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Image via Gelbooru

As an otaku, our biggest enemy that drills a big hole on our wallet from time to time is impulse buying + countless SAFS (Suddenly Acquired FigureS). I believe it has happened to us all especially during otaku related events, for example, anime conventions, a place where price is no longer an issue as I would call it ^^. We all are drooling over those anime merchandise and figures.

Now, since my passion is not only for anime/figures/anything related but also for computers/gadgets, you all can imagine how often I was left broke at the end of the month. Not to mention, technology expands and evolves exponentially so new stuffs just keep coming out ^^;.

Last week, I succumbed to temptation and purchased a sub notebook, Lenovo Ideapad S10, from my regular etailer, NCIX.com. I know that I had been wanting to get a small notebook along the line of Asus EEEPC, MSI wind, Acer Aspire, etc for a long time since I bought one for my dad’s bday present but I always thought I would get it some other time and try to save $$$. The evil NCIX (yes , they are evil for making me spend $$$ >.> ) decided to have an approx. 25% discount on Lenovo Ideapad S10 and also big thanks to my evil friend for telling about the promotion ^^;;.

Being cheap on the shipping part, I chose the cheapest possible for shipping with UPS ($10). My ideapad was shipped on Monday and arrived on Friday afternoon. Not bad for a cheap shipping, I thought. After I got home from work, I opened it right away and completely absorbed with my new toy. I feel like a little kid who just got a new toy and totally ignored everything else ( I delayed my dinner to test out my new sub notebook). The box is 30cm x 32cm and I was guessing that it’s as big as normal motherboard box.

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The specifications are as the following:

  • 1.6GHz N270 Intel Atom Processor
  • 512 MB PC2-5300 DDR2 SDRAM 667MHz
  • Windows XP Home Edition (SP3)
  • 10.2″ WSVGA AntiGlare TFT with integrated camera 1024×600
  • 160GB 5400rpm hard drive
  • Intel GMA 950 Integrated Graphics
  • Broadcom 11b/g Wi-Fi wireless and Bluetooth
  • 4-in-1 Media card reader and ExpressCard slot
  • 3-Cell Li-ion battery
  • Size: 9.8″ x 7.2″ x 1.2″ (including feet)
  • Weight: 2.64 lbs (with 3-cell battery)
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    From the front, Ideapad looks pretty small and thin and it’s definitely easy to carry around which makes this notebook perfect for travelling.

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    On the left side, there are 1 vga connector, 4in1 media reader, 1xUSB and power.

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    While on the right side, there are audio and mic jack, 1xUSB and LAN port. The PCI express card slot is located right beside the headphone jack. One of the biggest advantage of this sub notebook is the Express Card slot. It can accept FireWire 800 (1394B), Serial ATA external disk drives, Solid-state drives, Wireless network interface cards, TV tuner cards, soundcards, additional memory and memory card readers so it gives the user more jacks basically.

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    The bottom part can be opened so you can replace the HDD or add more RAM to it. I upgraded mine to 2gb RAM since RAMs are so cheap these days. The RAM installation was pretty straight forward and I followed this guide here and anyone can easily do it so there is no need to bring it to your local computer store.

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    Since sub notebook is generally small and compact, I am having a tough time with the keyboard. Having big fingers does not help either ^^;. It takes sometimes to get used to it. My biggest peeves were the small left shift button and backspace where I kept pressing Fn key and + key instead.

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    Lenove Ideapad s10 comes with installed windows XP home SP3 and there is no recovery disk for this laptop. The recovery files are in the HDD itself. Boot time is reasonably fast and it takes approx. around 25-30 seconds from pressing the power button to Start screen.

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    One thing that I was really eager to try is to watch 720p resolution anime and see if it’s lagging or not. Firstly, I played Tales of Abyss episode 26 subbed by Abyssal Chronicles. The sound and picture didn’t synchronize with each other.

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    Then I tried Mahou Tsukai ni taisetsuna no koto : Natsu no Sora episode 12 with 720p resolution and I didn’t get any lags and the sound and picture synch perfectly. After couple google searches and asking a friend, it seemed that it depends a lot on what kind of codec/media player is used to play the movie. I used windows media player classic to play both movies. I think we all agree that playing 1080p is pretty much out of the question.

    Overall, I am pretty satisfied with this sub notebook and there are only two things that I would consider as the weaknesses. First, it’s the battery life. Since it’s only a 3-cell, the life time is obviously not as long as 6-cell. This issue is easily fixable if you are willing to fork out more $$$ and grab a 9-cell battery from ebay.

    Secondly, it’s the lack of more USB ports. Having only two USB ports is not enough ( I don’t think so at least ) but having the ExpressCard slot somewhat makes up for it.

    There are many other reviews out there and some of them are as below:

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