Hands on: Lenovo IdeaPad S10-3t tablet-convertible netbook

Up close and personal with Lenovo's multitouch netbook

  • Lenovo's IdeaPad S10-3t makes netbook computing a hands-on affair. It has a built-in multi-touch touch screen and hinge that allows it to convert into a slate. On the inside, it has an Intel Atom N450 CPU, 2GB of DDR2 SDRAM, a 250GB, 5400rpm hard drive, and integrated Intel GMA 3150 graphics.

  • It's not the first time we've seen a netbook with a touch screen — the [[artnid:332232|ASUS Eee PC T91M|ASUS Eee PC T91M tablet-convertible netbook]] was the first of the genre to be released.

  • However, it's the first 10in netbook to feature a touch screen. It's a multitouch touch screen and supports two simultaneous finger inputs for gestures such as zooming, scrolling and rotating. Funnily enough, even though there is a large array of software installed on the S10-3t, we're yet to find an on-screen keyboard utility on the system; this makes it hard to actually use the device when in slate/tablet mode. We're awaiting word from Lenovo on this.

  • The sides of the Ideapad S10-3t are not overly packed. On the left side you get the power port, microphone and headphone ports, as well as a Gigabit Ethernet port.

  • Meanwhile, the right side a VGA port, two USB 2.0 ports, a dummy TV antenna port and a Wi-Fi toggle.

  • The front is almost bare; it only has an SD card slot. There is also a webcam installed, which sits on the right side of the screen, and it works in conjunction with Lenovo's VeriFace software to enable face recognition log-in.

  • The spine consists of a 6-cell battery and this can be used as a hand-grip for when you use the netbook as a slate/tablet.

  • A small palm rest can make the IdeaPad S10-3t a little hard to type on, but the keyboard itself is great. The keys have good travel and bounce-back and the only adjustment we'd make is to swap around the Fn and Ctrl key positions.

  • Here's a top view of the way the IdeaPad S10-3t looks when in bog-standard netbook mode.

  • And here's what it looks like in slate/tablet mode. Lenovo has installed its own screen rotation program, which works in conjunction with a built-in accelerometer to change the orientation of the screen automatically depending on how you are holding the device. You can also use a button on the side of the screen to change orientation manually. The screen's viewing angle from the front is fine, but once you start turning it around and viewing it from the sides, the text can get muddy and the contrast and brightness suffer.

  • The power button is located on the screen and is easily pressed inadvertently. There is a lock that can make the power button inactive.

  • The screen can rotate towards either the left or the right.

  • Here's the bottom view of the hinge, which is visible when the battery is removed.

  • While the battery looks huge from the outside, it's not as big as you'd think. It has a gap in the middle to make way for the metal hinge.

  • Upgrades and repairs are simple as the bottom panel can be easily removed to expose the memory slot and hard drive bay.

  • After prolonged usage, the screen will get grubby and you will have to wipe it clean. Furthermore, it's a very reflective screen that can be hard to view in bright areas.

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