The $1099 V220 looks impressive on a desk, with its 15-inch screen; thick, fashionably grooved case; and wide, chrome keyboard accent panel with round cooling fan grille. The case is 2.2 inches tall at the back thanks to rear peg feet, which give the touchpad-equipped keyboard a nice typing slant. The V220 weighs in at a hefty 8.7 pounds not counting the power adapter, which weighs over a pound by itself.
You get a full set of laptop connections--including FireWire--for the price, all sensibly placed and easy to reach. However, the optical drive is limited to a DVD-ROM and CD-RW combo drive, not the increasingly standard DVD burner most laptops now offer.
Like most budget laptops, the V220 does not offer much in the way of multimedia. The built-in speakers have a narrow range of volume. However, it's easy to upgrade--important if you want to add more RAM or a bigger hard drive. You'll need a screwdriver to reach the 60GB hard drive or the single under-keyboard memory slot.
The V220 is not a bad performer for an inexpensive laptop, but it didn't blaze any new trails, either. It lasted a little over 2 hours in our battery tests, and its WorldBench 5 score of 61 lagged two other notebooks we've tested with the 2.8-GHz Pentium 4 processor and 512MB of RAM by an average of 6 percent.
Joining the rest of the PC industry in cutting costs, WinBook has pared down its once-superior printed user manual to a thin reference that mostly points readers to the Windows Help and Support Center. Fortunately, the hard-drive reference is chock-full of helpful information.
The $1099 WinBook V220 would make a handsome, capable home laptop for a budget watcher.
WorldBench 5 score of 61, 2.8-GHz Pentium 4 processor, 512MB of DDR333 SDRAM, Windows XP Home, 15-inch screen, 60GB hard drive, DVD-ROM and CD-RW combo drive, built-in V.92 modem and 10/100 ethernet, 802.11g, touchpad pointing device, 9.9-pound weight (including AC adapter and phone cord). One-year parts and labor warranty, 13-hour weekday and 7-hour weekend toll-free support.