009, 1:59 pm

I'm intrigued, Tony, what exactly isn't good about the NC10 keyboard?


January 26, 2009, 3:53 pm

I'm typing this exactly on NC10's keyboard, and I just can't get why it's not good. Speaking of layout, the only disadvantage are "`" and "}" keys that are a bit smaller--I use them heavily when typing in Russian, but otherwise it's just perfect.

As for the Lenovo's keyboard, "`" over 1 & 2 is a solid "no".

(by the way, my beloved TR, at least in User Control Panel internationalized nicknames do not work well enough: "Hi &#1051;&#1080;&#1089;." Plus, i have to re-login just too often ><)

Tony Walker

January 26, 2009, 8:57 pm

No feedback. Feels like one of those cheapo ٟ.50 keyboards you can buy. To be accurate whilst I type I need active feedback. The models I quote (tested the same day as the Samsung) all seem to have this, certainly the Wind (I own the Advent 4211 version and can confirm this one long term).

And for those who've never used one, the IBM PS/2 desktop keyboard really is the ultimate keyboard. The comfort, feedback from the keys and the accuracy with which I can type on it will probably never be beaten.


March 20, 2009, 12:18 am

To me this is the most beautifully designed netbook, but reading this...ah, well, you can't have everything perfect. I have some questions, I heared that the screen has some flex to it and that the fan is loud so If someone could answer me if this is true, and just a quick one about the new MSI WIND, does it have that "loosy" screen as the previouse one?

Kevin Leah

March 26, 2009, 8:06 pm

As an owner of and s10e, I agree with this review. I would add the following.

1. No Recovery Media - It doesn't come with a recovery disk and unlike the original s10, you can't create one. You have to rely on the recovery partition.

2. The 598 vertical resolution is more of a pain that just being 2 pixels short of the standard 600. I have already come across 2 applications that refuse to install if the resolution is less than 600. (there are ways around the problem though)

I previously owned an Acer Aspire One with it's silly mouse button location, and I much prefer the S10e.

I got mine for 𧷣 with 2 GB RAM and it does every thing I need from a netbook - I expect it to have flaws when compared to a proper laptop (I have a MacBook Pro).

One of the reasons I choose the s10e over other netbooks is it's good compatibility with Apple OS X Leopard- however, with the lack of a recovery CD, I haven't been brave enough to try it yet!


June 24, 2009, 8:56 am

I got this netbook couple of weeks ago and love it. No issue with keyboard except useless Home key on the left. F11 recovery does work but will recover to original factory state only. This has been normal shipping procedure for new PCs (no media). However my HP desktop has app to burn recovery dvd; Lenovo could've provided same for usb. Also Win XP has recovery console that can be installed here (you'll 2 entries in MBR)

I am in Canada & paid equivalent of 200£ for 1gb model with 6 cell battery (5 hrs) & bought 2gb memory on ebay for about 20£. BTW it boots for 2 gb (and not 2.5 as reviewer states). Takes less than 5 min to upgrade. Also this memory is faster than Lenovo original (768 mhz vs 667). Also bought antishock sleeve on ebay.

Lenovo support is constantly updating software & drivers so check it out if something doesn't perform as expected.

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