Despite its relatively
meagre 240MB of available memory, the 1.6GHz Pentium M processor proved well up
to the task of normal desktop operations. It felt considerably snappier running
Office and related operations than the Celeron 2.4GHz system that this article
was written on. The only evident slowdown was when switching between open
applications. This is where more memory would come in handy.
DVD playback was good. Despite
our initial misgivings about the brightness of the screen, it proved well up to
the task of playing back our two test disks, Pitch Black and the Matrix.
The keyboard proved fast, if a
little shallow to be truly comfortable. This is what we'd expect from a laptop
keyboard, so no marks off here. The built-in trackpad was nice and sensitive,
but the buttons were a little too stiff for our liking.
As you would expect from
a notebook running the fast Intel Pentium M processor, the Gigabyte G-Max N203
got quite warm during use. It never heated up to the point where you would be
unable to use it on your lap though, so this is not a major concern.
The onboard speakers were about as good as you could
hope for from any midrange notebook, meaning they were awful. Sound through headphones was just fine
though, with decent bass and clear sound reproduction. The G-Max N203 uses
standard Realtek AC'97 audio, identical to the integrated sound solutions on the
majority of motherboards.
The integrated Intel wireless
802.11b+g adaptor showed good signal range and throughput. The wired Ethernet
and modem worked just as expected.
The Gigabyte G-Max N203's
integrated Matsushita UJDA750 DVD/CDRW combo drive functioned well in our DVD
tests and software installation tests. The tray loading drive had a solid feel
which we appreciated. Often, notebook optical drives feel fragile enough to snap
off in your hand, but not this one.
We compared the Gigabyte G-Max
N203 against a couple of other laptops we've reviewed recently, the Gigabyte G-Max N512 and the diminutive Sony VGN-T140P. Both are
decent examples of the extremes of notebook design; the G-Max N512 functions
adequately as a desktop replacement and gaming machine, while the Sony laptop is
an excellent example of a modern ultra-portable notebook. Let's see how the
mid-range G-Max N203 stacks up in the office and gaming benchmarks.
|PCStats Test System
|Intel Pentium M
Intel Pentium M ultra-low
||Intel Extreme 2
||ATI Radeon Mobility
||Intel Extreme 2
256 MB DDR 333 (16MB
512MB DDR 333 (16MB