Lenovo 3000 N100 (0768-A27)
- Retro design, comfortable to use, good quality webcam, good build quality
- No DVI, little costly
We quite liked the N100 and while its performance wasn't spectacular it was consistent with what we expected for a machine with these specifications.
Price$ 2,499.00 (AUD)
Lenovo's 3000 series N100 is a solid all purpose notebook. Its performance in our testing exceeded our expectations, and while it is fairly basic in terms of both design and aesthetics, it is a good choice for working both from home and on the road. It also boasts above average gaming performance thanks to its NVIDIA Geforce GO 7300 graphics card.
The Lenovo 3000 N100 (0768-A27) has an Intel Core Duo T2400 running at 1.83GHz with 512MB of DDR2 RAM (upgradeable to 2GB). We tested its performance using World Bench 5 and it achieved a very respectable score of 90. This is a strong result for a notebook with these specifications and compares favourably with similar units from other manufacturers.
We tested the notebooks graphics performance using 3DMark 2001 and were pleased with the score of 10633. We also ran 3DMark 2006 where it earned a score of 534. This model, with its 128MB NVIDIA GeForce GO 7300 graphics card, should be able to handle most slightly older games and less demanding new titles well, but will likely still struggle a little with the latest and greatest.
The colour scheme is split between gun metal and metallic brown. The keys are slightly raised above the housing and are set a little deeper than on most notebooks but still remain quite comfortable to use. There are also media buttons for volume control and mute, and a biometric fingerprint scanner for security. At the top of the display sits a discrete Webcam recessed into the monitor bezel and we found it produced quite reasonable images. By combining this with the built-in microphone, Lenovo has made video chat both simple and effective. The touchpad and mouse buttons are all adequately responsive and we were happy to see that this notebook retains the scroll functionality and the pressure sensitive drag speed enhancements that many laptops have started to omit.
The 15.4in screen is very bright and consistently produced clear and attractive images up to a resolution of 1680x1050. However, the screen material is far too reflective under fluorescent office lights. Under incandescent lighting - ordinary filament style light bulbs - the reflective screen still had an impact albeit not as bad.
The Lenovo N100 comes with 802.11b/g Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capabilities which can be turned on and off via a switch on the front of the unit. It also has 56Kbps modem at the rear as well a 100Mbps Ethernet port on the left hand side. An external monitor is supported via the D-Sub connection but no DVI output is present. There are four USB ports and one FireWire link as well as an SD Card reader and a PCMCIA slot. Apart from the lack of DVI, this notebook comes with all the bells and whistles. Combined with the DVD±R/RW drive, this notebook would comfortably work as either a home office or a portable media creation tool, although for the latter you'd best upgrade the system memory to 1GB or more.
We tested the battery life using MobileMark 2005 which rated it at 119 minutes under normal office use and 107 minutes when watching a DVD. This was a little disappointing as it is not enough time to watch many movie-length DVDs but it should still be decent enough to handle most portable office tasks.
We quite liked the N100. Its performance was impressive both in our productivity and gaming tests, and it has a good number of features. It isn't too heavy at 2.8kg, nor too big measuring 266.7 x 360.1 x 38.6 millimetres, making it a good choice for people on the move.
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