Netbooks started out as ultra-affordable mini computers, and this holds true even for the new tablet segment (touch-capable screens that can be rotated flipped). What’s even more exciting to see is the trend of superior hardware, more RAM and larger hard drives. of course better hardware means higher prices, as do touch screens. So these are machines are significantly more expensive than standard netbooks.
Considering that tablet netbooks are a new segment, the Ideapad S10-3t has much to offer. It looks even more stylish than the Ideapad S10-3 (Lenovo’s standard netbook variant), with a black-and-white colour scheme and glossy finish. The build quality is rock solid, but ergonomics are a slightly downer. It could have been lighter and more compact with a smaller battery pack (which also spoils the look), but at 1.5 kg, it easy enough to carry.
It has an excellent feature set, the richest out of the three we tested.* It has a multitouch capacitive screen, so it doesn’t need a stylus, unlike the other two. In terms of performance, this one beats the standard netbook, especially those that feature older Atom CPUs. Built around an Intel NM10 chipset, it is powered by one of Intel’s second-gen Intel Atom CPUs, an Atom N450. It ships pre-installed with Windows 7 Home Basic and the Lenovo Natural Touch application which, although slightly sluggish with this hardware, is useful for quick launching applications seamlessly and in tablet mode.
Though a bit overpriced, the features, hardware and aesthetics make this tablet netbook the most desirable one.
Intel Atom N450, 2 GB Memory, 250 GB HDD, 10.1” monitor, Windows 7 Home Basic, Rs.30,740, lenovo.com * Chip magazine’s June issue compared this netbook head-to-head with the Intel Classmate PC SKU C3 and the Wipro Ego WNB7XFD182. It rated them based on their hardware, ergonomics, aesthetic appeal, build quality and price/features ratio.
(This story appears in the 16 July, 2010 issue of Forbes India. You can buy our tablet version from Magzter.com. To visit our Archives, click here.)