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Averatec 2200 review: Averatec 2200

The Averatec 2200 series has a lot going for it--portable design, comfortable keyboard, solid components--but its wimpy battery life is a deal-breaker.

Justin Jaffe Managing editor
Justin Jaffe is the Managing Editor for CNET Money. He has more than 20 years of experience publishing books, articles and research on finance and technology for Wired, IDC and others. He is the coauthor of Uninvested (Random House, 2015), which reveals how financial services companies take advantage of customers -- and how to protect yourself. He graduated from Skidmore College with a B.A. in English Literature, spent 10 years in San Francisco and now lives in Portland, Maine.
Expertise Credit cards, Loans, Banking, Mortgages, Taxes, Cryptocurrency, Insurance, Investing. Credentials
  • Coauthor of Uninvested (Random House, 2015)
Justin Jaffe
3 min read
Averatec makes aggressively priced laptops that often feature a compelling set of components for the price, though we've heard some users complain about faulty systems and unreliable tech support. That said, like the 3715 model we reviewed last year, the Averatec 2200 offers a competent mobile-computing experience, with a quality 12.1-inch wide-screen display, a comfortable keyboard, and a dual-layer DVD drive, all in a 4.3-pound case; we actually tested the Averatec 2260-EK1, which we found online for about $1,100--a low price for what you get. Unfortunately, with a battery that lasted less than two hours in our tests, the Averatec 2260-EK1 is not going to let you get too far away from the wall socket; unless battery life is a nonissue for you, we think you're better off spending a bit more money for a more resilient thin-and-light laptop. Check out our top products lists (for business use, for more casual use) for the best of the best.

Measuring about 11.75 inches wide, 8.3 inches deep, and 1.5 inches thick, and weighing in at 4.3 pounds (or 5.1 pounds, with its modest AC power adapter), the Averatec 2200 is certainly compact and light enough for regular travel. Its weight and dimensions place it in the thin-and-light category, along with a few select 12.1-inch wide-screen laptops that have optical drives, including the HP Compaq nc2400, which starts at $1,600 and includes a three-year warranty, and the $1,400 WinBook X610 (as well as the soon-to-be-phased-out $999 12-inch Apple iBook G4).


Averatec 2200

The Good

Competitively priced; compact, portable size; comfortable keyboard; includes dual-layer DVD burner; bright display; decent components and mobile performance.

The Bad

Insufficient battery life; lacks multimedia controls; low-quality speakers.

The Bottom Line

The Averatec 2200 series has a lot going for it--portable design, comfortable keyboard, solid components--but its wimpy battery life is a deal-breaker.

The Averatec 2200's 12.1-inch wide-screen display has a standard 1,280x800 native resolution, which affords a decent amount of screen real estate but makes text and icons appear quite small, and a glossy finish; it delivered a high score of 190cd/m2 from our Minolta luminance meter, which tests a display's maximum brightness. The compact keyboard is firm and quite comfortable to type on, and the touch pad and two mouse buttons, while small, are adequate.

This is a pretty bare-bones laptop in terms of features, ports, and connections, though there's enough to fulfill the needs of most basic users. Highlights include 802.11b/g wireless networking, three USB 2.0 ports (one more than on the HP), a 4-in-1 media card reader, and an ExpressCard slot. Aside from one solitary button that launches your music or video player, there are no multimedia controls to speak of. The speakers buried within the unit deliver tinny, low-quality audio.

Our Averatec 2260-EK1 test unit, which we found priced online at $1,100, came preloaded with Windows XP Professional and an unremarkable bundle of software, as well as a solid set of components, including a 1.83GHz AMD Turion 64 MT-32 processor with integrated graphics, 1GB of DDR RAM, a decent 80GB hard drive, and a dual-layer DVD burner. In comparison, the more expensive WinBook X610 and HP nc2400 featured Intel processors but half the RAM and smaller hard drives. In CNET Labs' mobile benchmark tests, the Averatec 2260-EK1 delivered adequate performance for basic productivity tasks, turning in slightly higher scores than the WinBook X610 and the HP nc2400. Unfortunately, the Averatec 2260-EK1's superior processing power came at the cost of its battery life; it managed a meager 110 minutes in our drain tests, which is something of a deal-breaker for a laptop that's meant to be highly portable (three hours is the bare acceptable minimum).

Averatec backs the 2200 series with a standard one-year warranty with mail-in service; the battery is covered for only six months, however, which is lame. Toll-free telephone support is available 24/7 throughout the warranty period. As of this writing, the company's support Web site didn't list any FAQs for the 2260, though it did offer driver and user-manual downloads for the system.

Mobile application performance
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
BAPCo MobileMark 2005 performance rating  

Battery life
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
BAPCo MobileMark 2005 battery life in minutes  

Find out more about how we test Windows laptops.

System configurations:
Averatec 2260
Windows XP Professional; 1.8GHz Turion 64 MT-32; 1,024MB DDR SDRAM 400MHz; Via/S3G DeltaChrome 1GP 64MB; Fujitsu MHV2080AT 80GB
HP nc2400
Windows XP Professional; 1.2GHz Intel Core Solo; 512MB DDR2 SDRAM PC4300 533MHz; Intel 945GM Express 128MB; Toshiba MK4008GAH 40GB 4,200rpm
WinBook X610
Windows XP Professional; 1.6GHz Intel Pentium M 725; 512MB DDR2 SDRAM PC3200 333MHz; Mobile Intel 915GM/GMS, 910GML Express 128MB; Hitachi Travelstar 80GN 80GB 4,200rpm


Averatec 2200

Score Breakdown

Design 7Features 5Performance 7Battery 2Support 4