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Toshiba NB200-10Z - 10.1in Netbook review

Andy Vandervell



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Toshiba can't be blamed for the lack of evolution in the netbook platform, however infuriating it might be. Until someone deigns progress necessary (or nVidia ION systems begin to hit the shelves) all any company can do is make the best product possible under the limitations created by Microsoft and Intel. Toshiba has done just that with its second netbook, the NB200.

Unlike its first outing, the ill-timed NB100, this Toshiba is a 10in machine - just like most other netbooks these days. Toshiba has clearly thought carefully about how its range is positioned, with cheaper all-black versions filling in the sub-£300 market, while the more luxurious 'satin brown' ones like the NB200-10Z we're looking at hovering around £349 or less. In this case it's £339.99, though this price is discounted from the £349.99 SRP.

For the money you get all the usual features. This means an Intel Atom N280 running at 1.66GHz, 1GB of RAM and a 160GB hard drive. There's 802.11g Wi-Fi and Bluetooth for wireless connectivity and 10/100 Fast Ethernet for wired networking. Like many netbooks of late the 10.1in display has a glossy finish, while the 1,024 x 600 native resolution is as it ever was.

However, Toshiba also brings a few surprises to the table. Remember when netbooks came with SSDs to ensure data security? Yeah, it seems a distant memory, but while Toshiba hasn't gone so far as to use solid state storage, it has installed a G-sensor to enable free-fall protection for the hard drive. Whenever excessive movement is detected the drive heads are locked to help protect the hard drive. It's not quite as good as good as an SSD, which has no moving parts, but given no other netbook we can think of sports such a feature Toshiba should be praised for this move.

Another neat addition is a powered USB port on the left so that you can charge USB devices even with the netbook turned off. We've seen this feature in some recent notebooks but not in netbooks and it's a welcome addition, especially given netbooks are by their nature portable.

Outside of this particular feature, though, connectivity is completely unremarkable. On the left there's a VGA out, line-in and line-out jacks, an Ethernet port and the powered USB port. On the front is an SD card reader, while the right-side houses the other two non-powered USB ports, the power input and a lock-slot.

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June 26, 2009, 12:03 pm

great design like this should be used for ION netbooks. wouldn't be surprised if it gets re-released with windows 7 and ION and awesomeness.


June 26, 2009, 12:06 pm

I own one...one of the cheaper 'black' versions...which is exactly the same in terms of specs, just the physical differences with the reviewed one (including no chiclet keyboard). I owned an Asus EEEpc901 before this, and I have to say this netbook is just about perfect, and highly recommended. 3 negative points - the keyboard on the black version has a lot of keyboard flex and whilst the keys are big and wide and easy to 'hit', the flex is very annoying. Secondly, there is no SSD option. Thirdly, comes with XP and currently you cannot install linux on it and make all the functions work (bluetooth, wireless, f(x) buttons,.. )..(I've tried unsuccessfully with ubuntu NB remix)...but it could be just a matter of time before it becomes compatible I guess.

Oh and I guess lastly, it's a pity that there is so much screen bezel real estate there..they could have fitted a bigger screen to this size bezel!

Tony Walker

June 26, 2009, 5:34 pm

These G-force sensors are an integral part of the HDD. Toshiba's site calls them a "Free fall sensor" (they've put the space in freefall); Seagate call it "G-Force protection".

Francesco Mastellone

June 26, 2009, 5:45 pm

What about just "accelerometers"? =p


June 26, 2009, 6:17 pm

The HP 2133 has the same sort of g-force / free-fall sensor to protect the hard drive, and has been out over a year.


June 27, 2009, 3:55 am

@ aeonturnip - just looked at the HP website and 2 reviews of the HP2133 none mention the HDD free-fall protection. Not looked for too long but can't see this feature mentioned anywhere. The HP 2133 has been out for over a year though and TR only gave it 7/10.


June 27, 2009, 4:54 am

Same old...the Asus N10j is nearing 9 months old and is still better specified than any current netbook on the market with HDMI and dedicated graphics!!

Jim 1

June 27, 2009, 3:20 pm

@ "Me"- I own a HP 2133 and can confirm that aeonturnip's comment is true. The HP 2133 does have a free fall sensor called the "HP 3D driveguard", which shuts off the HDD if its dropped.

James Morris

June 28, 2009, 5:14 pm

@Ataripower The Asus N10j also costs 50 per cent more than the Toshiba N200, coming perilously close to "real notebook" territory.


June 29, 2009, 10:45 pm

I think you will find the HDD free-fall protection only works if stick to Windows OS. If it is similar to my Toshiba Portege - it is utterly useless as it freezes a Power Point presentation so I had to disable it. Similarly I do not trust Toshiba on the expected battery life, using every setting to conserve power I only got a quarter of the claimed time it also overheats badly so it has to be switched off after four hours and Toshiba service is really, really bad.


July 9, 2009, 2:15 pm

@Rich Yes the HDD protection feature does have it's shortcomings, but I'd rather have it there than not. Most of the time, we are not doing Power Point presentations, it will be handy. I've only experienced it freezing a PP when I loaded a particularly large file with embedded video, and if I shifted the netbook whilst midstream. As for battery life, not sure why yours is so low? I get close to 7.5 hours on lowest settings (6-cell). And lastly, about the heat - YES...you are right, it does get rather hot after a while...to the extent that I smell that hot-plastic smell...:-s...hasn't hurt the performance of the machine yet though, so I'll keep an open mind about it for now.


September 1, 2009, 11:10 pm

Toshiba NB200 netbook is a nice sleek laptop which comes with a ultra-portable star brand. Best part is that the the hard disk of NB200 comes with a accelerometer to detect any impact on it, read more here: http://forums.techarena.in/rev...

Ross Armstrong

September 27, 2009, 4:38 am

8/10 from me I'm afraid.. It still has no built in 3G Dongle which in my opinion would really make a netbook - and they don't even have to break the bank. My ECS G10iL based Advent 4213 netbook has this built-in already. So if they can do it, why can't any of the big names. Dell has done it BUT it's locked to Vodafone.. the ECS/Advent one isn't.

Sam Johnson

January 29, 2011, 1:33 pm

29/01/2010 I've had this notebook for some time now, and although I really loved it when I first got it, it unfortunately hasn't stood the test of time. THE BUILD IS ABSOLUTE RUBBISH - the screen died within the first two weeks (replaced under warranty, but took over a month), and since then the touchpad has become quite insensitive, the left touchpad button has weakened (needs to be pressed *hard*), and now the right-arrow key has gone. It's not even heavily used - it's been my second, mobile laptop, and I sometimes don't touch it for weeks. Great design, but utterly rubbish quality of build...


January 8, 2014, 2:49 am

it looks very awkward .

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