The Bottom Line
- Excellent touchscreen
- Model available with above-average specs
- Fluid screen rotation
- Great build quality
- Nice design
- Poor battery life with stock battery
- Not designed for inking
- Needs upgraded model (more memory and Windows 7 Home Premium) to perform best
- Very glossy/highly reflective screen
- Processor: Base model - Intel ATOM Processor N450 (1.66GHz); Upgraded model - Intel ATOM Processor N470 (1.83GHz)
- OS: Base model - Windows 7 Starter; Upgraded model - Windows 7 Home Premium
- Graphics: Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 3150
- Memory: Base model - 1GB; Upgraded model - 2GB (both PC2-5300 DDR2 SDRAM 66MHz)
- Display: 10.1" SD LED Glare and Multi-touch 1024x600
- Hard Drive: Base model - 160GB; Upgraded model - 250GB (both 5400 rpm)
- Battery: 4 Cell Lithium-Ion
- Networking: Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n wi-fi, bluetooth on upgraded model
- Dimensions & Weight: 11 x 6.9", 1.1" thick, 2.8 lbs.
- MSRP: $599 (base) / $699 (upgraded)
Guide Review - Lenovo IdeaPad S10-3t Convertible Tablet Netbook
The Lenovo IdeaPad S10-3t is one of the most affordable and portable tablet PCs available, because it's made from the same mold as netbooks. Like most netbooks, it has a 10-inch display and weighs under 3 pounds.
The S10-3t sports a glossy black cover and matte white keyboard. The tapered, full-size keys are comfortable to type on, but the function key is oddly placed at the left-most end of the keyboard -- exactly where the CTRL key should be. This makes using keyboard shortcuts cumbersome, as you can often mistakenly hit the function key. The webcam is also awkwardly placed at the right of the screen rather than centered above it. Overall, though, the S10-3t's sleek, curved-edge design makes it stand out a little bit more from standard all-black and boxy netbooks.
The S10-3t's best feature, of course, is its multi-touch screen that swivels 180 degrees. I like the flexibility of convertibles -- you get both a built-in keyboard and the option of using slate mode (a handy button on the hinge allows you to also switch to portrait view). The S10-3t's screen folds smoothly and the hinge seems sturdy.
With the capacitive multi-touch screen, similar to that of the iPhone or iPad, you can navigate by touching desktop icons and use gestures like swiping or pinching with two fingers. I found the S10-3t's touchscreen responsiveness and accuracy to be great, and even using the on-screen pull-out keyboard isn't difficult.
The most disappointing part of the touchscreen is its poor handwriting recognition due to lacking an active digitizer. The touchscreen is really better for basic input rather than writing or drawing (there are no netbooks with active digitizer screens as of this writing, though).
As for other features, besides a Microsoft Office trial, the netbook comes with unique software such as a OneKey Rescue system, a NaturalTouch interface, BumpTop 3D desktop, and VeriFace facial recognition (it's very cool when it works, but only does so under optimal conditions).
The S10-3t's performance is on par with other netbooks. There's the usual lag while waiting for applications to open, but otherwise there was no noticeable performance issues while working online, typing documents, and even watching online videos.
Battery life on the S10-3t, unfortunately, is sub-par. The stock 4-cell battery lasts less than 3 hours with typical netbook usage. Some retail models, however, come with a 6-cell battery and you can also purchase an 8-cell battery directly from Lenovo for nearly-all-day usage. Unfortunately the 8-cell sticks out and adds another pound.
If you love touchscreens and need a very portable laptop for around $600, though, you'll probably forgive the IdeaPad S10-3t's shortcomings and enjoy it greatly, as I do.