The right way to design a netbook
Review What is it with Toshiba's designers? Their first netbook, the NB100, was a boxy, angular affair that looked like it had appeared out of a rip in time from 1995. Undoubtedly stung by such criticism, Toshiba's design team have gifted the company's follow up, the NB200, with a much sexier design... only to go and spoil it with a naff colour scheme.
Toshiba's NB200: a much better, slimmer design than its predecessor
Indeed, it's telling that the publicity picture provided by Toshiba are chiefly of the bottom-of-the-line "cosmic black" NB200, not the top-of-the-range "snow white" version - the NB200-110 - we have in front of us here.
The top-end NB200 appeals because it comes with Intel's N280 Atom processor, which consumes the same amount of power as the more commonplace N270, but is 60MHz faster and operates over a 667MHz frontside bus rather than a 533MHz one. We like the N280, and it's our preferred netbook processor.
The NB200 provides the standard 1GB of 800MHz DDR 2 memory, a 160GB hard drive, 802.11b/g Wi-Fi and all the customary ports: three USB 2.0 connectors, 10/100Mb/s Ethernet, 3.5mm audio I/O, VGA and an SDHC memory card slot. The two top-end models have Bluetooth 2.1+EDR built in, the other three don't.
The screen's a bright and (very) glossy 10.1in, 1024 x 600 job with a 0.3Mp webcam in the bezel. The display is driven by the Intel GMA 950 graphics core embedded in the netbook's chipset. A run of 3DMark06 yielded a score of 90 - poor by notebook standards, but a little higher than most netbooks we've looked at.
Standard netbook hardware, though
We'll talk about the bundled software later, but from a hardware standpoint, the NB200 range's internals match or exceed most of Toshiba's rivals.