CNET logo Why You Can Trust CNET

Our expert, award-winning staff selects the products we cover and rigorously researches and tests our top picks. If you buy through our links, we may get a commission. Reviews ethics statement

Lenovo 3000 V200 review: Lenovo 3000 V200

Lenovo 3000 V200

Michelle Thatcher Former Senior Associate Editor, Laptops
Tech expert Michelle Thatcher grew up surrounded by gadgets and sustained by Tex-Mex cuisine. Life in two major cities--first Chicago, then San Francisco--broadened her culinary horizons beyond meat and cheese, and she's since enjoyed nearly a decade of wining, dining, and cooking up and down the California coast. Though her gadget lust remains, the practicalities of her small kitchen dictate that single-function geegaws never stay around for long.
Michelle Thatcher
5 min read

In our minds, there are ultraportables, such as the ThinkPad X61s, and there are "bulky ultraportables," laptops that incorporate the hefty feature set of a thin-and-light in a case bordering on ultraportable in size. The Lenovo 3000 V200 is one of the latter, and it's the first of the bulky ultraportables to incorporate Intel's latest Centrino Duo platform. With those fresh components, the V200 posted some modest performance gains over the previous generation, though it took a small hit on battery life. Otherwise, the Lenovo 3000 V200 is much like its V100 predecessor, providing all the features you'll need for work (and some play) in a highly portable package. Plus, it's still less expensive than the Dell XPS M1210 and performs better than the Toshiba Satellite U205, making it a solid choice for small businesses that want the benefits of Centrino Duo (including an 800MHz front-side bus) and also don't want to skimp on features.


Lenovo 3000 V200

The Good

Low price; high-end components; solid performance; comfortable keyboard; wide-aspect display; integrated optical drive; solid assortment of ports and connections, including media-card reader; fingerprint reader; robust system-management and help utility.

The Bad

Merely average battery life; one-year warranty inferior to some business models'; small touch pad and shallow mouse buttons; few dedicated multimedia controls.

The Bottom Line

The well-appointed Lenovo 3000 V200 offers the latest components for a competitive price, making it a smart choice for small businesses in need of a portable but feature-packed laptop.

The Lenovo 3000 V200 is a bit larger than both the Toshiba Satellite U205 and the Dell XPS M1210. There are certainly lighter laptops on the market (including Lenovo's own ThinkPad X61s), but the V200 is reasonably portable for regular travel.

Like the XPS M1210 and the Satellite U205, the Lenovo 3000 V200 features a 12.1-inch wide-screen display with a sharp 1,280x800 native resolution. The screen includes a glossy finish that's great for watching movies but can become distractingly reflective in bright environments (there is no option for a matte finish). A 1.3-megapixel Webcam is built into the display bezel, making it useful for Web videoconferencing from the road.

Corresponding to the V200's wide-aspect display is a wide, comfortable keyboard that harkens back to the laptop's ThinkPad lineage. Like all Lenovo 3000 laptops, the V200's touch pad feels a bit small, though the touch pad buttons are amply sized. Next to the touch pad sits a tiny fingerprint reader, which lets you securely log on to your computer, network, and favorite Web sites with just the swipe of a finger. Above the keyboard are three handy external volume controls and a button to launch Lenovo's MediaNow application (the extent of the V200's dedicated multimedia controls), plus a button that summons the useful Lenovo Care system-management and help utility. Along the front edge, two speakers emit hollow but passable sound, while the right edge of the case holds a handy hardware on/off switch for the system's built-in Wi-Fi radio.

In part because of its bulky size, the Lenovo 3000 V200 includes a few more ports and connections than you'd find on a typical ultraportable. The $2,329 Dell XPS M1210, however, has one more USB port, an S-Video connector, an extra headphone jack, and WWAN connectivity, making it a bit more well-rounded than the Lenovo when it comes to entertainment features.

The Lenovo 3000 V200 is available in two fixed configurations; our review unit was built on Intel's latest Centrino Duo platform and included a midrange 2.0GHz Core 2 Duo T7300 processor. The platform update produced modest gains on the Multitasking and Office productivity portions of CNET Labs' mobile benchmarks, where the V200 pulled slightly ahead of both the Dell XPS M1210 and the Toshiba Satellite U205-S5057, as well as its predecessor, the V100. We were a bit disappointed that the V200 posted the same score as the XPS M1210 (and its previous-generation platform) on our Photoshop test, though it's more or less an academic distinction that we're willing to overlook considering the Lenovo's much lower price. For typical business use, the Lenovo 3000 V200 clearly packs an impressive amount of bang for the buck.

The updated platform gave the Lenovo 3000 V200 no boost in battery life. In fact, at 2 hours, 16 minutes, the V200's battery life was 12 minutes shorter than that of its predecessor, the V100, and 3 minutes behind the Toshiba Satellite U205-S5057. Our DVD battery drain test is rather resource-intensive and you can expect longer life during typical Windows use. The Dell XPS M1210, equipped with a 9-cell extended battery, held out for 3 hours, 49 minutes on our tests.

We think the Lenovo 3000 V200's one-year warranty is too brief, though it is the norm for low-cost systems (pricier business laptops, by comparison, are almost always covered for 3 years). Fortunately, upgrades for longer terms and on-site repairs are reasonably priced. The company's support Web site includes a handful of troubleshooting topics, as well as the expected driver downloads; the site lacks interactive features, such as customer forums or the chance to chat in real time with a technician.

Multimedia multitasking test
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
In seconds  
Lenovo 3000 V200

Adobe Photoshop CS2 image-processing test
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
In seconds  
Lenovo 3000 V200

Apple iTunes encoding test
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
In seconds  
Lenovo 3000 V200

Microsoft Office productivity test
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
In seconds  
Lenovo 3000 V200

DVD battery drain test
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
In minutes  
Lenovo 3000 V200

Find out more about how we test laptops.

System configurations:

Lenovo 3000 V200
Windows Vista Business Edition; 2.0GHz Intel Core Duo T7300; 2,048MB DDR2 SDRAM 667MHz; 128MB Mobile Intel 965GM Express; 120GB Hitachi 5,400rpm

Toshiba Satellite U205-S5057
Windows Vista Home Premium Edition; 1.66GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T5500; 1,024MB DDR2 SDRAM 528MHz; 224MB Mobile Intel 945GM Express; 160GB Hitachi 5,400rpm

Lenovo 3000 V100
Windows Vista Business Edition; 2.0GHz Intel Core Duo T7200; 2,048MB DDR2 SDRAM 667MHz; 32MB Mobile Intel 945GM Express; 100GB Hitachi 5,400rpm

Dell XPS M1210
Windows Vista Ultimate Edition: 2.0GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T7200; 2,048MB DDR2 SDRAM 667MHz; 256MB nVidia GeForce Go 7400; 120GB Hitachi 5,400rpm


Lenovo 3000 V200

Score Breakdown

Design 8Features 8Performance 7Battery 6Support 5