Viliv S10 Blade Convertible Netbook/Tablet Review

Posted on 21 March 2010 by




Viliv S10-portrait-hands
Viliv are slowly making quite a name for themselves in the mobile computing market. We’ve seen 3 releases and 3 excellent products from them in the S5, X70 and S7 (information). Next on the list is the Viliv S10 Blade, a very small and lightweight netbook with a convertible multitouch screen, a claimed 10hr battery life and, in the device we’re testing here, a fast, solid state disk and Windows Home Premium. The specifications look good but will Viliv be able to compete against a huge number of successful netbooks and similar ‘netvertible’ competitors? In our full review we dig deep into the device to find out. We highlight the key features, key customers and test the device from top to bottom.

Overview

As you can see from the images below, the S10 is a multi-use device. It’s aiming to be a notebook and tablet in one by using a low-power platform, a convertible screen and multitouch capabilities. At 1.2KG,2.6lb it comes in at the mid range of the netbook spectrum and compares well to other netbooks claiming a similar 10 hours battery life. The S10 comes in various versions ranging from a  basic 1.6Ghz (Intel Atom) version with Windows XP up to a 2.0Ghz version (see below) with 3G and Windows Home Premium. All models use a fast SSD and all models come with 1GB of RAM.

Viliv S10.jpg (22) Viliv S10.jpg (23) Viliv S10.jpg (49) Viliv S10.jpg (18)

Open Review

We put a lot of effort into reviews on UMPCPortal and one of the key features of our reviews are the open, live sessions we hold in the first few days of receiving a device. We team up with JKKMobile on a live, recorded session where people can come in and watch as we go through initial tests. These intensive sessions, often steered by members of the chat session that we run alongside the video, usually last for a few hours. We have recorded two segments of that live session and they are available on YouTube. The quality is not fantastic but if you are in the final stages of deciding whether to buy a Viliv S10, this might be exactly what you need.

Part 1 – 25 minutes – Overview.

Part 2 – 40 minute – Testing.

First five minutes.

We received a production sample that is said to be very close to the final build. Unfortunately we can’t say much about the unboxing experience due to the lack of retail packaging and accessories. What we can say is that the device looks and feels great. Quality all round! The back of the screen is a glossy black with the rest being a matt dark grey finish. The chamfered edges make that already slim device look super-thin. ‘Blade’ describes the device well.

Here’s our unboxing video.

We assume that Viliv will ship the device in similar style to previous devices which means the packaging will look great. In the box you’ll find a charger (transformer contained within the plug housing making it very compact) a USB-Mini USB cable (for the file transfer feature – see below) and documentation. We’re not sure at this stage if the device ships with recovery disks or a recovery partition.

Specifications

Although this is a netbook-style device it’s not using the typical netbook platform. The S10 is build around the Intel Menlow platform used on such devices as the Fujitsu U820 and Sony Vaio P.

Full Viliv S10 specifications at UMPCPortal

The device we have for testing is the 1.6Ghz, 32GGB SSD version with 3G option and 1GB RAM running with Windows Home Premium.

From the outside

Viliv S10.jpg (63) Viliv S10.jpg (65) Viliv S10.jpg (60)

Viliv S10.jpg (58) Viliv S10.jpg (56) Viliv S10.jpg (55)

As mentioned above, the device looks and feels great. The plastics and paint seem to be good quality. The port layout is slightly different due to the platform used. You’ll find 2 full-sized USB ports and a Mini USB port that can be used for file transfers (see below.) There’s also an analogue video out port which can be used through a breakout cable (optional) that offers component, S-Video and composite video along with 2-channel audio. At the front you’ll find an SDHC slot that is very easy to access. The VGA connector is at the rear. There’s no ethernet cable port. If you need that feature you’ll have to invest in a USB-Ethernet adapter.

There is only one button on the device – the power button. Alongside that you’ll find the usually array of LED indicators.

At the rear is the big 47wh battery. Underneath that is the 3G SIM card slot and above it is an access cover that gives you access to the 1.8” ZIF PATA drive.

Viliv S10.jpg (1) Viliv S10.jpg (5)

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Categorized | Netbook, Reviews

23 Comments For This Post

  1. UMPCPortal says:

    Full Review: Viliv S10 'Blade' Convertible #Netbook #Tablet – http://bit.ly/cFJPYt

  2. Steve 'Chippy' Paine says:

    RT @umpcportal: Full Review: Viliv S10 'Blade' Convertible #Netbook #Tablet – http://bit.ly/cFJPYt

  3. Ricky Cadden says:

    Man I want one of these. RT @chippy: RT @umpcportal: Full Review: Viliv S10 'Blade' Convertible #Netbook #Tablet – http://bit.ly/cFJPYt

  4. Oliver Herbert says:

    RT @chippy: RT @umpcportal: Full Review: Viliv S10 'Blade' Convertible #Netbook #Tablet – http://bit.ly/cFJPYt

  5. Neil says:

    RT @chippy: RT @umpcportal: Full Review: Viliv S10 'Blade' Convertible #Netbook #Tablet – http://bit.ly/cFJPYt

  6. Jerry Fahrni says:

    Cool device RT @chippy RT @umpcportal: Full Review: Viliv S10 'Blade' Convertible #Netbook #Tablet – http://bit.ly/cFJPYt

  7. Vakeros says:

    Thanks for the in-depth review. I guess the main point of a multi-touch screen is when used in tablet-mode as you can’t access the keyboard or mouse pad.
    You find it to heavy to use in tablet-mode. How does it compare with other netvertibles for weight and size?

    Yu Reply:

    @ Chippy: Doesn’t the low end version come with a 60 GB HDD of yet unknown quality?

    As for weight…
    I think the Gigabyte T1028X weights 1.5kg at a claimed 6.5h battery life.
    The Lenovo Ideapad S10-3t weights 1.5kg but comes with an 8 cell battery, so it should provide relatively good battery life in exchange ( 8h according to cyberblog.de ), it’s the best competitor at that point.
    The Asus EEEPC T101MT weights 1.3kg but comes with less battery life (6h being realistic under laboratory conditions only, but 5h+ still being realistic for actual use if I remeber right). But: It’s the only Convertible Device in the Netbook area I know to provide palm rejection ( the asus software provides a “pen mode” where fingers are ignored alltogether but the stylus is not ). Also it comes with a matte screen.

  8. c1oudrs says:

    The poor speakers kill it for many people. Viliv needs to resist introducing deal breakers like that in their line. Also, 1gb of ram in their high end seems silly. BAD Viliv! Bad. BAD! Viliv is an innovator, no doubt about that. But the competition is getting fierce–its an industry of innovators right now–and Viliv needs to decide if they want to bother to compete. Many companies have jumped in the free for all since the S5, X70 and S7 have come out. A ‘good’ product isn’t enough anymore. Frankly it was heating up with the x70 introduction but now it seems everyone is in the game. Notice that 2 out of 3 of their competitors offer 2gb ram but Viliv is still offering the same ram on their higher ends that they did for the smaller devices last summer. The not-as-sensitive touchscreen is a smaller issue in my opinion but it becomes evident that Viliv is doing their own thing and not paying attention to business. If I was Viliv management I would be having conniptions.

  9. Lucien says:

    How does the screen look when viewing off-center? Especially in portrait slate mode reading books or browsing? Most netbooks will have a falloff in brightness viewing at certain angles.

  10. Lucien says:

    Never mind see now it’s mentioned. Picture would be great to illustrate the color shift in portrait mode from side. At which angle does it occur? Would it be visible looking straight at the screen in portrait mode? Or only if you tilt little bit?

  11. Johannes says:

    Great Review Chippy! I played around with JKK’s Viliv S10 during cebit and it is a great convertible.

  12. umpcaddict says:

    thanks for the review chippy. you’re always on point brotha.

    no upgradable ram? viliv is just trying to stretch their manufacturing capabilities correlating to the times, but the competition is fierce like cloudrs said. and this isn’t really a developer’s machine. windows shouldn’t look like one. what’s windows 7 without aero? what’s the benefit of 6+ hr battery without being able to waste some of that watching hd movies? who really writes up documents and works on spreadsheets for 6 hours on such a small, portable device? multi-touch and no multi-task? =\ that screen would respond better to those gestures if it had more ram.

    and that sd card slot/dip is ugly. it should be on either side, seems out of place.

    it’s got a nice black gloss and matte finish but it seems like it’s a woman’s machine. it’s a bit dainty. i hate how the whole machine rocks when you tap the screen in traditional laptop mode. they should’ve used more straight-edged corners and made it a little bit more boxy and without that staggered height from front to back. men are usually the majority consumer of electronics/netbooks/laptops/umpcs. if i buy this, and that’s a big IF, i’ll probably buy it for my sister lol.

    the weight/size/battery and it being a convertible tablet is a plus but i think this is going to come and go like the asus t91 and the gigabyte m912. viliv should’ve started at $549-599.99 for the lower model and then work up. imo, that would’ve been a better marketing strategy. s5’s price+size+battery opened the doors up for them. they should’ve prepared these price points for the Viliv S12 with 2+ GB ram (because that’s probably going to happen) to ensure longevity and in becoming a household brand/product. they would sell the blade like hotcakes if it had more ram and better prices. they would broaden their consumer base and reach when they release the s12, because the s12’s release could be stretched 2-3 quarters because of the s10’s popularity. people would definitely be excited without questioning the S12’s design or hardware because they would be so satisfied with the s10. who knows, maybe this isn’t their focus product?

    and did anyone notice the scar on the woman’s forearm in this picture? why? because it’s a “blade”? lol. we should run a poll. subliminal benefit vs. lame

    http://www.myviliv.com/eng/img/product/s10/s10_img_9-1.jpg

    i say lame

    one more thing..good thing this isn’t white. i think i saw ken lee with a white one ;)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4KU8wOVpcbY

    i’m sorta looking forward to your review of the n5 when you get a pre-production unit chippy. thanks again.

    crabolsky Reply:

    I happen to agree with most of what you’ve said here. I don’t think the design is too “dainty” but I do agree that it is styled to be as svelte as possible. Unfortunately at the detriment to a number of important elements. I keep trying to convince myself that I cant stretch the dollars to meet my desire to own this good looking bit of hardware. I come close But I still cant justify the $800 (the base model isn’t worth it).
    They have over stretched their aspirations for this one. Or maybe this price point is what is needed to make these netbooks look this pretty? The engineering, tooling and materials surely add up, but to what end?

  13. Debloussie says:

    its exactly what a 1008HA would look like if it were a convertible!

  14. digitaldoc says:

    Chippy … good luck in your impossible pursuit to find a productivity gain from multitouch. MultiTouch is for fingerpainting !
    I am so happy to see you demoing multitouch in Paint …. AND … doing fingerpainting !

    MultiTouch is a virtually pointless feature … Do you really think if a smart guy like you hasn’t seen even some possible benefits to multitouch … that you will eventually find any ! NO !

    To top it off, any multitouch bonus you find, I’ll be able to do better with single touch and the Mouse Pad ! I promise.

    Note: I do think Microsoft Surface benefits from MultiTouch … and I would want MultiTouch if my entire desk was a Microsoft Surface PC. But MultiTouch on a S10 is without any use other than ….. :)

    techb4l Reply:

    You’re points are dead on. I’ve been trying to understand what are the actual benefits of multitouch netbooks or convertibles for a few months. All the web buzz has continually been multitouch this, multitouch that. I never got it. Chippy is the only player I’ve seen be truthful about this issue. Multitouch isn’t that useful on a Windows netbook/convertible. I thought I was crazy this whole time. While I still may be, it’s not because of this issue.:-)

  15. Cody Fink says:

    @DMBarlow http://bit.ly/aws0TM

  16. Simon says:

    Hi all,

    Just a heads up for the European release!

    Think4.com is the Master Distributor for Europe and are currently taking back orders for the S10. Please feel free to contact – Simon Thomas for further information.

    Michael Reply:

    Hi Simon, I am a bit surprised about your comment as I got the following e-mail response from Viliv this morning:

    “The EU area will be next step of launching. [...] CarTFT and / or MobilX will launch this device to EU market. If the launching schedule is fixed, they might do some promotion of sales.”

    Though I have seen that Think4 is listed as Viliv’s distributor in the UK, their sales team did not mention it (to me) at all. It would be great if you could provide some additional information here.

    Simon Reply:

    Hi Michael,

    Thank you for your response!

    Yes you are correct in pointing to CarTFT and Moblix with referance to the reseller arm of viliv. We (T4) are the Master Distributor for the EU Channel. We are acting in the capacity of Channel Manager for the S10 in the UK through a number of resellers. I will be looking to update the viliv web site with this information shortly. In the mean time we are taking orders for and on behalf of our reseller network. The resellers information will also be included on the viliv site too.

    Many thanks,

    Simon.

    Michael Reply:

    Hi Simon, thanks a lot for the quick clarification.

  17. Michael says:

    (On a side note: I do not doubt the seriousness of your comment. I am just wondering about the actual stage of the launch as Viliv did not state anything specific regarding EU availability.)

    Simon Reply:

    Hi Michael,

    Again you are correct!

    The anticipated launch for the S10,N5,HD5,P3 is expected to be around the end of April / early May. This is to be confirmed but that is the indicative ETA.

    Thanks again,

    Simon.

  18. Davide-NYC says:

    If this came with an active digitizer option I’d buy it in an instant.
    If they stick a wacom digitizer (capacitive/active) it would take the corporate world by storm.

    Yu Reply:

    Got a point there. With a pricing aimed at the professional market the ability actually to write with a pen would probably be even more important for a convertible device :-/ Asus has demonstrated by now, that it is possible to achieve such with software settings with the T101MT though ( except that I think it is done by reducing the responsiveness of the screen in pen mode to the point where only a small pen tip may easily produce the necessary pressure, because one user reported a joint of his small finger interfering with writing ).

    Though being no optimal solution, it would probably make the device more interesting. Handwriting recognition is nice, but it doesn’t help you much with note taking if you have to rest your palm on the screen’s border…

    Note: Though I speak of “making the device more interesting” I’m still intrigued by some of the features: SSD and fanlessness make the device unique, the battery life is well above the netvertible competition and the high resolution isn’t bad either ( though a 3Qi-Screen would easily make me drop the want for a HD screen as it seems to be available only in 1024×600 so far ). Still I’d rather go for a less premium device. After all, the Asus EEE PC T91 has demonstrated the two (to me) most interesting features, if it wasn’t for the small 9″ form factor I have no use for :-/ (also 9″ means that a 3qi screen won’t fit in)

    Tom Reply:

    Doubt it. Inking has never been very nice to use on tablets. In what situations in a corporate environment would benefit from this device having inking abilities. I’m sure pulling out a small notepad is more convenient than pulling out a big and heavy device to just write down some notes.

    techb4l Reply:

    “…never been very nice…” Huh? That statement sounds like you’ve never actually inked on a tablet PC. One may not find it a compelling input method, but real inking on an active digitizer works pretty perfectly. I’m not a tablet PC guy, but the times I inked on the old OQO were very pleasant.

  19. Tom says:

    I have and it was not as nice as pulling out a notepad and pen or just typing.

  20. 刘苏 says:

    刘苏到访,留个脚印…

  21. Davide-NYC says:

    I agree that the experience is not “as nice” as writing on pen and paper.

    But *NOTHING* beats having all of your notes in a single place and SEARCH-ABLE.

    I’m about to purchase an old TC1100 to keep running along side my laptop to avoid generating un-search-able text in a notepad while I’m on the phone.

    A lot of people (including myself) do not type well enough to type notes in real time without interrupting the flow of the conversation.

  22. Lucien says:

    I just noticed the Lenovo X201 and HP SmartTouch tm2 test video’s and multi-touch works smooth as it’s supposed to be. Check last minute of this video and compare to S10:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CrOq5ScFLUo

    So unfortunately S10 is underpowered to make effective use of the multi-touch features.

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