Toshiba NB200-11M review
It’s helped by the presence of Windows XP Home, which – even with the forthcoming release of Windows 7 – remains an excellent choice for netbooks. Press the Windows key, for instance, and the menu leaps into action, and once you download a faster browser than the supplied Internet Explorer 7 you should find web browsing a similarly speedy experience.
There are a couple of things that prevent us from declaring the NB200 the perfect netbook. One is its styling, which can’t live up to the beauty of Sony’s W-Series: instead of the latter’s subtle matte-finished lid, the NB200 uses a striped, textured design which our style judges weren’t won over by. That said, we deliberately chose to review the blue version, which is nicer looking than the brown or pink versions.
Its chunky design is a similar mix. Although Toshiba rounds off the NB200’s corners, it’s still more square-jawed at the front than all the more style-focused netbooks: the Asus 1008HA being an obvious example. Nor is the Toshiba NB200 overly slim, measuring 31mm thick at the rear and 23mm at the front.
If you’re one of the people – 61% according to a recent PC Pro survey – who occasionally listens to music on your laptop, you’ll be underwhelmed by the fidelity of the speakers. These are integrated into the base of the netbook and lack any clarity, so you’ll probably resort to the headphone jack on the left-hand side of the chassis.
It’s kept company by a 10/100 Ethernet port, microphone jack, D-SUB and one of the three USB ports Toshiba includes. The left-hand USB port handily supports “Sleep-and-Charge”, too, which means you can charge up your mobile phone even when the netbook is lying dormant in your bag.
As with all netbooks, aside from the HP Minis with their corporate aspirations, this is an all-plastic affair, and that means it can feel flimsy in places. Press down on the wristrest, for example, and there’s a distinct amount of flex. Toshiba does go against the trend, however, by including extras such as built-in hard-disk protection: if you drop the NB200, you can be sure the hard disk’s read/write head will be safely tucked away.
This is kept company by a number of other utilities – including the Toshiba PC Diagnostic Tool and a wireless LAN utility to manage your connections – but the highlight is Microsoft Works 9. While no match for Word or the rest of Microsoft’s Office suite, this provides a basic word processor, spreadsheet, database and personal organiser.
We have our criticisms of the NB200, but the fact remains that it’s a high-quality netbook for a very attractive price – if you include the current cashback offer. The only thing to bear in mind before buying is that Windows 7 netbooks are about to flood the market, but if you can live without Microsoft’s latest OS then this makes a fine alternative to the A-Listed Samsung N110.
|Warranty||1 yr return to base|
|Dimensions||264 x 211 x 31mm (WDH)|
|Weight with extended battery||N/A|
|Travelling weight with extended battery||N/A|
Processor and memory
|Processor||Intel Atom N280|
|Motherboard chipset||Intel GM45 Express|
|SODIMM sockets free||0|
|SODIMM sockets total||1|
Screen and video
|Resolution screen horizontal||1,024|
|Resolution screen vertical||600|
|Resolution||1024 x 600|
|Graphics chipset||Intel GMA 950|
|Graphics card RAM||128MB|
|VGA (D-SUB) outputs||1|
|Hard disk usable capacity||149GB|
|Internal disk interface||SATA|
|Hard disk||Toshiba MK1655GSX|
|Optical disc technology||None|
|Replacement battery price ex VAT||£61|
|Replacement battery price inc VAT||£70|
|Wired adapter speed||100Mbits/sec|
|802.11 draft-n support||no|
|Integrated 3G adapter||no|
|Wireless hardware on/off switch||no|
|Wireless key-combination switch||yes|
|PC Card slots||0|
|USB ports (downstream)||3|
|PS/2 mouse port||no|
|9-pin serial ports||0|
|Optical S/PDIF audio output ports||0|
|Electrical S/PDIF audio ports||0|
|3.5mm audio jacks||2|
|SD card reader||yes|
|Memory Stick reader||no|
|MMC (multimedia card) reader||yes|
|Smart Media reader||no|
|Compact Flash reader||no|
|Pointing device type||Touchpad|
|Audio chipset||Realtek HD Audio|
|Hardware volume control?||no|
|Camera megapixel rating||1.3mp|
Battery and performance tests
|Battery life, light use||9hr 42min|
|Overall application benchmark score||0.39|
|Office application benchmark score||0.48|
|2D graphics application benchmark score||0.32|
|Encoding application benchmark score||0.38|
|Multitasking application benchmark score||0.40|
|3D performance (crysis) low settings||Fail|
|3D performance setting||Low|
Operating system and software
|Operating system||Window XP Home SP3|
|OS family||Windows XP|
|Software supplied||Microsoft Works 9|