- 10.2″ Wide, 1024 x 600 WSVGA , 220 nits
- Intel Atom Processor N270, 1.6 GHz, 533 MHz Front Side Bus, 512 KB Level 2 Cache
- 160 GB, 2.5″ HD, 1 GB DDR2 800 MHz
- Intel® 945GSE shared, 802.11 b/g WiFi, Bluetooth 2.0 + EDR, 10/100 BaseTX LAN
- 6-Cell Lithium Ion, Genuine Microsoft XP® Home with Service Pack 3, 1.3 Mega Pixel webcam, Kensington Key Lock, 1 year standard parts and labor, 2.8 lbs
I confess, I think netbook are really cool. I have heard some people complaing about their lack of computing power, shrunken proportions, or lack of an optical drive but I think they have missed the boat. These little computers are all about portability and price. Two years ago to get a computer the size of a netbook you would pay well over two grand. Today, netbooks are becoming increasingly popular with prices ranging from around $300-$800.
I was so impressed with the Acer Aspire One that I bought for my wife over the summer that I decided I wanted to get a netbook for myself. I did a ton of reasearch and looked closely at Eee’s, Wind’s, HP’s Mini 1000, and Dells Mini 9. I was about to pick the MSI Wind when a newcomer crossed my computer screen. The Samsung NC10 got rave reviews from Laptop Magazine and also from most other reviewers and consumers who got their hands on the netbook. After reading through numerous reviewsi took the plunge and purchased a white NC10 fron Newegg. Here are my thoughts about the computer.
Price: $470 is in the middle of netbook range and I think for what you get with the NC10, it’s a great deal. There are cheaper netbooks out there, but for what I wanted in terms of specs and ease of upgradability, the NC10 was my best option.
Build Quality: Overall, build quality is excellent. The plastics used are solid and exhibit little to no flex. The keyboard doed not flex and the keys have a nice sold feel when pressed. The only complaint I have (and it seems to be a common occurrence as a quick Google search will reveal), is that the hinges aren’t as tight as I would like. They still hold the screen shut just fine and hold it in position fine when open, but I would have liked a bit more stiffness.
Connectivity: The NC10 has a pretty standard array of ports for netbook: 3 USB, VGA out, card reader, Bluetooth, Wireless and wired internet. Nothing super extraordinary here as most netbook offer the same selection. I do like the arrangement of the ports with the USB ports split with two on one side and one on the other. I also like that the card reader is on the front of the netbook leaving realestate on the sides for the other ports.
Expandability: I have not cracked open the case yet, but in my reaserch I watched a number of videos of the NC10 being opened up to upgrade the RAM and hard drive. Both the RAM and HD can be upgraded easily. That played a role in my decision to go with the NC10.
Usability: One of my key reasons for picking this netbook was the included six cell battery and the stellar battery life. This thing will last between 4-7 hours on a charge. That is a broad range, but the battery life depends a lot on what you are doing. If you are not trying to run mulitiple programs and keep the WiFi turned off, I can hit 6-7 hours pretty consistently. With WiFi on all the time I consistently get between 5 and 6 hours. If I am multitasking or doing a lot of battery intensive tasks, the worst battery life I have gotten is 4 hours. Those are great numbers and many people will find this netbook able to be used for multiple days without having to find an outlet.
The keyboard is close enough to full size that typing on it takes very little adjustment. Also, a big plus is that all the keys on the keyboard are where they are supposed to be. There are no oddly places shift keys or missing rows of function keys. Everything is there and easy find.
The NC10 runs cool enough to be used on the lap. The only time it might get a little uncomfortable is if you are doing a lot multitasking and the bottom gets a little warm.
It runs all the programs I need like a charm and as long as you don’t try and use it like multimedia powerhouse, you should be very pleased with the performance.
Conclusion: The Samsung NC10 fits my needs the best of any netbook on the market right now. The balance of features, build quality, battery life, and price are what sold me on it. The only reason I didn’t consider an Aspire One like my wife has is because I wanted a slightly bigger screen. She needed maximum portability which wasn’t as a big a concern for me.
If you are looking for a netbook, the NC10 should be on your shortlist. I know it might be a little disconcerting not being able to go to a local store and try it before you buy it, but the good reviews speak for themselves. This is a solid netbook and definitely worthy of your consideration.