As summarised earlier, inside the S10e are all the same basic components that make up 99 per cent of netbooks. An Intel Atom N270 running at 1.6GHz provides the processing “power” and there’s 1GB of RAM, which is divided between 512MB hard wired to the motherboard and a 512MB upgradeable module. This means you could conceivably install a 2GB module and get 2.5GB of RAM in total.
Aside from this you get 802.11b/g Wi-Fi, 10/100 Fast Ethernet and Bluetooth 2.0 – all the usual netbook staples. Connectivity, though, does differ somewhat from most netbooks, with the typical third USB port replaced by a 34mm ExpressCard slot. A memory card reader, headphone and microphone jacks and an Ethernet port round-off the remaining options, while above the screen sits the obligatory 1.3-megapixel webcam.
Much like a lot of netbooks, though, the S10e suffers due to a relatively low capacity battery – a three-cell, 28 Watt-hour unit. This does help keep the S10e fairly light, weighing just 1.14kg, but also ensures a fairly mediocre battery life of just two and a half hours. You might be able to manage three hours at a stretch, particularly when using the Splashtop option, but it’s nothing compared to what you get with any netbook that has a six-cell battery.
This would be okay if the S10e cost around £230 to £250, but the cheapest you’ll likely to find it is around £280. For that kind of money you could pick up an Eee PC 1000 with a six-cell battery or, if you spend a little more, an MSI Wind U100-291UK (also with a six-cell). A Samsung NC10 would cost more again, currently retailing for around £310, but any of these options or the likes of the Acer Aspire One, would all offer a more sensible alternative.
Unfortunately for Lenovo, the IdeaPad S10e’s most interesting feature, the instant-on operating system, isn’t as compelling as it could be. Beyond this, it’s a fairly run-of-the-mill netbook that offers mediocre battery life and poor keyboard ergonomics.