Review: Lenovo S10-3t: Half-Netbook, Half-Tablet

This half-netbook, half-tablet would have probably been better if it had just stuck with one genre or the other.

By Sarah Jacobsson, PC World |  Hardware, Lenovo, netbook

The 1024-by-600-pixel touchscreen is a single-input multitouch display that gives the user a pretty decent experience. It's not the most precise touchscreen we've ever used, but it's good enough to take the place of a trackpad. The IdeaPad has an accelerometer, but it was shaky at best--every time you lay the device flat, it gets confused and picks a random orientation (instead of just sticking with the orientation you had before)--annoying. You also have to wait 3 to 5 seconds as the desktop reorients itself.

No stylus is included, and writing on the screen is pretty much a lost cause. You'll have to find or buy your own stylus if you plan on using the "notes" feature. The screen is also highly glossy--not such an issue if you're using it as a netbook, but a big problem if you're using it as a tablet. The screen is quite reflective, and from some angles you can barely see it at all.

Audio and video are pretty dismal. I couldn't even stream a standard-definition one-minute clip of Family Guy without choppiness and lag, and downloaded video isn't any better. Even the sample preloaded clip (of horses and ducks and other nature things) looks more like a series of still pictures than a video clip. The speakers, located under the screen, are louder than most netbooks but still very flat-sounding. Dolby headphone surround sound gives a much better audio experience--I'd definitely recommend toting headphones around with this netbook.

Because the S10-3t is a half-tablet, Lenovo includes an appropriate amount of touch-friendly software. Along with the requisite 60-day trial of Microsoft Office, you get a suite of apps (dubbed "NaturalTouch") that includes a photo browser, an e-book reader, a notes application, and a media player. And a dedicated button on the lower left corner of the screen will take you straight into NaturalTouch. Lenovo also bundles a number of its own applications, including Lenovo DirectShare, Lenovo VeriFace 3.6, Lenovo VeriTouch, and OneKey Recovery. One app, called BumpTop, displays your desktop as a touch-friendly 3D "desktop."

The Lenovo S10-3t is, at best, decent as a netbook and decent as a tablet. While it's nice to have the functionality of both, I think I'd get better use out of something that was just really good as one or the other--a great netbook or a great tablet would be better than something that's merely mediocre at being both.

Originally published on PC World |  Click here to read the original story.
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