Mediocre battery life hinders notebook

With lively performance, a fairly light weight, and several popular features, the Lenovo 3000 N200 would be a good business notebook, but its mediocre battery life won’t please frequent travelers.

With lively performance, a fairly light weight, and several popular features, the Lenovo 3000 N200 would be a good business notebook, but its mediocre battery life won’t please frequent travelers.

Our 2.2-GHz Core 2 Duo T7500-equipped review unit, which also had 2GB of RAM, raced through our WorldBench 6 Beta 2 benchmark with a score of 80, a result that’s on a par with the scores of three other all-purpose notebooks with the same processor and memory. Its graphics scores, however, were below average for the category, due to its integrated graphics.

Our 14.1-inch wide-screen unit was reasonably light at 5.3 pounds. (A 15.4-inch version is also available.) It included most of the latest laptop ports and connections, but the response of the volume buttons (the only multimedia buttons present) was as slow as molasses. The N200 offers high-end features, as well, such as an ExpressCard slot, an ample 160GB hard drive, and a fingerprint reader. The screen is bright and perfect for mainstream applications. The touchpad-equipped keyboard, though not as nice as a Lenovo ThinkPad’s, promotes comfortable typing. The only major business option missing is integrated mobile broadband.

But with this notebook’s mediocre battery life, you won’t be straying far from the nearest Wi-Fi hotspot’s wall outlets anyway. The six-cell battery powered the unit for just 2.5 hours in our tests before giving out, almost 50 minutes shorter than average for this class of notebook.

If you stick close to the office, you might be happy with this laptop, especially if you can catch a good configuration on sale. Our unit, which came with Corel WordPerfect Office 12, cost US$1,499 (as of 9/12/07). Lenovo recently reduced the price on a lower-powered configuration, with a 1.8-GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T7100 chip and 1GB of RAM, to a base of $899.

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