Wednesday, March 25, 2009

New (Potential) Toy

After lugging my 14" Sony Vaio around Hong Kong and Chengdu last week, I'm beginning to think I need a netbook that weigh a lot less and has a much better battery life. Interestingly, about 1/2 of the people in the Cathay HK lounge that had computers were using netbooks.

When I was in Portland during Christmas, I saw some netbooks in Costco and thought about buying one. Now there are a lot more models though most still have the Intel Atom N270 running at 1.6GHz. Last night after work, I stopped in the local Costco but they did not have any netbooks on display. Since Fry's was next door (Fountain Valley), I went there to take a look. They did not have too many models either, mainly the Acer Aspire One. They did have a Lenovo S10 IdeaPad on display and I really liked it. It was selling for $360 and the sales guy claimed that it came with a 6-cell battery. If so, it's a better deal than Amazon which has the 3-cell battery version for $350 but only in white. At the Lenovo website, you can buy other colors but it's a lot more expensive. I'm tempted to buy it just to carry around and/or use it to replace the old Compaq 1722 that's attached to my LCD TV.

The Amazon model ($350) comes with 1GB of RAM and has a 160GB hard drive which is plenty for music and videos. It also comes with 3 USB ports and a VGA port for external monitor. I think my mom's current Dell Inspiron notebook is dying and needs to be replaced. I think I'll have her replace it with the Lenovo and buy a nice LCD display as well. The Atom is not that powerful but should be fine for email and surfing the web. As an added bonus, it comes with Windows XP (no Vista!) and a Broadcom 11b/g WLAN adapter.


I think I found the same computer at Suning though their website seems to crash both Firefox and Safari on my Mac when I click on the S10. The price on their website says ¥3904 which is really expensive (~$570). That's pretty odd since Lenovo is a Chinese company (they bought IBM's PC division) and these things are made in China.

Speaking of China, it's 4am and I'm still up. Just as I was getting used to China time, I get on a plane and fly back. :(


Researching the Lenovo S10 further, it seems there are many versions being sold in the market. Unless they provide the actual Lenovo model number, you can't be sure what you're getting. The latest models are numbered 4231xxx but what's being sold at Amazon seem to be older models. Also, I see people selling a 2GB SIMM for the S10 but Lenovo specs say the maximum RAM amount is only 1.5GB. I also can't figure out if it comes with Bluetooth. Confusing.

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