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At work I use a very good computer, no expense is spared as many readers of my last opinion will know, but for my home computing needs I do not have the resources to spend lots of money on a top of the range tower system or large TFT screened laptop. Instead, I opt for budget laptop that had the best specifications for the money I had available and this was the Lenovo 3000 C200 which cost me only 550 Euros (approximately £390). The best price I find this laptop was on the internet, most computer stores sell the Lenovo 3000 C200 for in the region of 700 Euros.
For the price I paid I expect a laptop of dubious build quality and lacking in processor power and software. What I got was surprising and I have to say, a real joy knowing that I had received a very good deal for a laptop that when taken out of the packaging had the look and feel of a Sony VAIO. The only thing that really put me off was the size; the base is very thick and quite heavy, with the fan located on the bottom (the problems I have with this I explain later on in my review).
The laptop has a built in Intel Core 2 Duo 1.66 GHz processor with a data bus speed of 667 MHz and is Windows Vista compatible. Windows XP was already installed when I attached the power cable and switched it on so as soon as all of the protective plastic sheeting was removed I was ready to play. I use my laptop to play a few RPG and strategy games that do not require amazing graphics card capabilities (there is a Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 950 card installed), but I do need processor speed otherwise the games take hours to complete and a very long time to load and save. Despite installing 5 separate games, one of which is a huge file and saving a number of games the laptop speed has not wavered and still runs as quickly as the day I bought it.
The screen is 15 inches and anti-glare which allows viewing from different angles. The screen has 24-bit colour support and can produce up to 16.7 million colours, with a maximum resolution of 1024 x 768. I find the screen satisfactory but in comparison to the 24 inch widescreen monitors I use at work it is positively minute. The touchpad mouse is very responsive but I find it very difficult to play games using this so I attach a mouse to the appropriate port for ease of use.
The battery is good, but only lasts about an hour and a half before being completely drained when playing games. It also takes a long time to fully recharge again, which may be a problem for others, but not for me.
The only issues I have with the laptop as I have said are the size and the location of the fan. If I wear shorts the bottom of the laptop gets so hot I have to cover my legs with towel to avoid burns and it had marked the plastic coating on my writing desk in my study area as the base unit has heated up. I think it could be better located on the top to allow better ventilation.
I like my Lenovo 3000 C200, it was cheap, allows me to surf the internet and play games and has seen no sort of visible deterioration in processor speed or capability since purchase and I can see it going on strong for another couple of years making it very good value for money considering the budget price I paid.