When it comes to Netbooks, I let my wife Thomasin give them a whirl to find out what she is thinking. You may or may not remember that she has used the original Asus EEE Netbook and continues to use an HP Mini 1100 in her daily chores, which include mostly email, some web browsing and occasional document creation.
The IdeaPad offers her a new twist, (literally and figuratively) as she can rotate the screen and put it in Tablet mode. This is a touch device and not meant for Inkers, at least in my opinion. But Lenovo has added two different UI overlays to make the touch-ability perhaps more pleasant.
The first is a pretty generic UI that offers us up shortcuts to music, photos, notes, videos, etc… along with icons on a task tray to access the Internet, documents, and other tasks. It works like many of these top of touch overlays that we’ve seen before, allowing you to swipe across the screen and move the large icons in a never ending repeatable circle.
The second is a shortcut on the desktop to BumpTop. BumpTop is the 3D metaphor that allows you to group and manipulate items on your desktop supposedly like you would on a normal desk. You can have piles that expand and shrink, toss them up against a virtual wall, and basically manipulate them well. This metaphor does work well with touch, but I think you’ll be intrigued to how Thomasin as a novice takes to this.
The S10T is also using Intel’s Pinetrail processor. As you’ll see in the video the emphasis on battery life leaves something to be desired when it comes to speed, at least in the unit we’re evaluating here. We don’t do a direct comparison, but Thomasin feels (and that kind of experience is worth quite a bit) that it operates slower than the HP Mini.
All in all, if you’re looking for a convertible Netbook, Lenovo has created one that will most likely serve your needs. It is solid, the keyboard is easy to type on, and quite honestly it does feel good in your hand. I’d be wary if you have to do any heavy document creation on this though because of the lack of processing power, but if you’re content with a Netbook for some of your computing and want to reach out and touch, it is worth considering.
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