Lenovo has a more business-orientated netbook in the Lenovo S10e, a sober-looking affair that majors on build solidity.

Our sample Lenovo S10e was finished in matt black and has a rigidity to its construction rarely seen elsewhere. Take the keyboard, for example - almost zero flex and a good honest keyboard that stands out as one of the better micro keyboards we've seen.

The keys may be small but we found fast accurate typing to be surprisingly easy on the Lenovo S10e.

The Lenovo S10e may be a little more industrial looking than some curvy contenders, but this is all for the benefit of the final result. The trackpad is small but it has good precision. Our only concern here was with the click buttons which are absurdly recessed and require you to press hard from a raised thumb.

The standard-issue netbook screen of 1,024x600 is replaced here by a 1,024x576 panel. This may be good for watching 16:9 video, but in the context of a laptop of limited dimensions this means even less horizontal lines in which to accommodate important OS user interface features such as ok/Cancel buttons that often appear down the screen.

And Lenovo has elected to go for the showy high-gloss coating which adds nothing to usability in daylight.

The Lenovo S10e's battery life is also a little below par at under two and half hours (148 minutes).

Lenovo S10e: Specs

  • Intel ATOM (N270) 1.6GHz Single Core Processor with 533MHz FSB and 512KB L2 Cache
  • 1024 MB (667MHz) PC2-5300 DDR2 SDRAM
  • 160GB Serial ATA Hard Drive
  • 10.1 inch WSVGA (1024x576) Glossy TFT display with integrated camera
  • Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
  • Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 950
  • Rockwell Modem Chip, V.90 & K56 Flex voice & Ethernet card
  • Integrated 10/100 Ethernet
  • Wireless standard: Bluetooth Version 2.1 + EDR
  • 3 cell Li-Ion battery
  • One year parts and labour (system battery: one year), customer carry-in repair
  • 232x175x29-36mm
  • 1.1kg
  • Intel ATOM (N270) 1.6GHz Single Core Processor with 533MHz FSB and 512KB L2 Cache
  • 1024 MB (667MHz) PC2-5300 DDR2 SDRAM
  • 160GB Serial ATA Hard Drive
  • 10.1 inch WSVGA (1024x576) Glossy TFT display with integrated camera
  • Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
  • Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 950
  • Rockwell Modem Chip, V.90 & K56 Flex voice & Ethernet card
  • Integrated 10/100 Ethernet
  • Wireless standard: Bluetooth Version 2.1 + EDR
  • 3 cell Li-Ion battery
  • One year parts and labour (system battery: one year), customer carry-in repair
  • 232x175x29-36mm
  • 1.1kg

OUR VERDICT

Despite some inexcusable shortcomings such as tortuous mouse buttons and a reflective screen, we couldn’t help admiring the Lenovo S10e for its overall build quality which inspires confidence as you handle it. It also has a curiously workable keyboard, despite its size, which counts for plenty given that using many similar netbooks are an exercise in frustration. Also of note is the most affordable price, the cheapest for a 10in screen here.

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