Toshiba’s NB200 for back-to-school

Although Toshiba‘s NB200 mini notebook primarily targets back-to-school shoppers, buyers, who are both in school and out will find its features, form-factor and design to be impressive and useful.

The mini notebook weighs as little as 2.53lbs and features a 10.1-inch screen. It comes in a choice of Satin Brown, Snow White, or a glossy black finish colour.

The design of the NB200 is perhaps what impressed me the most. While its form factor makes it look like any other netbook, when looked at more closely, it’s design is quite unique. There’s a textured surface and design on the outside lid that carries through to the inside of the mini notebook. The textured pattern blends in with the colour of the mini notebook. – In my case, the outside was the Snow White colour, and the inside was silver.

Subtle diagonal stripes are found throughout the unit, with the exception of on the keyboard and underneath. Even the track-pad has this textured design, giving the mini notebook a sleek and classy look.

The keyboard has a full-compliment of keys. However, they are shaped like chiclet gum; mostly flat, slightly raised and spaced apart. The keys make typing on the mini notebook fairly easy. Based on personal preferences, I prefer this style of keyboard because even if working with a smaller form factor PC, you want to be sure you can still type as quickly and efficiently as possible.

The mini notebook has 1GB of RAM, a 160GB hard disk drive, uses an Intel Atom N280 processor and comes with Microsoft’s Windows XP Home Edition installed. There’s even an integrated Webcam and microphone in the mini notebook, which makes chatting with friends easy and possible, no matter where you are.

As for Internet connectivity, users can connect to the Internet via the mini notebook’s wireless LAN, Ethernet LAN or Bluetooth capabilities.

There’s a built-in memory card reader, as well as three USB ports on the NB200 with one on the left side and two on the right. What I found to be especially useful was that one of the USB ports was actually what Toshiba calls its USB Sleep-and-Charge port. This USB port charges portable electronic devices, even when the mini notebook is powered off.

What’s also helpful is that Toshiba has built in hard drive and data protection in the NB200. If the mini notebook detects any sudden movements, it will automatically park the hard drive heads to help prevent any damage. I noticed that when I was walking around with the NB200, I’d get a pop up box telling me the mini notebook detected movement and was temporarily parking the hard drive. This detection was ultra-sensitive, so I ended up turning off the notifications.

The unit came with a six-cell battery, which Toshiba claims can provide users with up to a nine hour battery life. I used the mini notebook for a full day’s work and didn’t come across any battery or power issues at all. The NB200 performed well, was easy to use and looked stylish on my desk.

All in all, the NB200 from Toshiba is a great little notebook to do light PC-related work on. It’s fast and does what I need it to do.

The Toshiba NB200 mini notebook is now available through Toshiba resellers, retailers and through Toshiba’s Web site at a suggested list price of $429.

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Maxine Cheung
Maxine Cheung
Staff Writer, Computer Dealer News

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