The strongest argument against the Lenovo C300 comes by way of the now $449
We concede that the Gateway configuration we've described lacks the self-contained appeal of the Lenovo C300, or any Nettop. But if you're truly after a low-fuss, low-cost computer, a Netbook offers the exact same performance of a Nettop as well as portability. A Netbook can be a kitchen PC one minute, and a living room companion the next, with no wires to mess with and no counter space to clear out. If standard budget desktops create a price-performance hurdle for Nettops, Netbooks box them in on the side of convenience. The only trade-off is the larger screen. Perhaps connecting a Netbook to a dedicated LCD, or even an HDTV, is more than you want to deal with. We recognize that Nettops have some appeal for their cheap, self-contained convenience. We just wish you didn't have to make so many sacrifices in performance and features to get it.
|Lenovo C300||Average watts per hour|
|Raw (annual kWh)||145.64376|
|Energy Star compliant||Yes|
|Annual energy cost||$16.53|
Worse for Lenovo among its Nettop competition is that its power efficiency isn't quite where it should be. Perhaps its larger display is a factor, but we found the Averatec, which had better benchmark performance than the Lenovo C300, more energy efficient--to the tune of a few bucks on your annual power bill. The cost implications are minimal, but we never like to see slow systems cost more to operate than faster competition.
At least Nettops don't skimp on service and support. Lenovo provides one year of parts and labor coverage for the C300, accompanied by a 24-7 toll-free tech support number. You can add at-home service and extended warranty coverage when you purchase your system online. You can also find basic drivers and documentation on Lenovo's support site, which is a bit too fragmented for our taste.
Find out more about how we test desktop systems.
Windows XP Home SP3; 1.6GHz Intel Atom N270; 1GB DDR2 SDRAM; 32MB (shared) Intel GMA 950 integrated graphics chip; 80GB, 5,400rpm Seagate hard drive
Windows Vista Home Premium SP2 (32-bit); 1.5GHz AMD Athlon X2 3250e; 2GB 800MHz DDR2 SDRAM; 512MB ATI Radeon HD 3200; 250GB 5,400 rpm Samsung hard drive
Windows XP Home Edition SP3; 1.6GHz Intel Atom N270; 1GB 533MHz DDR2 SDRAM; 128MB (shared) Intel GMA 950 integrated graphics chip; 160GB 5,400rpm Western Digital hard drive
Windows Vista Home Premium SP2 (64-bit); 2.3GHz Intel Core 2 Quad Q8200; 4GB 800MHz DDR2 SDRAM; 32MB (shared) Intel GMA X4500 integrated graphics chip; 640GB 7,200rpm hard drive
Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 (32-bit); 1.6GHz Intel Atom 330; 4GB 667MHz DDR2 SDRAM; 512MB ATI Radeon HD 4350; 640GB 5,400rpm Western Digital hard drive