Hands On Review - Lenovo Ideapad S10-3T 06517HU 10 Inch Tablet Netbook (Part 2)
Lenovo Ideapad S10-3t 06517HU
Lenovo's branded battery
Ordering the Right Battery
Note: This hub went too long- so I've broken it up into several hubs. I've made an effort not to duplicate, but in some cases you'll see similar information; either because it presents a different perspective, or because it made sense in context to reiterate.
There's a story
here. The Ideapad S10-3T 06517HU comes with a 4-cell
battery. I didn't even know how long the
4-cell battery would run the netbook, I just knew I wanted the longest possible
battery life ever. Like usual, I was
trying to save a little money. I did the
best research I could, and ordered a generic 9-cell battery that was supposed
to be compatible with the S10-3T's. When
it arrived, it was immediately obvious- this battery was NOT compatible. Had to send it back. With more knowledge of what to look for, I
ordered again. Found several companies
that promised the real deal, but none of them took real credit cards. They all required Paypal. I suppose there's nothing really wrong with
that, but it put me off a bit. I wound
up ordering directly from Lenovo. Some
real credit is due here, they shipped same day and it arrived about 3 days
later. Wow. Best of all?
Huge size difference between the 4-cell and 8-cell battery
Finally getting the right battery!
If you don't mind the extra size and weight, I say grab the biggest battery you can get. If you order one, get the right number. For my Ideapad S10-3T 06517HU, the correct battery model is L09M4T09, ordered directly from Lenovo.
The battery is huge, and actually makes the computer look bigger. I'm glad I ordered a stretchy carry case, because with the bigger battery, the extra stretch was the only way to zip it up! The 8-cell battery provides a nice hand-grip to hold the computer by. I could see some people not liking the extra weight, but for me, it's comfortable. I've souped up as much of the computer as I can, ramped up all the available features. Even so, I'm getting around 6 or 7 hours of live time on a charge. And that's not draining it dry. Usually it's estimating another hour or two when I plug it back in. From full to empty, it would probably last about 8 hours the way I use the S10-3t.
3 pounds 6.4 ounces, on the nose
Weight - How much 'heft' is comfortable?
With the super-sized battery, my Lenovo Ideapad weighs about 3 lbs 6.4 ounces. I'm pretty sure that's accurate... that's Monique's postal scale it's sitting on (in the picture here.)
3 lbs, 6.4 oz -- that's still the smallest and lightest laptop I've ever used. Up till now, the smallest notebook I've owned was a 12" Toshiba Satellite. Decent computer, less so for having Vista installed. (Just my opinion!) The Lenovo Ideapad S10-3t is much easier to carry around, and much more practical to use. I never truly took to the Satellite as my "go-to" computer. It was always my 'backup' computer. The Lenovo, though? I'm getting serious use out of it, and enjoying it everywhere. I'm using it right this moment to write this hub… If the rest of my family is having fun somewhere else in the house, and I have work that has to get done, I take the S10-3t and join them. Then I can get work done, and still be part of whatever's going on. Or, if they want to watch Desperate Housewives, I'm okay with that because I can still get good stuff done. (Or play Runescape!) The point is, I can use it anywhere. It's comfortable to hold and practical to work on.
Great examples of Audio, Video, and Wi-Fi connection
Regarding audio, the S10-3t Netbook is like most netbooks. Slightly disappointing, in that the audio volume isn't super-loud, and is a bit tinny. Yet, given the tiny amount of space Lenovo had within which to fit the speakers, surprisingly good. In my computer room, kitchen, and photo studio, I've played music and been able to enjoy it. The sound is easily overwhelmed by conversation, televisions, and loud ongoing noises, but I didn't really expect it to compete with surround sound systems.
The bigger surprise for me was when I attached the headphones. Sweet rolling thunder mixed with angelic choirs and heavenly voices... okay, let's just say audio is way better (and volume) when using headphones. It went from tiny and tinny, to great volume and expressiveness.
Windows 7 Home Premium to Professional
Microsoft Windows 7 Anytime Upgrade (Home Premium to Professional)
While the Lenovo Ideapad S10-3T 06517HU comes with Windows 7 Home Premium, I had read that Windows 7 Professional improves the overall experience on the S10-3T, and brings an expanded support for the touchscreen.
While Home to Pro may not be necessary, I know either one is a significant improvement over Windows 7 Starter that comes with other S10-3ts. Especially touchscreen support. For me, I like the extra features of Windows 7 Professional, but it doesn't seem absolutely required. To be fair, the S10-3Ts that come with Windows 7 Starter absolutely require an upgrade to have full function of the touchscreen.
My overall take? If you've already got Windows 7 Premium, it's not really necessary to upgrade. But if you've got Starter, then go for it!
Lenovo's Bundled Software
Lenovo's Bundled Software
Lenovo includes some interesting software along with the Ideapad. First off, there's Directshare. It allows the S10-3t to sync and share with other computers and USB media. I could see this being pretty useful if you've got no other way to share files. If you've got alternatives, it's much easier to use an external hard drive and an external DVD/CD drive. Still, it's nice to have the option.
Lenovo Naturaltouch is probably the most fun included software. It's a great showcase for the touchscreen, with an easy to use interface and a full media interface that plays music, video, images, and ebooks. A great way to show off your machine!
Lenovo Smile Dock - If you like docking programs, this might be your cup of tea. To me, it was a resource hog that slowed down my computer, and I removed it from the startup.
The Onscreen keyboard - Allows you to enter text and numbers through an onscreen keyboard… or through handwriting done by fingertip. I actually like this, and use it fairly often. It's best use is when you're in tablet mode. One of the few programs I let run in the background all the time.
One-Key Recovery - I haven't had to use this yet, but I very much like the concept. If you really really foul up your hard drive, you can return it to factory default with this software. Of course, that comes with what some call the factory-installed 'bloatware' as well. That's a little harsh, though. Two of the programs are useless to me, but maybe not someone else. Three of them I find useful. That's not bad for 'bloatware'! I've bought other laptops that were truly loaded up with bloatware. Lenovo really did pretty good in trying to give us stuff we can use.
APS (Active Protection System) - Critically important software; this program protects the hard drive. Hard drives are easily damaged by shake and movement, APS stops the hard drive from spinning when it senses movement.
QuickStart 2.0 - Fast way to access media and internet while sidestepping a full boot-up with Windows.
VeriFace and Veritouch - Security software - Logs on by face recognition and fingertouch.
There are more in the system, like the chess game, but this is the high-profile software.
It can play Flip HD video, but not edit
Can the S10-3t Edit Flip MinoHD Videos?
Just for kicks, I did try to edit video using the Flip MinoHD. I know it can PLAY HD video, but can it EDIT them?
After installing Flipshare, the software uploaded videos from the Flip, stored them in the hard drive, and … had trouble with playback within the editing software. I didn't know at the time what kind of requirements the pop-up was referring to, but in the middle of playback a notice popped up. It said my computer does not meet all the requirements of using the software. Since it was playing the video and audio just fine, I'm not entirely sure where the problem lay. At a guess, the hard drive probably just isn't fast enough (5400 rpm) to support the full resolution and data speed of high def video. Last I paid attention, hard drives with at least 10,000 rpm were recommended for video editing. Still, I never had any intention of using this as a video editing station. As long as I can just plain old WATCH my videos, that's all I really expect.
Accessorizing - A Neat Carry Case
For a carrying case, I got Case Logic's 7-10" model for Ultra Portable PCs. It's a perfect fit for the S10-3t. At least, it was until I got the biggest battery I could find. Now, it's still a good fit, but it's kind of like sticking a 6' tall man into a 5 1/2' tall wetsuit. The fit is very snug. It's a good thing the material is stretchy! The carry case came with an additional zipped side pocket that can hold a very small accessory or two. I'm using it for a lightweight pair of headphones, and a mouse. For the detail-oriented, the max size is 11 x 9.1 x 2.4 inches.
Overall a Pleasant Surprise
Durable Design, Light Enough to Comfortably Hold
The S10-3t seems like a very sturdy little machine, and after a month of pushing it, carrying it around, opening, closing, as tablet and as netbook, it's worked perfectly. The design is functional, attractive, and well made. It has a solid feel to the hand, and the weight is solid enough to feel strong, yet light enough to comfortably hold. I've enjoyed the Lenovo in both tablet and in netbook modes.
The Lenovo Ideapad S10-3t 06517HU is my 30-year dream finally come to life. I took some time off from my hubs in order to fully customize the Lenovo to be everything I want it to be. Now I'm back, and I have a brand new tool in my online efforts.
The real surprise: The S10-3t is much faster and more capable than I had been led to expect, especially in regards to multi-tasking. Thanks in large part to all the tips and tweaks recommended by Jesse B Anderson. Watch the videos I've included on my Lenovo pages- several of them are by Jesse.
For me, I can write hubs, work online, and play Runescape. Movies run fullscreen smoothly and without stutter. Music plays fine, ebooks are a joy to read, and I can do basic editing on my images with Irfanview, same as I do on my desktop computer.
When talking about speed and multi-tasking, the important question is: Does it do what I need it to do?
For me, the answer is absolutely yes!
Related Lenovo Ideapad S10-3t Hubs
S10-3t Hands On Review Parts 1 and 2:
S10-3t Tweaks and Tips Parts 1 and 2:
Netbook Accessories List