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:

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13 replies on “Two “quick start” netbook operating systems – Video”

  1. My Lenovo S10 (running Linux) resumes from suspend in a couple of seconds – so I won’t be using this!

  2. Hi Brad,
    Have you seen anything at CES about gOS Cloud? It’s supposed to boot up in about 5 seconds. gOS showed a demo on a Gigabyte Convertible Netbook back in November and said they’d release it at CES but I haven’t seen anything about anywhere, except gOS’s web site.


  3. Why would anyone pay $40 or $60 ANNUALLY to use HyperSpace? What, we’re talking about software rental or somethin’?

    1. You can get it “free of annual fee” if you get the coin collector
      attachment – just put in a nickel each time you boot the machine. 😉
      B.G. will stop by once a month and collect the change.
      – – – –
      Makes almost as much sense as charging both parties to a
      cell-phone to cell-phone telephone call ‘air time charges’ -?-?-

  4. My NC10 coming back from Hibernate is already faster than that Lenovo S10 running Hyperspace.

  5. I guess I’m old because I find my Sammy NC10 starting up in XP fast enough for me…it takes like 25 seconds. I’m not sure being ready in 1/3 the time just to web browse is worth $40. For $40 I’d rather have even faster start times, like 5 seconds.

    Here is my question is there a program where it starts fast so you could browse but then would load the full OS in the background….that’s what people want: Start now get full features come up in the background. Nobody wants to switch modes, they would accept switching, but why want that.

    1. PC-DOS?
      It is small (comparatively) – boots fast – runs keyboard/mouse/display – –
      Oh, wait, somebody already produced a product like that, by that name.

  6. While the idea of a quick-start operating system is interesting, what I’d like to see is something that starts up quickly with the option of booting a full-on operating system in the background. Then, whenever you needed to do something more than what the instant-on desktop was capable of, you wouldn’t have to reboot into your main OS, just switch over. Or maybe I’m just impatient…

    1. You can do exactly that with HyperSpace — but you need the more
      expensive version which apparently won’t run properly on slower
      machines with Intel Atom processors.

  7. A good point Brad, more people should keep it in mind –
    A PDA (or similar) is more properly described as ‘suspended to memory’ –
    Comparing ‘wake time’ to ‘boot time’ is obscuring the issues.

    My desktop’s ‘wake time’ is faster than the monitor can get its
    back lights running. It only takes a machine specific kernel build.
    Now if some fool wants to pay me $60 a year for it. . .

  8. Although I’m not a big fan of Acer’s version of Linpus Lite, I have to admit the boot into a full linux distribution is quite impressive: ~15sec. That defeats the purpose of a ~10 second “instant-on”..

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