Splashtop, everyone’s favorite instant-on operating system, is getting a major upgrade. For over a year now, the instant-on operating system that provides quick access to the Web, photos, e-mail, IM, and Skype has appeared in many different forms on notebooks and netbooks from various vendors. ASUS calls it ExpressGate, Lenovo calls it QuickStart, HP terms it QuickWeb, and those are just three of many implemenations with different looks and feels and slightly different functionality. As customized as Splashtop has been for vendors, users have never had the ability to personalize it for themselves, until now.
A new version of Splashtop, dubbed Splashtop 2.0, is appearing on the new Lenovo IdeaPad S10-3t tablet and ASUS T91MT netbooks. The new OS has a number of exciting, improvements including:
New Application Dock: The bottom of the screen always had icons for Splashtop’s native apps but now it contains shortcuts for a number of web apps, including Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. The set of default icons will vary based on the notebook vendor and even on the region. For example, notebooks sold in China will have shortcuts for Chinese sites.
Customizable Shortcuts: Whatever shortcuts the vendor installs by default are just there for you to change. You can can choose from any of dozens of Web apps with icons preloaded or create your own shortcut to any page on the Web.
Mail Shortcut Shows When You Have Messages: The mail app can be configured to launch any of several popular Webmail services, including Gmail and Yahoo mail. Better still, the envelope icon in the dock will change to show when you have new mail.
New, Dynamic Home Screen: The home screen varies based on the vendor’s implementation, but the Lenovo version we saw now has thumbnails of recent pages you visited.
Touch Support: Splashtop 2.0 supports touch on notebooks that have touchscreens. In testing it on the Lenovo IdeaPad S10-3t, we found the touch experience smooth and responsive. Unfortunatley, multitouch gestures are not supported.
We had a chance to go hands-on with a Lenovo IdeaPad S10-3t tablet netbook using Splashtop 2.0 and we were extremely impressed. Check out the video below to see us put the instant-on OS through its paces.
The official Geeks Geek, as his weekly column is titled, Avram Piltch has guided the editorial and production of Laptopmag.com since 2007. With his technical knowledge and passion for testing, Avram programmed several of LAPTOP's real-world benchmarks, including the LAPTOP Battery Test. He holds a master’s degree in English from NYU.