If you're more concerned about getting work done, rather than having fun, then the Lenovo 3000 N200 shares your commendable outlook on life.
It's a sturdy, solid business machine, built for working life, although with an asking price of £400 from LaptopsDirect.co.uk, it's not priced exorbitantly.
On paper, the N200 would appear underpowered by today's standards as it's only equipped with an older Intel Core Duo T2310 processor running at 1.46GHz and 1GB of RAM. However, when it comes to application performance, it's no slouch and managed to pull in a PCMark05 score of 3,204, which is impressive for a £400 machine.
The N200 fulfils its business credentials well and its 1,280x800-pixel resolution, 15.4-inch screen is great for working on, providing plenty of desktop real estate for arranging multiple windows. The glossy finish is good for colour reproduction, but like all such displays does increase its reflectivity, which can be annoying if you're working with bright lights behind you.
You'll find a generous four USB ports for plugging things in which are thoughtfully split three on the right hand side and one on the left for flexibility. You'll also find an ExpressCard/54 slot for expansion and a card reader tucked into the left hand edge.
If you're the paranoid (or forgetful) type, there's a built-in fingerprint reader situated below the cursor keys on the right hand side, so you can do away with passwords and just use your handy digits to access your protected information.
In terms of battery life, the N200 was reasonable if not outstanding. It clocked up 1 hour 25 minutes when running the intensive Battery Eater test and managed a slightly more impressive 2 hours 37 minutes when faced with the less strenuous reader challenge.
Given that fun is one of the last things on the mind of this laptop, its lacklustre 3DMark06 score of 709 is no surprise, although you might expect it at least to be pushing four figures given that it's equipped with a 256MB Nvidia GeForce Go 7300 graphics chip.
Design-wise it's unlikely to win many awards -- there's the odd curve here and softened edge there, but it's ultimately a functional chassis that won't be turning many heads.
The keyboard is sturdy, although fairly stiff to type on, but does offer good sized keys. The touchpad is on the small size -- there's room for a larger one, so it's a shame Lenovo hasn't used the available space more efficiently. The buttons also feel loose and sloppy -- you don't get a reassuring click when pressing them, making it seem rather cheap.
The N200 is a work first, play later machine and if you're after something for business then its low price tag of £400 from LaptopsDirect.co.uk makes it an ideal choice. However, if you're looking for more fun or something that will turn heads, then there are prettier and more playful models available.
Edited by Jason Jenkins
Additional editing by Jon Squire