Viliv S10 Blade Convertible Netbook/Tablet Review

Posted on 21 March 2010 by

Round-Up and Summary

Pricing and availability.

Details of pricing will be added when this information is released by Viliv. We expect Dynamism to be the lead reseller outside Asia for this product.

Pricing has now been announced. Pre-sale starts on the 25th March. See here for more details. The Viliv S10 we are testing here costs $889

Who’s the target customer?

The Viliv S10 offers the end user a netbook with extras in a very stylish package. The main features are:

  • High resolution screen
  • Battery Life
  • Multitouch
  • Thin design
  • Convertible screen
  • 3G option
  • Silent, rugged operation
  • Component and S-Video output.
  • No backlight adjustment available in tablet mode.

Clearly the S10, with it’s 3G and lack of moving parts is an option for mobile usage scenarios but we’d warn against using a convertible screen in extreme mobility situations. These can be vulnerable to breakage.

The S10 is ideal as a conferencing or remote office scenario. The device is powerful enough for most office applications and with the 3G, strong Wifi and VGA/S-Video out would work well as a ‘hotel’ PC for work and video playback. The size and style definitely put it into the ‘executive’ class.

Digital photographers could be interested in the easy access SD card slot, high resolution screen, semi-rugged internals and stylish looks. With component output this can be used for high-quality projector presentations too.

Developers looking to write multitouch applications for Windows 7.

The high-end version with 2.0Ghz is unique in the market today and should be on the list for anyone looking for a high-quality KG-class mobile computer.

Issues and problems.

  • No screen rotate button or programmable buttons in tablet mode.
  • Battery indicator needs to be improved
  • Mutitouch zooming isn’t responsive enough.
  • Vertical viewing angle restricted
  • No Mic input
  • Very poor built-in loudspeaker
  • No ethernet port

Comparison Photos

A full photo set is available in the gallery.

MSI Wind, Gigabyte Touchnote, Viliv S10

Viliv S10.jpg (13) Viliv S10.jpg (12) Viliv S10.jpg (10)

Viliv S10.jpg (6)

Competitors.

If you consider the 2.0Ghz version, there are currently no competitors at this screen size so lets take the S10 1.6Ghz version with the 64GB SSD, 3G and Windows 7 Home Premium and compare it to German Euro prices for competitors.:

  • Lenovo S10-3T – 1GB RAM, Multitouch (1024×600) Windows 7 Home Premium 449 Euro
  • Gigabyte Touchnote – 2GB RAM, Single Touch N280 1.6Ghz (1366×768) Windows 7 Starter, 569 Euro
  • ASUS T101 MT – 2GB RAM, Multitouch (1024×600), N450 1.6Ghz CPU, Win 7 Home Premium. 320GN HDD. 499 Euro

View all devices in the database

Final Summary.

The S10 is another high quality product from Viliv and a convertible netbook with features and options that very few other devices can match. Battery life is fantastic for a 1.2KG device and the style makes the S10 even more unique. We question the usefulness of multitouch for the average user and feel that 1.2KG is too heavy for long-duration tablet use but at the end of the day, there’s no significant disadvantage to having multitouch or a tablet-capable design.

Full specifications along with links to related articles in the Viliv S10 product page.

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Categorized | Reviews

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Vakeros

    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

      @ 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.

  • c1oudrs

    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.

  • Lucien

    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.

  • Lucien

    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?

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

  • umpcaddict

    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

      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?

  • Debloussie

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

  • digitaldoc

    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

      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.:-)

  • 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

      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.

      • 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

          Hi Simon, thanks a lot for the quick clarification.

  • Michael

    (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.)

    • 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.

  • Davide-NYC

    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

      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

      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

        “…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.

  • Tom

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

  • 刘苏

    刘苏到访,留个脚印…

  • Davide-NYC

    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.

  • Lucien

    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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