Lenovo 3000 N200 Review

by Reads (1,767)

by Alex Chu

I purchased the Lenovo 3000 N200 laptop for my dad. The big 15.4" glossy screen is nice and with the lower resolution it’s easy on the eyes with crystal clear pixels. At 15.4" and 1280×800 pixels it’s more of a desktop replacement … though not quite like a 17". At about $1000 I bet you can get a cheaper sysytem from Dell or HP, but the quality keyboard and construction that Lenovo has is addictive. The N200, as configured, is running:

  • 15.4" Screen (1280×800)
  • Core 2 Duo 1.83GHz
  • Intel x3100 video card
  • 1GB PC2-5300 667MHz
  • 160GB 5400rpm
  • Wireless ABG
  • DVD Burner 4x
  • 6 Cell Battery
  • Windows Vista Business

Build & Design

The N200 has a traditional clam shell look with an all silver exterior and black interior. The lid is solid and feels like a T60 to me. If the hinges were metal rather than silver plastic, this thing might as well be a ThinkPad. The screen is built like a rock. You can press pretty darn hard in the middle of it from behind and theres no color deformation. It seems like it has the monitor cage that ThinkPads have. They keyboard is amazing. It is just like a ThinkPads, but perhaps a tiny bit off. I know I could drop baseballs on this thing and not bat an eye though. It’s as close to a ThinkPad keyboard you’ll get without actually forking out the cash for a ThinkPad. The design of it is plain and simple. Nothing too extravagant, pertty minimalist. I like it, but some might not. All in all, this thing feels a lot more well built than its competitors from Dell, HP and even Asus. The frame doesn’t squeak when torqued and it just plain solid. (Lenovo might have learned a few things from buying IBM’s ThinkPad line.)

Screen

I got the 15.4” with 1280×800 resolution. I usually would’ve got the higher resolution and discrete graphics, but I was getting this for my dad and he wouldn’t need it for anything more than playing some videos, checking email, and surfing the web a bit. It seems to be very evenly lit and very very bright. The contrast is bright and everything is clear, I’m sure the glossy surface helps a lot. The backlighting seems to be pretty even, nothing to write about there.

Speakers

I’m an audio junkie, so I almost always use external speakers. But for those who are less picky, I’m sure these will do fine. Like all laptops it lacks bass, but delivers vocals well enough to listen to. They are mounted on the front and down firing, so they work best when put on a hard surface. If you want good sound, just get speakers.

Processor and Performance

How fast is the performance of the notebook and what processor do you have?  Does it take long to boot up to the windows logon screen (maybe time this), what speed is your hard drive?  Mention how much memory you have as this will effect laptop performance.  Tell people if the laptop ever hangs or takes too much time to complete a task, or if it always seems snappy for what you use it for?  Do you play games on this laptop and if so do they play okay and can you run them in the highest graphics mode?

Benchmarks

Super Pi – 1 min 8s

3DMark06 – 510

HD Tune

C:\Users\Chu Family\Desktop\hdtune.jpg

Heat and Noise

Heat and noise seem to be well controlled. There’s not much to talk about here. The dvd drive doesn’t make a lot of noise nor does the laptop get very hot. As far as I can tell, the palm rests don’t get hot at all, perhaps just warm. And more on the left than the right. But definitely nothing to complain about.

Keyboard and Touchpad

The volume control buttons are good. There are also the Lenovo utilities button but I don’t use that. Infact I uninstalled all of that already.

Input and Output Ports

  • 4 x USB ports
  • 1 x Firewire
  • SD Card Reader
  • ExpressCard
  • Ethernet
  • Headphone out
  • Microphone in
  • VGA out
  • Phone jack
  • S-Video out

Battery

The battery lasts about 2 hours while web surfing and watching some YouTube videos. It’s not bad for 15.4” of screen. It could be better, but I did not dim the monitor.

Operating System and Software

The computer came with Vista installed. It can run the Aero Glass interface and seems to run it just fine. I uninstalled all the Lenovo programs straight up so I didn’t test them. But it does come with a trial version of Office, some Corel tools, a defrag program and a few other utilities. In general I don’t use any of these and I choose to use other programs if I need something of the sort. I don’t like 90% of the programs that most companies give you so I usually uninstall them. But for some people, these programs might come in handy. It really depends on how you use your computer.

Conclusion

For a slightly more expensive laptop than a Dell or HP, I would say this is a much higher quality computer. The fit and finish is a lot better and lets you feel confident when you need to bring it around and give it a taste of life. The keyboard is just so much nicer to use than a regular laptops keyboard. The four usb ports is also nice if you’re someone with a lot of peripherals. Everything else, I would say is ultimately comparable. The biggest difference will definitely be in the build quality and strength and the very, very, very nice keyboard. It’s just solid.


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