They’re not the most powerful portable computers, but today’s new class of diminutive netbooks have more than enough muscle and nifty features to handle common business tasks without bulking up your briefcase. The IdeaPad S10-2 from Lenovo is a good example.
The IdeaPad S10-2 has a 10.1-inch, 1,024-by-600-pixel display, a built-in Wi-Fi wireless networking adapter and a keyboard that’s 90 percent the size of a standard laptop keyboard. An extra-cost option is an internal 3G mobile broadband adapter which allows you to connect to the Internet through a cell phone carrier’s high-speed data network.
Nestled above the display is a 1.3-megapixel camera which can be used for videoconferencing. Instead of locking down your computer with a password, you can use the included Lenovo VeriFace face-recognition software to unlock your notebook only if it recognizes your face. The unit also comes with a handful of Quick Start utilities which allow you to surf the Web, play music, view photos and perform other tasks without having to launch Windows.
The IdeaPad S10-2 (www.lenovo.com <http://www.lenovo.com/> ) comes with a 1.6-gigahertz (GHz) Intel Corp. Atom processor (a low-power, medium-strength chip designed for netbooks), as well as one gigabyte (GB) of RAM and a 160GB hard disk. When configured with the standard six-cell battery, the IdeaPad S10-2 weighs 2.65 pounds, is less than an inch thick and has a 10.2-by-7.6-inch footprint.
The netbook (starts at $349) is available in black, gray, white, or patterned pink and comes with Microsoft Corp.’s Windows XP Home Edition operating system software as opposed to the newer, but memory-heavy Windows Vista.