Lenovo have unveiled their latest entry in the IdeaPad netbook series, the IdeaPad S10-3s. Essentially an upgrade over the current IdeaPad S10-3 series, the new model features a lightweight design with a slimmed-down 16mm profile. The highlight of the new model is a 10.1” 16:9 LED backlit display with a resolution of 1024x600, upgradable to a very respectable 1280x720 unit. (We'd just as soon ditch the 1024x600 option and make the 720p display mandatory.)

The rest of the machine is standard netbook fare. At the heart of the machine is an Intel Atom N450 running at 1.66GHz, upgradable up to a 1.83GHz N470 CPU. The integrated GMA3150 provides the graphical performance. This is backed up by up to 2GB 533MHz DDR2 RAM. Storage options consist of either 160, 250 or 320GB HDDs, or as you can go with a 16 or 32GB SSD. As usual for a netbook, there is no optical drive.

Interestingly, the netbook seems a step above most with regard to sound due to Dolby Headphone surround sound complementing the standard stereo speakers. A 1.3MP integrated webcam is also present. The S10-3s is available in white, black or a patterned ‘spring flower’ lid cover design, with 98% size chiclet keyboard with rounded keys. The netbook features three USB 2.0 ports, a 5-in-1 card reader, VGA port, headphones and mic ports.

Networking-wise there is WiFi 802.11b/g with optional n support and 10/100 Ethernet. There is optional 3G connectivity and Bluetooth to complete your wireless needs. Battery life is rated at 3.5hrs with the standard 3-cell battery, or a respectable 7hrs with a 6-cell battery. The 6-cell model comes in at 1.25Kg compared to 1.1Kg for the 3-cell.

Unique to the netbook are some of Lenovo’s proprietary technologies. DirectShare allows you to synchronize your netbook and share files without internet access, while MapLife is an application that detects your location using your WiFi connection. Active Protection System protects the HDD from damage due to everyday bumps and shocks. The OneKey Rescue System provides recovery and antivirus tools and VeriFace provides the integrated webcam with face recognition technology. By far the most useful of the Lenovo added extras is the Quick Start instant-on function that allows you to access the internet and some multimedia applications without booting into Windows. Speaking of which, Windows 7 Basic or Starter or Windows XP Home Edition are available.

The IdeaPad S10-3s starts at $379.99 and is available from mid-April from Lenovo.com and associated retailers. There's also a convertible touch screen model in the range, the IdeaPad S10-3t, available online from $479. The IdeaPad S10-3s looks like a very well featured entry into the overcrowded netbook market. In particular, special mention must go to the optional high-resolution screen. However, an upgrade to the 6-cell battery must be added to the price, as the standard battery life really isn’t enough for a netbook.

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  • vol7ron - Tuesday, April 13, 2010 - link

    Is it just me, or can't you find some cheap Dells and Acers around $500 with a Core i3/i5 and similar battery life? They may not have an SSD, but still these netbook marketers/economists are having the same pricing problem that the iPad is having. Except, the iPad actually looks and feels nice - it's unique, which might make it qualify for a higher price, unlike these round-of-the-mill lapbooks :)

    Also, I don't get why they keep using 1.3MP webcam as a selling point? 1.3MP wasn't worth it when it was new, I can't imagine using that as a selling point now, especially since phones are moving to the 5MP (or greater) standard. There's a big leap from 1.3 to 5, perhaps netbooks could settle around 3MP?

    Just my 2 cents,
  • Calin - Tuesday, April 13, 2010 - link

    You won't find a i7 in a 10" enclosure (maybe not ever in anything below 14"). i7 is a very powerful processor, yet it has too high thermal dissipation to fit inside a small netbook.
    As for now, lightweight 10" with long life away from the socket seems to be a place only for Atom.
  • vol7ron - Tuesday, April 13, 2010 - link

    That may be true, though, I never say "never" :)

    Also, nothing was mentioned about an i7. I had mentioned the i3/i5, but still, I think they could manage to keep all of them cool.
  • pygo - Wednesday, April 21, 2010 - link

    For i7 in small form one need look no farther then Sony Z (13.3"), or HP 2540p (12.1")
    I am almost positive that there are others. Power in small form factor can be accomplished but not without a price...usually a hefty one.
  • icrf - Tuesday, April 13, 2010 - link

    For a webcam, I don't think you need any more than that. Phones have higher res camera because people actually take pictures of things. A webcam is pretty much just used for video conferencing, something that doesn't require anything more than 1.3 MP.
  • vol7ron - Tuesday, April 13, 2010 - link

    I disagree. Video conferencing is still not as integrated into daily life as it has the potential to. There are a lot of reasons for that, but I think the quality of the stream/images influence people's emotional connection to the idea. 1.3MP was what web cams used 10 years ago, I'm surprised it's still being offered today.
  • jbwhite99 - Tuesday, April 13, 2010 - link

    for the record, 1080p is only 2MP (1920*1080). Still cameras are 5 or even up to 18MP, but that is for still shots. My current (ca 2006) Canon A630 is 8MP, but will only shoot 640*480 video. Remember that video is very expensive to store - that's why a 2hr DVD holds 4.7GB - at DVD resolution, you are at about 2-3GB per hour minimum.

    In terms of processor - consider my Dad. He has a pretty powerful 2yr old notebook. But it is a 15" beast. When he travels, he wants something much lighter that will have great battery life - that's what people are getting netbooks for. If you want a gaming machine, get your 15" i7, and watch the battery last 45 minutes, and your lap burst into flames if you have it in your lap.
  • strikeback03 - Tuesday, April 13, 2010 - link

    I highly doubt any videoconference software is even transmitting the full 1.3MP (around 1280x960) video stream. Lots of bandwidth and lots of processing power to encode and decode.
  • DanNeely - Tuesday, April 13, 2010 - link

    I'm really hoping this is a Matte screen; I want something a bit better than 1024x600 in a 10" package; but the only panel currently in use (1366x768 on some Dell, HP, and ASUS netbooks) is glossy and I detest glare on my screens.
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, April 13, 2010 - link

    I'm pretty sure all of the IdeaPad line uses glossy LCDs. Sorry--I'm with you on the glossy hatewagon. :-)

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