Lenovo 3000 N100 (0768GCM)
- 64-bit processor, Nice screen
- Battery life a little lacking
The Lenovo N100 performs well, with its 1.83GHz Core 2 Duo processor and 1GB of RAM offering more than enough power for day to day desktop tasks.
Price$ 2,399.00 (AUD)
Running one of the new Intel Core 2 Duo processors, Lenovo's N100 is quite a zippy machine. We looked at the highest specification N100 model, a notebook that offers fast performance suitable for a wide variety of tasks, an above average screen and a very reasonable price tag.
The N100 is powered by a 64-bit 1.83GHz T5600 Intel Core 2 Duo processor, with 1GB of RAM (upgradeable to 2GB) and a 100GB hard drive. Its score of 96 in World Bench 5 is consistent with these specifications, and compares favourably with other Core 2 Duo machines we've recently reviewed. This result is indicative of the N100's all around strong performance; it is suitable for a wide variety of tasks from desktop publishing through to basic video or audio editing.
Furthermore, the included Nvidia Geforce 7300 GO adds some gaming panache to the package, highlighted by its score of 10862 in 3D Mark 2001 SE. However it earned a slightly less impressive, but not surprising, 648 in 3D Mark 2006. These results show that while the N100 will run slightly less taxing games quite well, it isn't a match for more demanding titles like F.E.A.R or Quake 4.
While the graphics card may be a limiting factor with regards to gaming, the screen most definitely is not. A 15.4in widescreen LCD running at 1280x800 adorns the main chassis, and it is one of the best elements of the notebook. Colours are vibrant and rich, contrast is well handled and everything is rendered with sharpness and precision. We were a little disappointed by its horizontal viewing angle, which causes colour shift and blurring from certain perspectives, but this is somewhat the result of the glossy finish, and doesn't detract too much from the overall appeal of the display.
With a powerful processor and large screen, this machine does chew through battery power when you are disconnected from the mains. In our MobileMark 2005 DVD run down test, it lasted just 121 minutes, which is barely enough for a short feature film (assuming you start at full power).
Design wise, the N100 has a fairly traditional Lenovo style, with a plain matte silver casing opening to reveal a very smooth, business-like black interior. The keyboard is a little slippery at times, not offering the same tactile feel as some competing models, but we had no issues typing on it for long periods. As this machine offers a rather large 15.4in screen, there is a lot of spare real estate around the keyboard, and Lenovo has put this to good use, implementing a fingerprint reader, touchpad, two side speakers as well as media keys and a small indicator strip, which notifies the user if the N100 is running off battery or power, for example. The overall design is quite sturdy, with the screen exhibiting no distortion when flexed.
Most of the usual connectivity options are present, including 802.11 a/b/g wireless, Bluetooth and a 56Kbps modem. Unfortunately the Ethernet port only supports 10Mbps and 100Mbps speeds, with the increasingly popular 1000Mbps option not available. There is however a dual layer DVD (DVD-DL) multi recorder, as well as four USB 2.0 ports, FireWire and a VGA connection for external monitors.
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