Lenovo 3000 N200 (0769)

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Lenovo 3000 N200 (0769)
  • Lenovo 3000 N200 (0769)
  • Lenovo 3000 N200 (0769)
  • Lenovo 3000 N200 (0769)
  • Expert Rating

    3.75 / 5

Pros

  • Lenovo Care software, Battery life and MP3 encoding performance results

Cons

  • Uninspiring design

Bottom Line

The Lenovo 3000 N200 may not excel in anything specific, but it offers a good mix of features for the home or the small business environment. The best asset of this notebook is its ability to unplug at the end of the work day and go home with you.

Would you buy this?

The Lenovo 3000 N200 (0769) is a decent, functional notebook for both personal and business use, making it a jack of all trades. Although its presentation is a little uninspiring, Lenovo's implementation of Intel's latest Centrino platform gives this machine enough power to comfortably handle a good spread of tasks, which was echoed in our benchmark results.

The N series is specifically targeted at small business users, and it still provides business features, such as a biometric fingerprint scanner and Lenovo's password protection software. However, the N200 also offers some of Lenovo's more personalised features, such as a Webcam and the 15.4in VibrantView wide screen display to provide flexibility for today's hybrid home/business users; its most admirable asset.

At its core is an Intel Core 2 Duo T7300 2.0GHz CPU, 1GB of DDR2 RAM and a GeForce Go 7300 graphics chip. The graphics solution leaves no room for gaming, but the latest Centrino platform (codenamed Santa Rosa) will happily run applications from Adobe Photoshop to Microsoft Office. It will also take care of encoding MP3s fairly quickly, as our tests showed, and making home movies should be a breeze.

Among many new tweaks to the latest CPU, the new Centrino platform offers one very clear advantage over the previous version, an 800MHz front side bus (FSB). Both the CPU bus and the FSB are clocked at 800MHz, giving the new Centrino platform more bandwidth to shuffle data back and forth between the CPU and the memory subsystem.

With its 2.0GHz CPU and 1GB of DDR2 RAM, the Lenovo 3000 N200 reached a total score of 70 in WorldBench 6, about the minimum we'd expect from this new platform. We were particularly impressed by its performance in the MP3 encoding test, generally considered a test of the CPUs performance. Unlike most notebooks with the T7300, which take around 135 seconds to encode 53 minutes worth of WAV files to 192Kbps MP3 files, the Lenovo 3000 N200 took just 128 seconds. We also tested at a higher compression using iTunes, which takes advantage of the multiple cores of the CPU. Compressing 53 minutes of WAV files to 56Kbps MP3 files in iTunes took just 85 seconds.

In our battery tests the N200 performed among the better of the notebooks we've tested recently, while leaving room for improvement. Using a DVD rundown test, a worst case scenario, which impacts maximum drain on the battery by using both the speakers and the optical drive among the other core components such as the CPU, the system lasted for 90 minutes. Under normal workload we expect it to last longer.

For those who like a good movie on the road, the N200 offers a fairly reasonable screen with decent colour, brightness and contrast, with a 1280x800 native resolution. The viewing angle isn't perfect but it will suffice for most peoples needs. The speakers don't produce a very loud sound, but it's clear and a headphone jack is present should the speakers fail to impress you.

For the business or security conscious home user, Lenovo includes its Lenovo Care software, a package that is pre-installed and can be quickly accessed via an associated button on the notebook itself. Lenovo Care gives you quick access to data backups, system maintenance and password protection, as well as network and display profiles and a set of online help links. The interface is easy to read and simple to use.

A total of four USB 2.0 ports are installed, as is one mini FireWire port. Gigabit Ethernet is installed for wired networking, as is 56k modem, while 802.11 a/b/g and draft-n standards are available, not to mention Bluetooth. An Express Card slot joins the list, and a 5-in-1 media card reader is also available. A DVD re-writer with dual layer support and a 120GB hard drive will take care of your storage needs.

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