Lenovo’s activity in the laptop market tends to be oriented more towards practicality than power. Its latest range expands on the business and home user sectors, the latter of which includes the new 3000 model from its V-series of machines. This is the top end of that particular range, attempting to combine a selection of powerful components and features in a slim and light ultraportable laptop, sporting a 12.1-inch ‘VibrantView’ display at resolutions up to 1280 x 800 pixels.
This particular feature makes for a pretty good start, although in a similar way to Rock’s X-black design and other high-gloss displays, there is a reflection issue in direct sunlight. We’re prepared to pay the price though, as the screen offers an excellent degree of clarity and vibrancy that’s emphasised by the pre-installed Microsoft Vista Business Edition’s impressive aesthetics.
Sporting a Core Duo T7300 CPU running at 2GHz and with 1GB of RAM, you should have no issues with the operating system, although the built-in Intel 965 graphics chipset means that power gaming isn’t really an option. The 120GB hard drive should keep you going for a while, though, and you’ll find it preloaded with Microsoft Office 2007, Symantec security and a range of care and maintenance tools Lenovo that supplies to keep check on the state of your system.
It’s the additional features and case design that offer quite a bit of extra appeal here, though. As well as being highly portable, the weight has been kept down to under 2kg. In addition you’ll find the keyboard and shortcut keys work well: as is usual with laptops, of course, there’s no separate numeric keypad, but the main keys are large and responsive and despite the notebook’s size it’s surprisingly comfortable to operate.
You’ll find shortcuts above the main keys for media control and maintenance and a built-in fingerprint reader for security – one that actually works. After a short calibration routine to set up an initial user, you can add family members or colleagues who each get their own security access. This omits the need for passwords and allows specific users to ‘sign in’ to their Windows account with a simple finger swipe on startup.
Connectivity is pretty standard: most of the ports are found on the right and left sides of the case, including three USB 2.0, Firewire, a VGA out and audio in/out. You’ll also find RJ-11 and RJ-45 ports for wired Internet access and networking, and wireless LAN available along with Bluetooth. Finally there’s a five-in-one media card reader and 24-speed recordable DVD drive for handling your multimedia requirements.
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