Lenovo's third 3000-series notebook released this year, the new V100, aims to satisfy the needs of mobile business customers with its trademark Lenovo Care tools, fingerprint security and sub-2kg form factor. At the same time, it caters to those who want to have fun, with features such as InstantON DVD player, an integrated DVD optical drive, 12.1 widescreen display and onboard camera.
Howie Lau, general manager for Lenovo Singapore, in a press statement said that on-the-go business professionals today "want performance, reliability and value, but they also want to have fun." He believes the V100 will meet the "needs of their [small business professionals'] demands while providing a unique and fun computing environment." Lenovo also celebrated its first anniversary of operations after taking over IBM's PC division on May 1, 2006.
The key advantage the V100 has over its competitors is its Lenovo Care productivity tools which provide a simplified platform for small business users to perform system maintenance as well as utilize the features on the laptop. For instance, the one-button system recovery helps to diagnose and recover the operating system from a virus or spyware attack. Automatic software updates for Lenovo applications can also be scheduled to keep the machine in tip-top condition.
Mobile professionals will also appreciate the V100's lightweight 1.8kg heft, which is just about the norm for 12.1-inch widescreen laptops with onboard optical drives. What may also appeal to business customers are features such as the fingerprint scanner and integrated 1.3-megapixel digital camera (on selected models), in addition to 802.11a/b/g Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
We like that Lenovo has included InterVideo InstantON and multimedia applications which allow playback of DVDs without having to boot up Windows.
As a business notebook, the V100 has pretty much all the features you can ask for. However, it is not without its drawbacks. While the laptop comes with an onboard optical drive, the drive is not hot-swappable. This means users cannot swap it for a second hard drive, second battery, or upgrade to a better optical drive or simply install a weight-saver.
Also noteworthy is the battery life of the V100. The six-cell battery is rated to offer up to 4.4 hours of usage, though it protrudes out behind the notebook and adds to the 1.8kg weight of the notebook. The three-cell option used to achieve the advertised 1.8kg weight comes without the unsightly protrusion, but users can expect a much lower battery time.
With prices starting from around AU$2900 for a system with Intel's Core Duo processor and DVD/CD-RW combo drive, the V100 will appeal to mobile business users looking for a well-equipped yet lightweight computing solution.