02-18-2010 10:52 AM
I got my s10-3t yesterday as expected from Tigerdirect.com. They had the best all around deal that should cost me about $460 after Bing Cashback. I got the 8 cell battery and the 250GB HD....nice setup.
I ordered a 2GB memory upgrade from upgradenation.com for $35 shipped. It should arrive tomorrow.
I also ordered a Targus netbook case from Amazon, but am sad to say that this thing with the battery installed is too wide to fit the case. It was the best selling choice for 10.1" netbooks, but it just doesn't fit this one. I've ordered a replacement case...I'll post my success when it arrives.
So, onto the review:
Out of the box, this took only about 5 minutes to power on and setup. Lenovo tries to get you to pull the trigger on several add-on apps upon booting the first time, but you can skip it. These are programs like ID vault and other useful but unnecessary programs. After skipping that, I setup a few things for Windows, and we're in! My wireless network detected without a hitch. I'm using a Zyxel 550N router...great signal and reception.
I was anxious to try the touch screen, so I dove in and tried the lenovo installed stuff 1st. Lenovo Natural Touch is the app that appears to be much like the U1 interface shown at CES. Very "Iphone-like". It runs a little laggy at first, but when you get a feel for the touch speed, it is actually quite responsive. I tried playing with pictures and the multi-touch works great! IT DOES WORK without having to upgrade windows to a higher version than starter edition...but, using lenovo's custom software. I played the sample video which ran pretty smooth and looked just fine. I then tried the notes app and recorded a video of myself which worked as expected. I was able to write on sticky notes witout a problem using my fingertip. I also bought a Pogo which I think works fine for the touch points and just okay for actual writing.
So, I had a license for Win7 Pro and decided to install it since it added full support for tablets. I got a student deal for $29 a while back...couldn't resist. So, I did the anytime upgrade and it took about 20 minutes total. Whalla...Win7 Pro.
I quickly installed Office 2007 including OneNote. They all work fine and multi-touch works to zoom in Word and powerpoint. OneNote is super for this tablet!!! You can take documents and use a highliter on screen or scribble notes on top of text documents...VERY COOL and will be quite useful!
The screen is beautiful--very clear and while reflective/glossy, the quality is excellent, bright and easy to look at.
The screen of course can be viewed vertically or normally. In portrait mode, I found the picture to be a little less sharp and it puts a slight strain on the eye. I'm not sure if its the refresh rate or what, but there is a slight metallic sheen to images and a little bit of a contrast issue. Nothing major, but definitely noticeable. By default, the accelerometer is turned off
It of course has IE, but I downloaded Firefox for security and personal preference reasons. Both run fine. They both seem to respond to the multitouch and the spread gesture zooms in, while swiping scrolls. You can easily navigate like you would on an Iphone. Speed was good.
I played a few flash games and they played full speed. My 3 yr old daughter even played some games at nickjr.com and used the touch screen to control them with ease!
I then tried streaming movies on netflix....perfect playback although the screen size and format can waste a little screen real estate. I played a 4:3 movie and it wasted a lot of space until I went full screen...the small browser window made it so you had to scroll up or down a bit in order to see the whole picture. Going full-screen fixed it.
So, flash and silverlight work just fine. I plan to try some other games soon to push this a little....I'll report back as I get time.
I have no experience with other units that have the RF pens, but I can say that the inking/writing is not overly intuitive. Windows Journal and other tablet apps work great though. One I train myself and calibrate this to my writing, I think it'll improve a lot. The pen/highlighter that I can use in other Office apps is going to be useful for research and school work. The handwriting recognition is not super and almost a waste for inputting a lot of text, even with the Pogo stylus I bought. Plan to use this for drawing and less detailed writing...
SD card reader works great and you can flip through pictures on the card via the Lenovo Natural touch app. The speakers and sound quality are not good at all. It is very "tin-ny" and not loud, though in a quiet room I guess it would be ok. Voices in a movie are audible, but the EQ is bad. I didn't try headphones, but I'm positive that they'd improve the listening experience. A program called "Bumptop" is included an pretty cool to show off touch features. It creates a 3-D environment for files and pictures that you can move around and stick on walls, stack up or sort. A brief tutorial shows you how...pretty cool. Like many other Lenovo products, this too has the facial recognition which works okay. It came with McAfee security suite on it, which I promptly removed since I'm not a fan. I am just using MS Security Suite and Malicious SW tools....works fine for me. I won't do any risky browsing anyway on this. I haven't tried an eBook, but I think this won't look any different than a regular notebook. The screen is certainly not e-ink though I think it'll serve the purpose for those of us who want the capability, but don't plan to buy a kindle or even the iPad.
The 8-cell battery works great as a grip when using this in portrait/tablet modes. The keyboard has a nice feel to it, though fast touch-typists like myself are going to struggle when trying to type a lot. The left-hand side of the KB is slightly smaller for shift/tab/caps keys, but still very useable. Full sized keys, but the layout is just slightly off. The SD slot is in the front and covered when not in use...
I bought this because I wanted something to travel with and Apple didn't really announce what I needed in January. So, I wanted something new and cool...which this is. I thought the idea of a touch interface was in line with progress and I'm happy I got this. For the price, this is a sound solution for a netbook that gives you just enough "shiny and new" to keep interest. The touch is not a gimmick and I will make use of it for sure. The build quality is solid and the look/finish is beautiful, though a finger print magnet for sure. Overall, I must say that I am quite happy with this purchase. As a Mac user, I often have a less than stellar outlook on PC machines, though Win7 is a huge improvment. Not without the issues that plauge all Windows machines, this Lenovo is exactly what I wanted and will prove to be a great 2nd laptop and travel companion.
01-18-2011 09:59 PM
My review will be very brief, i just received it, so didn't experience a lot of features but on the whole am very happy with it and share the impressions posted below. I purchased the DAGi stylus for 25$ to write on quick notes and Windows journal and it completes my finger quite well. So the lack of a built-in stylus shouldn't demotivate anyone from purchasing this and Lenovo technical support has been very friendly and helpful in the one issue i had due to my lack of experience. It's a perfect device for travelling and to use as a second laptop.