Lenovo Enters the Mini-Notebook Market with the IdeaPad S10

Rumors of Lenovo entering the mini-notebook space end here and now. Lenovo officially announced this morning its IdeaPad S10 - a 10-inch mini-notebook running the 1.6GHz Intel Atom chipset. 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 is other countries.

We cannot wait to get our hands on the mini-notebook as the keyboard is reportedly "85 percent of the size of a full-function notebook PC’s keyboard." A close look at the pictures in the gallery below strongly suggest a large and comfortable touchpad with dedicated right and left mouse buttons. The touchpad will support multi-touch gestures. The 10-inch 1024 x 600-pixel (WSVGA) resolution screen also looks extremely promising and is LED backlit for power saving. The speakers lining the front of the system also give it a different look and will hopefully blast out some decent sound as they aren't buried on the bottom.

Lenovo has seemed to work in all the important ports. The netbook includes Bluetooth connectivity, 802.11b/g , and an ExpressCard for popping in a mobile broadband card. It also sports a LAN connection and VGA-out. It has a 1.3-megapixel webcam, two USB ports, mic and headphone jacks, and a 4-in-1 card reader. I am hesitant about only 2 USB ports.

As for battery life, Lenovo is promising that the system will be available with a 3-cell battery, capable of 3 hours, and 6-cell, capable of lasting 6 hours.

The IdeaPad S10 will come in white, black, and a glossy ruby red. It will be on retail shelves in the U.S. on September 28 and perhaps on Lenovo.com a bit earlier. It will be available in China, however, on September 5 and in the far east on September 10.

A version of the S10 with a 9-inch screen will be available in select countries such as Hong Kong, Taiwan, Russia, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Mexico, India, France, Turkey, Poland, and others.