Lenovo's new netbook: all and sundry salivate

It's IT Blogwatch: in which everybody seems to be drooling about the Lenovo IdeaPad S10 mini-laptop. Not to mention a clearance FAIL...

Sharon Gaudin reports:

Lenovo is joining the ranks of hardware builders making a run at the fledgling netbook market with a new ultrasmall laptop.

The company today unveiled the IdeaPad S10 netbook PC, which runs Intel Corp.'s Atom processor and Microsoft Windows XP. Available in two configurations, the small, ultraportable computer has a 10.2-in. screen, two USB ports, a four-in-one multicard reader, WiFi connectivity and an Express Card slot.
Lenovo S10

Slated to be available in October, the new netbook has a starting price of $399 ... designed for basic applications like Web surfing, e-mailing and word processing ... designed to use less power than traditional PCs and laptops ... [not] powerful enough for serious power users. more

Joanna Stern adds:

Rumors of Lenovo entering the mini-notebook space end here and now ... Do we have a MSI Wind or Eee PC 1000H killer on our hands? Quite possibly.

Two configurations of the 9.8 x 7.2 x .8-1.08-inch and 2.4-pound S10 will be available in the U.S. Priced at $399, one will have 512MB of RAM and an 80GB hard drive. The other marked at $449.99 will have 1GB of RAM and a 160GB hard drive. The specs seem to indicate that the system will support 2GB of RAM, so we assume swapping out RAM will be easy.

Initially the netbook will come preloaded with Microsoft Windows XP. However, Lenovo told us that a version of the S10 running Linpus Linux will be available in other countries. more

Which confuses Sam Dean:

At least in the U.S. ... it looks like Lenovo is not pursuing a Linux-centric strategy. Will it eventually do so? ... It's hard to understand ... why Lenovo is choosing to go with Windows XP on these machines. The Asus Eee PCs have gotten much praise for shipping with Linux and a whole host of open source software applications.
In my opinion, the prices on these small, inexpensive notebooks are headed down, and Asus still looks like it offers the best software setup for any of these systems in the $400 range. Look for Lenovo to go with Linux and open source as it starts to wake up to the fierce pricing competition in this space. more

John Paczkowski quips:

What’s Under Three Pounds, Under $500 and Underpowered? Add Lenovo to the ever-lengthening list of PC makers turning their attention to the ultra-mobile PC market, that new category of extraneous mobile computing devices the electronics industry seems so determined to create.
Why is it we need one of these things again? No one seems to be sure, really — not even the PC vendors making them.. more

Paul Miller has more:

1.6GHz Atom ... The display is 1024 x 600 and LED backlit, and the touchpad does multi-touch. Lenovo didn't skimp on the trimmings either, with WiFi, Bluetooth, ExpressCard, 4-in-1 card reader and a 1.3 megapixel webcam. The S10 hits China on September 5th, and will land in the States in early October. A 9-inch version is also in the works for other countries. more

But Marcus Hamaker isn't a fan:

It looks like Lenovo is moving away from the old IBM Thinkpad days and trying to compete with a different client base. At the company I work for 9-5 we switched from Lenovo to Dell laptops and I don’t think that says as much about Dell as it does about Lenovo. I don’t think that they really took over the IBM laptop division with as much success as they had hoped. They have lost some corporate customers and now seem to be trying to gain ground in other markets.
It looks like they are trying to take back a few Mac users or stop the potential Mac buyers from buying. The unit I am sure will work well but I am afraid that they are making a mistake with this strategy. People aren’t just switching to Macs because of the cute package that their laptops come in, but because of the whole user experience; including the operating system. more

And Mike Masnick tweets his concern:

lenovo ideapad s10 looks sweet other than the fact that it's missing the red dot trackpoint. what's up lenovo? don't abandon your fans. more

And finally...

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Richi Jennings is an independent analyst/adviser/consultant, specializing in blogging, email, and spam. A 21 year, cross-functional IT veteran, he is also an analyst at Ferris Research. You can follow him on Twitter, pretend to be Richi's friend on Facebook, or just use boring old email: blogwatch@richi.co.uk.

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