Lenovo S10 Review

Lenovo S10 by OdzBodkinz@s10lenovo forums
photo of Lenovo S10 courtesy of www.iflphoto.com

I use my S10 daily at work, then for extended periods at home at times.

The S10  sits next to my Lenovo work laptop. Going back and forth is a piece of cake, the keyboard is smaller, but not “an adjustment”

Previously I was using a Toshiba Libretto U105 almost constantly for 2 years until it began to have sporatic issues and finally refused to boot.

Here’s my opinion of the S10… Its awesome, it can play most portable video formats without any performance issues, I frequently work with Adobe CS4 (previously CS3), I’ve rendered and modeled using DAZ3D and other freeware graphics applications. Its obviously slower than most current full-featured laptops or desktops, but its fully capable of doing most tasks a regular laptop can as long as you don’t have unrealistic expectations. However most applications are snappy and responsive.

Let me preface this a bit, I have been using ultraportables for years, so the Lenovo is actually similar in size to the IBM 240x laptop, I’ve had several of those that I used for tuning my race car and while racing. I finally ended up with a Toshiba Libretto U105.. I have always done similar tasks on all of these machines, tuning, graphics, web, programming in Visual Studio, etc..

This current Lenovo is fantastic, performance wise, its equivalent to the Toshiba Libretto with its 1.0ghz mobile processor

My S10 is modified, It has a Lenovo OEM 6 cell battery, 128gb Patriot SSD, 2gb of ram, HelloWifi Bluetooth module, among a few other things. It runs Windows XP Professional Without much effort to disable unecessary services, Its tuned specifically for solid state disk, so random writes are minimized, I don’t run a swapfile, and I DO STILL use write caching. Apps running all the time are SpyBot, AVG Free, Zonealarm Free, Daemon Tools, and Lenovo Bluetooth Stack.

Performance is still snappy, but again, I don’t have unrealistic expectations for it, and every time I try to do something I expect it to have disappointing performance, I’m completely and unexpectedly impressed.

I had earlier purchased several Netbooks, Asus Eee, HP 2133, all were returned shortly after purchase. The HP got some upgraded ram, and an SSD in my testing process, and it was a HUGE disappointment, under Vista and XP it performed poorly (as did the Asus) I really wanted the higher 1280×768 screen that the HP offered, but was utterly disgusted with it and returned it.

The one thing the Lenovo lacks, that I would have liked, is the WXGA (1280×768) screen, however I’ve become accustomed to the 1024×600 and its “okay” for daily use. If they released a new version of the S10 with the higher resolution (same overall 10.2 inch screen) I would buy it in a heartbeat.

The S10 is larger than the Libretto, by about an Inch wide, and inch long. Its smaller than the IBM 240x by 1.5″, but its the exact same width (both machines fit the same custom fit Laptop Bag easily)

I would not hesitate to use this machine as a work machine, Office and other productivity tools work great. Forget video games, its 3DMark performance is laughable though.

Wireless works pretty well, I’ve copied large files for sustained periods of time, transfer speeds were definitely better than other machines, but not quite as fast as my “Entertainment Laptop, the HP DV5″

What I can tell you is the reception is really good, I get a good signal in a room of my house where most of my other machines would have Poor reception.

The one really cool thing about the Lenovo is how easily you can update the wireless card, I have experimented with using different devices in the mini-PCI slot, some work, some don’t. My goal is to remove the wireless card and run a 3G WWAN card (most don’t have built-in sim slots so I have to find a sim card slot and mount it somewhere) and run a USB or Expresscard32 ABGN card.

When I am home, I have access to several different computers, an HP DV5 laptop, a Gateway Quad core desktop, another gaming machine with 8gb overclocked at 3.5ghz quad core proc, dual 24” screens etc.. Guess what machine gets the most use.. With 5 hours of battery life, and the ability to use remote desktop to get to my work and other server machines, I can spend time with my family and get tons of things done at the same time.

This computer is more than a Netbook, its probably one of my all-time favorite computers I’ve ever owned. Sometimes its not about ultimate performance, being biggest or smallest, it just does everything I would like to do, well enough to be completely useful to me.

Those of you who have complaints, have much higher expectations for this machine than you really should have, but I have personally used most of the products on the market, from low end PC’s, to ultra-performance desktops and laptops, and the S10 does everything its expected to do, much better than its netbook bretheran, additionally, it does as well, if not better, than most older small and ultra portable laptops that would have cost much more.

In the end, the only thing I would trade my S10 for is an upgraded version of this model, with a higher resolutions screen, if they see fit to offer it, or a Flybook V5

I am uniquely in the position where my decision for an ultraportable is motivated by usability and not price. Yet this machine is a HUGE bargain too.

3 thoughts on “Lenovo S10 Review”

  1. I’m considering getting one to use as travel machine, and to capture (but not edit) firewire video. It would be nice if I could make the machine work closed. Have you used the machine closed, say, with an external keyboard and monitor?



  2. I have not, however its easy to set it up so it doesn’t shut down or go to sleep or hibernate if you have the cover closed. It will easily run off an external monitor and keyboard/mouse though.

    I really am not sure how well it will be able to capture or edit Firewire video, Its capable of it running the tools necessary, but performance wise, I would guess its not quite fast enough to capture video in real time.

    If you haven’t already done the research on the S10, it doesn’t have any built-in firewire. But its easy enough to get an expresscard 32 Firewire card.

  3. Thanks. That decides it for me. I’ve been capturing video in real time on older ibooks and macbooks, so I don’t expect speed will be too much of an issue. It’s editing that takes the real horsepower. I’m looking for small and portable, and don’t want to spend $1.5k on a firestore disk.

    I may try running Ubuntu, which should give it a speed boost as well. I’ve seen that Linux firewire (and USB, for that matter) drivers are very fast. The USB is MUCH faster than Apple’s worthless excuse for USB drivers, and the firewire is faster than Microsoft’s.

    Not that XP does badly at video capture… I sense a dual boot arrangement.

    I’d been looking at the Gigabyte tablet netbook. But I could nearly get two of the Lenovos, with unquestionably better build quality.

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