A Lenovo IdeaPad S12 showed up today and I’ve spent the past few hours using it. The IdeaPad S12 has a lot in common with the IdeaPad S10, but I have trouble calling this thing a “netbook” because of its larger dimmensions. I got to take a quick look at the IdeaPad S12 back in May before it was officially announced, but this is the first time I’ve actually used one.
The IdeaPad S12 that Lenovo sent over has an Intel N270 1.6GHz processor, 1GB of RAM and a 160GB hard drive. The MSRP on this model is $449. An S12 with NVIDIA ION graphics will be available soon for $499. As you might guess, the IdeaPad S12 I received performs just like just about every other netbook with an N270 processor and Intel graphics. The S12 with NVIDIA ION will really be something to talk about and I can’t wait to try one.
The IdeaPad S12 comes with a six-cell battery that’s rated to last up to six hours in optimal settings. I unplugged it two hours ago and the battery has 57% (2:20)left in the tank. I’ve been organizing some photos in Flickr, writing some blog posts and playing around with the S12’s webcam.
As you can see in the photos, the IdeaPad S12 is substantially bigger thant the S10-2 and other 10″ netbooks. Of course this means it’s not quite as portable, but for me this is a welcome tradeoff. The keyboard is substantially easier to type on and the touchpad is larger.
Like the S10-2, the S12’s battery sticks out from the rear and tilts the base of the computer. While this makes for a more comfortable typing experience, it doesn’t look very elegant. A three-cell battery with a three-hour battery llife probably wouldn’t satisfy the mobile set, but I think it would be a nice option for users that don’t want the extended battery hanging out of the chasis.
The S12’s lid is glossy and sparkles a little in the light. There is a subtle pattern of circles that I’m kinda indifferent to. The interior of the S12 has a matte finish, which means it’s not a fingerprint magnet like HP’s 12-inch dv2.
An IdeaPad S12 is on the way to Rob Bushway and we plan on comparing notes.