I’ve been testing the Lenovo Q110 for a little over a week now. It is a pretty slick looking unit, despite being matte on one side and gloss on the other rather than completely gloss as the initial press photos would leave one to believe. I’ve tried out the mounting bracket for monitor stands and by god, does it work well, and the unit is actually made so that it works well. We’ve been hearing for, oh, ages that we’d have netbooks that fit directly onto the back of monitors, but this is the first one I’ve seen that does it would looking like a complete hack job.
Something else which has jumped out at me is the lack of bloatware on this unit. It is so minimal that I’m frankly wondering if perhaps the full retail versions are going to be different. There is very, very little on the Lenovo Q110 besides what you absolutely need. No fancy power scheme software, no Ultra-Q Extreme One Touch Green Overclock, and other such shenanigans. Even my Samsung NC10, which isn’t known for having a lot of bloat, seems like a fat man in comparison. This seems to have paid off in boot times, as the Lenovo Q110 is booting up just as quickly as my personal desktop PC – which is equipped with an SSD. The Lenovo Q110 has a mechanical drive, and a slow one, so the fact it is nearly as quick impressive.
I must say, however, that I’ve been so far disappointing by what Ion can do. Ion has been billed as basically the netbook/nettop equivalent of the second coming of Christ. It is supposed to re-energize the segment by allowing netbooks and nettops to accomplish far more then they were once able to, particularly in the realm of HD video and gaming. That, readers, is turning out to be pretty fanciful thinking. The Lenovo Q110 has no optical drive, remember, so I’m running video through the usual online sources like Youtube, ABC.COM, and iTunes. The results have been a buffet of stuttering and skipping, and my attempts at 3D gaming have been similar.
The problem is, alas, the Atom processor. I’m not entirely surprised, because ages ago several hardware sites ran previews of the Ion chipset and found it was largely held back by the Atom. Many of my video and gaming tests maxed out the Atom immediately. The other part of the problem is that so many forms of media don’t properly support 3D acceleration. Youtube is the case in point. Until Flash properly accelerates video, which apparently will happen soon, anything with a single-core Atom is going to struggle with Youtube. Or Hulu. Or any number of other flash based video sites.
This aside, I’m pretty impressed with the Q110. Its expensive for a nettop without an integrated monitor, but its also a higher class of product. The 2GB of RAM is particularly good to have.
Look for the full review coming up in one or two weeks on Bright Hub. I will post a link to that review here as well.