We've been wondering when Lenovo would toss its hat into the increasingly crowded netbook (or, as we prefer it, mini-notebook) ring. Now the Lenovo hat is there, in the shape of the IdeaPad S9 (8.9in. screen) and S10 (10.2in. screen). Like most other notebook vendors with established ranges of 'proper' business notebooks to protect, Lenovo pitches these Atom-based systems towards the consumer/second PC end of the market. To that end, they come in a range of colours, including Eee-like white and 'pastel pink':
However, as with the Eee and its brethren, we fully expect mobile types within businesses to infiltrate these highly portable (1kg, 2.5cm thick) notebooks through the back door in the process known as 'consumerisation'.
As well as the Atom CPU, the IdeaPads come with 1GB of RAM, either a 160GB hard drive or a 4GB SSD, Wi-Fi and optional Bluetooth, an ExpressCard slot (handy for adding a mobile broadband modem), a pair of USB ports, a 4-in-1 flash card reader and a webcam.
Lenovo claims that the keyboard — always a crucial factor on a mini-notebook — is 85 per cent of the size of a full-sized notebook unit. Given Lenovo's track record with its ThinkPad keyboards, we're hopeful here.
Pricing for the 8.9in. S9 is a reasonable £279 (inc. VAT), while the 10.2in. S10 comes in at £319 (inc. VAT). The IdeaPads will be available in early October 2008.