Lenovo S10-3t review: putting the tablet into the netbook
According to Lenovo, the S10-3t is available in two different designs (or colours, depending on how you see it): Rain Flower Pebble and Meteoric Stone. Suffice to say they do a good job in expressing one’s individuality in a world where most mobile computers are built with boring, single-colour tones.
Notice that shiny bar in situated in at the bottom-centre of the screen? At first glance it seems like nothing more than a hinge and swivel switch for opening up the device and converting it into tablet mode, but a couple of light knocks on it with a pen revealed that this ‘hinge’ is actually made out of metal and not plastic. Score one to Lenovo for an additional bit of hardiness and durability.
Also, unlike most manufacturers which only focus on beautifying the top of a laptop or netbook, Lenovo has seemingly taken it further by putting the base of the S10-3t through a touch of individuality and style. Instead of a dull black-coloured base, the S10-3t sports a checkerboard-like pattern, complete with uniquely-designed heat vents that look every bit as appealing as they are functional, as shown below:
Of course, it can be argued that the only time a user would ever need to look at the notebook’s base is when repairs or hardware upgrades are needed, or when the battery is being removed. That being said, it is still a nice thing to have.
And now, on to the built-in ports:
The S10-3t’s port side is kept fairly simple: there is a Kensington-compatible slot located at the extreme left corner, followed by the obligatory DC-in socket for charging and an Ethernet port for cabled connections. An additional heat vent is also located here, along with 3.5mm jacks for a microphone and earphones/headphones.
The starboard side of the S10-3t is a lot more spartan: there is nothing except for a wireless hardware switch, two USB 2.0 ports and a VGA-out. That being said, there is also something interesting about this area: apparently, a TV-out socket was originally meant to come standard with the S10-3t, but may have been pulled for various reasons. Regardless, the empty TV-out port is still present even in the review unit, albeit having been sealed up with rubber. This is a real pity though, as a TV-out feature would have really helped to differentiate the S10-3t from the variety of netbooks and tablets in the market today.
The S10-3t’s front is kept extremely clean, so those expecting a variety of ports or connectors may probably be disappointed. In addition to the obligatory SDHC card reader, the onboard microphone’s speakerhole is also located here.
Next up: the internals!