Netbooked

The laptop I had been using (Sharp 1800+ XP-M, 1gig) frequently overheats due to the harsh heat of the tropics, it won't be long before the CPU melts so I decided to get on the netbook bandwagon. I wanted to get the Asus N10J due to its dedicated nVidia graphics and HDMI out, but it would seem for the same price you could get a much better laptop. After several boring hours looking at all the different netbooks (in reality they are actually all the same) I decided to go with the Lenovo S10. It was a bit cheaper than the other vendors and as well at the usual 1.60GHz CPU, 1 GB RAM, 10.2" display, Wi-Fi, Webcam it also has a 6-cell battery, Bluetooth, 160GB HDD and an Express Card slot.

Since at the time the new Windows 7 beta was free I decided to put it on and use it as my main OS. Since there is no DVD drive I installed it from a USB hard drive, it seem to be a quick and smooth installation and the only drivers I needed to install were for the trackpad (Vista 32) - the trackpad did work without drivers but I wanted to turn off the annoying 'Tap to click' feature.

Windows 7 runs very, very well, I can dual-screen with a 22" 1680x1050 display and run Google Chrome, iTunes, Windows Live Messenger, Eclipse (specifically Aptana Studio), Apache and MySQL all at the same time with no problems. Since everyone on the net seems to bag the Atom CPU I was not expecting it to run much more than a web browser, so I am very impressed and it kills my old laptop. I will be upgrading to 2GB of RAM so it will be interesting to see if that makes a difference. Also worth mentioning is that the 6-cell battery seems to last a long time, I can get at least 5 hours out of it.

So far my only complaint is more to do with bad UI design and not the netbook; some applications e.g. Windows Live Messenger have dialogs/windows which do not fit vertically on the screen and have no ability to vertically scroll resulting in unseen options and confirm buttons. And my complaint about Windows 7 is that there is no way to make the huge start button smaller; I like to have my taskbar on the left but doing this causes it to become way too fat due to the huge start button (I will rant on more about this someother time).

So in scientific conclusion the Lenovo S10 has become my main computer and can handle my casual tasks (email, music, youtube, South Park) as well as my hardcore software development tasks without any problems, and as a bonus it is very nice looking, portable and cheap. I can recommend it with 4 out of a possible 5 stars.