Offensive Thinking

Internet Thoughtcrime

New Toy: Lenovo S10-2

Posted: 2009-08-23

Wow, it’s already a week again. So much work to do at the moment.

Anyway, I got me a new toy: the Lenovo S10-2 netbook. I planned on buying one for quite some time, simply because I wanted to have a cheap laptop to accompany me wherever I go, without fearing to brick my rather expensive X61s Thinkpad. Another consideration was that I have much work data on my Thinkpad. Sure, it’s all encrypted and secured, but attending hacker cons with such a laptop always lets my paranoia mode ring. On my S10-2, I plan to not store any work data where possible. It’s my after work laptop ;).

Finding the right netbook was a rather hard decision, but I’m quite content with the S10-2 at the moment. There’s only two minor issues I have: First, the S10 had an express card slot. Lenovo got rid of it for the S10-2, which means I need to get an express card to USB adapter for my UMTS card. Shame on them for saving a few bucks. Second, the keyboard is German because I just couldn’t wait until I could get one with an American keyboard. I have of course mapped my keyboard to US layout, but German keyboards have a bigger return key and thus the keys around it are placed slightly different. It’s ok if you get used to it, but I like the US layout more (for my Thinkpad, I ordered a US keyboard). The S10 has a US keyboard with the German layout printed on it, which would have suited me better, but I can understand that they changed it. I guess all German customers were complaining about the weird keyboard…

The technical improvements of the S10-2 lead me to buy it regardless of the two points above. A six cell battery instead of a three cell, N280 cpu instead of an N270 and a resolution of 1024×600 instead of 1024×576 convinced me. The glare display is less of a problem than I thought it would be, and I even got hibernate to work. I’m running a full Arch Linux installation on it and didn’t have any problems so far. It has full disk encryption (ok, besides /boot) and all the usual stuff I also use on my Thinkpad. I even installed VirtualBox, but have yet to check how the performance is.

I originally planned to get a netbook only if it has an SSD, but now have changed my mind and got the S10-2 with a normal 160GB HDD. I thought that having a netbook without something as fragile as an HDD would be great, but researching netbooks with SSDs disillusioned me a bit. First of all, there don’t seem to be that many models sporting an SSD anymore, the vendors seem to have adapted to the customers whishing for more space instead of robustness of the device. Second, many of the SSDs were described to have read/write rates that suck. So I opted for the normal HD instead. I can always buy a SATA SSD when they’re cheap enough someday.