A Nicely designed netbook with a great keyboard and trackpad.
The Toshiba NB 200 is a fine example of how netbooks should be like. It’s reasonably light-weight and sports a minimal look with smooth edges. Being a netbook, the configuration is pretty much according to Intel standards so you’ll find the familiar 1.67GHz Atom N280 CPU with the 945 chipset and a 10.1″ screen with a resolution of 1024×600. On top of that, Toshiba equips the NB200 with 1GB RAM, a Webcam and a 160GB hard drive running Windows 7 Starter.
You have your usual array of ports on the NB 200- the left side has VGA output, audio connections, Ethernet and a USB port. The right side provides two additional USB ports and the power connector. Lastly, on the front, you have the memory card socket and a bunch of LEDs that light up depending on the activity such as power on, charging, hard disk activity etc.
The only button that feels a bit out of place is the power switch located right at the top on the netbook which I ended up pressing accidentally a couple of times while carrying the netbook. However, Toshiba was a step ahead of me and the unit only powers up when you have the lid open so you don’t have to worry about accidentally powering it on.
What I really like about the N200 is that unlike other netbooks that have cramped keyboards and trackpads, Toshiba actually provides a rather large and comfortable keyboard and trackpad that takes away a lot of frustration associated with using a netbook. Toshiba does this by reducing the width of the keys that you don’t use often such as [ and ] keys as well as the ALT and FN keys. All the QWERTY and Numeric keys are full width allowing for a good typing experience.
Performance wise, netbooks are generally a bit laggy and there isn’t much that Toshiba could have done about that. Although I must say that Windows 7 starter runs reasonably well on a netbook with 1GB RAM and as long as you don’t expect instant responses, you should be ok. The following table compares the NB 200 to some of the lenovo S10-2 netbook that we reviewed last week.
|Toshiba NB 200
|Lenovo ideapad S10-2
Battery life on the NB 200 with included 25Wh battery is around three hours for general usage which includes browsing the web with Wi-Fi. Compared to other netbooks, this is a bit under-whelming. Toshiba does sell a six-cell battery that should increase the battery life to roughly five hours but also add to the size/weight.
Priced at AED 1285/- (US$ 350/-), the NB 200 is one of the few netbooks that I would recommend- provided you realize that netbooks don’t necessarily offer the experience of full-fledged notebooks. It has a nice minimal design along with being small and light weight enough to lug it around with you.