I remember the early attempts at netbooks running Windows CE that failed miserably. They were seriously underpowered machines that had limitations on the applications they were able to run. Not true with the new wave of netbooks that are running standard Windows desktop operating systems.
I looked at all of the netbooks on the market and settled on the Lenovo IdeaPad S12 with the VIA Nano ULV 2250 (1.30GHz 800MHz 1MB) processor. Why VIA instead of Intel Atom? I liked the fact that it would address 3 GB of memory (RAM), had a very fast front-side BUS (quick communication between the processor and the rest of the system) and 1MB of video memory (fast video). Also, the reviews and benchmarks (speed tests) were very good. I should note that the VIA is a 64-bit processor. Be aware when buying Intel Atom that there are two flavors 32-bit and 64-bit. You want to be sure to get 64-bit (speed, speed, speed).
One of the best kept secrets in my industry is that refurbished computers are every bit new as new. The warranties are the same and the savings are usually significant. I often shop in the refurbished or outlet areas of manufacturers websites to see if there are any good deals. Often you’d be amazed. Many refurbished systems have been returned because the order was no longer desired. The system is new out-of-the-box.
Having received my sexy, lightweight Lenovo IdeaPad S12, I quickly went to work removing Windows XP and installing my new love, Windows 7 64-bit. When Windows 7 ships in late October 2009, there will be an option to purchase a downloadable version that you can put on a flash drive so no DVD is needed. Very cool. I had to make my own bootable flash image, but afterall, I am a geek.
The installation went beautifully. Windows 7 rocked, although a bit sluggish. Yesterday my additional 2GB memory module arrived and I installed it. Now performance is excellent and all the features were recognized except for a few that do not get in the way of functionality. Lenovo will release all of the official Windows 7 drivers after the official Microsoft release in a couple of weeks, so no worries there.
The 12-inch diagonal glossy screen is beautiful. So bright and sharp. Windows 7 never looked better. For anyone who just needs a laptop to do standard tasks like documents, e-mail, and web browsing, this is the machine for you. Inexpensive, powerful, beautiful and light.
Of course, there are other manufacturers out there. As usual I recommend looking at them for yourself and deciding which one looks and feels good to you. If you have been impressed by Lenovo’s ThinkPad product line, then I guarantee you will love the IdeaPad S12. Everything looks and feels like quality.
For more on the Lenovo IdeaPad S12 netbook, visit the Lenovo website by clicking here.