July 15, 2009 at 8:31 pm
The Lenovo Ideapad S12 is the company’s 12-inch entry into its Ideapad range of netbooks. Whilst much of the hype surrounds the ION-based S12, due later this year, the model also comes with versions powered with the Intel Atom and VIA Nano processor. Laptop Mag has the review of the Intel Atom version and overall seemed to like what they saw.
Putting it head-to-head against the current 12-inch netbook, the Samsung NC20, they found that the Samsung felt a bit sturdier and had a better design. However, they thought the Ideapad S12 benefits from its Quick Start instant-on operating system and had better audio. Regardless of the comparison, they found the S12 to have a very comfortable keyboard and a battery that was good for six hours. All of this combined, earned the Ideapad S12 an Editor’s Choice award. Check out the key review points after the jump.
Key Lenovo Ideapad S12 review points:
- The design pattern on its lid will polarise opinion. The bevelled edges are not as pronounced as the 10-inch Ideapad S10-2. The S12 is nearly the same size as the Samsung NC20 (11.5 x 9.0 inch footprint) and weight (3.4lbs).
- The S12’s 6-cell battery protrudes from the back.
- The S12 keyboard is larger than most other netbooks at this size, including the Samsung NC20 and Acer Aspire One 751.
- The touchpad was a little smaller than the Samsung NC20 but larger than the Acer Aspire One 751.
- The 12.1-inch (1280 x 800) display was crisp and has better contrast than the NC20. The latter did seem to have more accurate colour reproduction though.
- The stereo speakers were impressive, with even bass being defined.
- The Quick Start Splashtop instant-on OS was easy to use and loaded quickly (10 seconds to the splash screen). However, no additional apps could be installed. It comes with a Firefox-based browser, Skype, IM client, media player, photo viewer and games portal. This has its own button.
- The S12 comes with an Expresscard/34 slot, three USB ports, 4-in1 card slot, a couple of audio jacks and a 1.3MP webcam.
- The 1.6GHz N270 Atom powered S12 scored 1389 in PCMark05. The Samsung NC20 scored 50 points higher. Performance was pretty much similar to other N270-based netbooks.
- The S12 stayed reasonably cool with the only area getting hot was the middle on the bottom.
- Playing HD 720p video files were no problem, although unsurprisingly it couldn’t handle 1080p video.
- The 6-cell battery lasted for the same time as the Samsung NC20, 5 hours and 41 minutes.