May 05, 2010, 9:40 PM — If you love the idea of a portable tablet PC, but can't really come to grips with the lack of a physical keyboard on such devices, Lenovo's S10-3t is here to help. This convertible tablet netbook features a screen that swivels 180 degrees and lies flat, so you can have the conveniences of both a touchscreen and a physical keyboard.
Our review model, which is black and costs $549, features the 1.66GHz Intel Atom N450, 1GB of RAM, a 250GB hard drive, and a 10.1-inch LED multitouch screen. It also has a built-in Webcam and 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi. The unit comes with Windows 7 Starter as the operating system.
The Lenovo S10-3t isn't a breathtaking netbook. It has a very shiny (and fingerprint-attracting) cover with a glittery square pattern. Its connections include two USB 2.0 ports, an ethernet port, a VGA-out port, headphone and microphone jacks, and a front-loading SD card slot.
For a 10.1-inch netbook, the S10-3t is pretty slim at just 0.79 inches thick. With the four-cell standard battery, it weighs 2.7 pounds (a larger eight-cell battery raises the weight to 3.3 pounds). This is a good weight for a netbook, but a little on the heavy side for a tablet. Though the larger battery gives you significantly more life than does the standard battery, the battery pack sticks out almost an inch from the back of the netbook and makes holding the device for more than a few minutes awkward and uncomfortable.
I definitely appreciate the full-size physical keyboard--but in tablet mode, you have no virtual keyboard, which can be very annoying if you like to work in that mode. The keys are nice and big, but a little too springy for my taste--they have no weight at all, which makes typing uncomfortable and promotes typos galore.
The trackpad is another story--it's about an inch-and-a-half tall, with two integrated buttons denoted by tiny dots on the lower corners. And it's textured, so there's no mistaking where it is (though, if you blink you might miss it). For what it's worth, the trackpad works nicely. Scrolling is smooth and the buttons are easy to press. It's just so small. Lenovo presumably didn't spend too much time (or real estate) on the trackpad because the good old touchscreen is right in front of you, but still, I would've appreciated something a little larger.