Hands on Use
I am getting rather jaded looking at netbook after netbook over the last few months. So far, the only machine that has really brought anything interesting to the table has been the GIGABYTE netbook I reviewed last month with its slick docking system. The Lenovo S10-2 works well and has no glaring faults, but man is it a boring little machine with nothing that really sets it apart from any other netbook I have tested.
The netbook group is a tight pack when it comes to benchmark results and the S10-2 was near the top in its tests, but the results are so close as to be a wash in the real world. The netbook market has basically become a commodity environment where users can just buy on price.
That's enough complaining about the lack of innovation from the netbook market for today. The Lenovo S10-2 has a decent keyboard with well-spaced keys and a full sized right shift key in its correct location. The keyboard has decent tactile feel and is a clone of the keyboards on most other netbooks I have tested.
The little track pad that Lenovo uses is responsive and well sized. I particularly liked that Lenovo made the two mouse buttons a different color and material that makes them easy to see when working in low light conditions. The track pad does offer a scroll area for long web pages or documents. The machine features Dolby headphone sound, which works good. But honestly, the only way you will notice this feature is if you compare a system with and without it back to back. It sounds good, don't get me wrong, but hardly a feature worth buying one machine over another for.
The onboard sound system is decent and offers enough volume to allow you to hear video or music. As with all netbooks, the bass is missing and the sound is thin. The screen of the S10-2 is nice and will serve media streaming duties well with good color reproduction and decent video quality. Lenovo uses a highly glossy screen, as do most netbooks, which means lots of glare in most situations.
I am going to take Lenovo and Norton to task over the bundling of a very intrusive security suite on the S10-2. Norton Internet Security nearly drove me crazy until I finally uninstalled it. I hate bloatware and I think this type of software should be optional when you order a netbook.
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