It's the Lenovo S10-3's slimmer sibling, with a high-resolution display, Dolby headphone audio, and an upgraded Intel processor.The Lenovo Ideapad S10-3s has one purpose and one purpose only: provide lady techies a computer that'll fit their pretty li'l purses and get them their tech fix when they need it – in style, of course.
Most notebooks out there get a bit of personality from the stylish enclosures their manufactures give them, and the S10-3s joins in the party with the "Spring Flowers" version. The vector art on this one reminds us of some Asian airline's tail tattoo, which we're neither a fan nor a hater of. It also comes in white and black, but even with the lack of floral decals, the glossy finish removes all the macho in this piece of machinery.
75% of the whole enclosure – including the touchpad – is glossy, which will help in keeping it from looking like a tired-out computer. The downside? It has no escape from the dreaded smudges and the friction that builds between your finger, and the touch pad makes navigating slightly challenging – besides having little room to slide and click (dragging) at the same time. You'll also occasionally find yourself double-clicking the select/left-click button before the action registers, which can get quite frustrating after a while. This is probably because the "click areas" is also touch-sensitive.
Lenovo keeps its signature clean-cut look with the S10-3s and tucks in all ports behind curved doors – staying faithful to the netbook's form. The keyboard's clicks sound extra "click-y" (which is excellent in our book) and the "QS" [Quick Start] button found on the lower right of the monitor makes accessing a favorite file/program/website (you can customize its target) quick and easy: Just click to open. Click the button with the curved arrow above it, and you launch Lenovo's OneKey Recovery program (pre-installed), reminding you to back up your files or regret doing so later.
A look at the S10-3s' bottom tells you that it's not that "open" to further upgrades. Hidden below the battery is a SIM card slot that'll allow you to insert your SIM and connect to a 3G network (3G modem is optional).
CSI (or MIB, or even SOCO) wannabes or just plain vain users will definitely have a hoot with Lenovo's VeriFace – another packaged program found in earlier Lenovos and the S10-3s. Upon logon, it scans your mug using the built-in cam and cross-checks with the account's enrolled face image. If the program verifies your face, you're free to enter. But if it detects a possible hacker, it gets a snapshot and reports the devious deed on your next log-on. Pretty neat, except you have to make sure your posture's straight and your eyes don't dry up while looking straight at the cam and waiting for the VF to finish scanning (we had little problems logging on even with the cam angled up, though). If you’re wondering if it works with still photos of you or Angelina Jolie, then the answer is yes. "Visitors" also have an option to leave a video message on your locked computer. Just have your earphones on when you replay the recorded message – you'll never know when someone left you a juicy office chismis.
The computer's speed ranges from average to slow; you'll get minor hiccups even while playing your FB Flash games and you'll rarely get "un-cropped corners" with your program windows. All in all, the Lenovo Ideapad S10-3s is your regular, run-of-the-mill netbook. The hefty hard drive, the above-average specs, the long battery life, and the geeky Lenovo software tools may make up for the friction-prone "One Piece" t-pad and all the other minor kinks; but its sluggish speed, even with minimal usage, just isn’t forgivable.
Click here to see the Lenovo Ideapad S10-3S in the Buyer's Guide.