The future bodes well for small
Although its performance may be just about average, the new Lenovo IdeaPad makes up with its looks, sound and portability.Updated: May 04, 2010 18:33 IST
Laptop Review: Lenovo Ideapad S10-3 Netbook
We have covered practically the entire spectrum of netbooks for the sole reason that we think they are the future of mobile computing, at least for work purposes. Lenovo is one of the leading elements of that spectrum, and today we have their much coveted IdeaPad series - the new IdeaPAd S10-3.
Compactness is the key here; this model really has taken the "dandy and lightweight" route seriously. It's easily among the lightest netbooks out there, and has a futuristic and definitely beautiful interior.
This is mainly because the wrist rest and touchpad are lead coloured and have faux finished surfaces. Unfortunately, I cannot extend this praise to the outer lid; it's textured with an alternate gloss and matte chequered finish and is cherry red. But there's also a black model, which I'm pretty sure looks better than this one. The one good thing is that this one isn't a fingerprint magnet.
The keyboard is pure chiclet, with a considerable gap between keys, which straightaway makes it hard for those of us with chubby fingers. Plus you can't ignore the "getting used to" phase when you're moving from a regular keyboard to the lighter flex of the chiclet style. The touch pad is neat, with embedded buttons on the bottom.
There aren't too many ergonomical issues with the keyboard and the response of the keys is good enough. However, there is one issue that really unnerves me - it's the interchanging of the "Function" and "Ctrl" keys. It leads to unnecessary and completely avoidable goof-ups while working. I was also quite disappointed with the touchpad. It's like those on the Dell Mini models. Integrated buttons are really bad for ergonomics, and I don't get why manufacturers cannot fathom this simple point.
The cursor jumps around, selecting text is hard, and scrolling, too, becomes very tricky. You have use it slowly.
The Dolby powered stereo speakers deserve a mention. You can enjoy surround sound through any set of headphones thanks to the Dolby Pro Logic II algorithm, which enables you to listen to music, watch movies, or play video games with artificial surround sound. It's not like the real thing, but yes, it's great fun.