Lenovo added a new quick start feature to its IdeaPad S10 netbook line this week. Basically users have the option of booting into a full Windows XP operating system or a stripped down Linux OS that provides you access to just a few frequently used applications like Firefox and Skype. The advantage of using quick start is that… you guessed it, the PC boots faster.
Lenovo is using technology from Splashtop to deliver this quick start feature. But I discovered yesterday that the company had also looked at using similar technology from Phoenix called HyperSpace. Apparently Phoenix didn’t have the product far enough along for Lenovo to load it on the company’s netbooks.
In a nutshell, both Splashtop and HyperSpace do the same thing. And here’s the interesting bit – they both work on the Lenovo IdeaPad S10 today. Phoenix is launching HyperSpace this week and anyone can download and install the software on supported hardware, and that includes the Lenovo IdeaPad S10. The primary difference between the two systems is that Lenovo is offering Splashtop for free while anyone can download a free 21 day trial of HyperSpace, but you’ll need to pay if you want to keep using the software after the trial expires.
HyperSpace works in two ways. You can either toggle back and forth between Windows and a HyperSpace environment, or you can choose to boot into one OS or the other. On computers with slower processors like the Lenovo IdeaPad S10, only the latter version is available. The either/or version is available for $39.95 a year, while the verison that lets you switch back and forth costs $59.95 a year, both of which seem kind of steep to me.
I asked a Lenovo rep if the company would be offering Splashtop as a free or paid download for customers who have already purchased an IdeaPad S10 (right now it’s only going to be available on new units), and he said it’s possible but that no announcement has been made yet.
I did learn one interesting thing about both HyperSpace and Splashtop yesterday: Neither is truly “instant on” software. As you can see from the videos after the break, it actually takes 10+ seconds to boot into either environment. While that’s pretty good compared to most Windows and Linux boot sequences, my 5 year old PDA turns on and off a lot faster. Of course that’s because when you turn it off, it’s really going to sleep and not shutting all the way off. But I’d love to see this feature on more netbooks not running Windows CE.
Lenovo IdeaPad S10 running HyperSpace:
Lenovo IdeaPad S10 running Splashtop: