The G220 is different to the machines that we’ve seen from AJP in the past. For a start, it’s small, affordable and offers pretty good battery life. Due to the fact that it weighs 2.2kg, the G220 almost fits into the ultra-portable category. And while it might not be the most powerful laptop on the market, you'll certainly have a hard time finding anything lighter for the same kind of money.
This latest model is based on a Celeron M processor running at 1.5GHz. This, in combination with the Intel i855GME chipset and the Intel PRO/Wireless 2200BG 802.11b/g wireless network card, means that it gets the Centrino branding. Perhaps AJP could have put together an even more affordable machine if the G220 had used a different chipset and wireless solution, but the fact is that the Centrino branding sells.
However, while it boasts Intel branding, its clear that compromises have had to be made to hit the price point. As the G220 is a budget laptop you only get a 40GB hard drive spinning at 4,200rpm, which isn’t that fast these days. On the other hand, AJP has somehow managed to squeeze in a dual layer Sony DVD writer, which is no mean feat for a budget machine. The drive writes to DVD + and – R media at 8x and RW media of both types at 4x, but its dual layer media performance is limited to 2.4x.
Further evidence that the G220 is a budget offering is the inclusion of only 256MB of RAM. Sure, this will run Windows just fine, but it’s not enough for heavier tasks, especially as some of the memory is shared with the graphics. As a result, any applications that need 256MB of dedicated memory will not run.
The connectivity options on the G220 are quite good considering its size. Three USB 2.0 ports are located on the right hand side, while on the front are headphone and microphone sockets as well as a card reader for MMC, SD, Memory Stick and Memory Stick Pro. On the left hand side is a 56k V.90 modem, a D-SUB connector, and an Ethernet port for the onboard 10/100Mbit Realtek network controller. There’s also a single Type II PC Card slot and a four pin mini FireWire port. The only connector around the back is for the power adaptor as most of the back is taken up by a fairly large protruding battery.
The good news is that the screen is very good considering the price of the G220. AJP wasn’t specific as to what technology the screen employed, aside from describing it as featuring a “glare” effect, which isn’t really helpful. To put it simply, it’s one of the new reflective displays that have become popular since Sony launched them across its entire laptop range.
Widescreen is rapidly becoming the de facto standard for laptops, which is no bad thing. With a resolution of 1,280 x 800 the display on the AJP is very comfortable to use despite the fact that it only sports a viewable area of 12.1in diagonal. The horizontal viewing angle is very good, but while the vertical viewing angle is fine head-on, uneven back-lighting means that the colours don’t stay true as you move up and down.