Review: Samsung NC10-14GB  

Posted by Mohammad Talha in , , , , , , , , ,

From cell phones to HDTVs, Samsung products have successfully found their way into American homes for the past decade. But the company hasn't made much headway with its laptops, and for good reason: The laptops have only recently started selling in the United States. Samsung needed a strategy that would jump-start its laptop presence. A netbook was the obvious choice, as this category is taking the market by storm. The Samsung NC10-14GB ($480 street) is a lot like every other netbook, but it has a few small advantages. It comes with a six-cell battery instead of a puny three-cell, and the keyboard is a tiny bit (1 percent) bigger than those of the MSI Wind and the HP Mini 1000. Ultimately, though, it loses out on price: The MSI Wind is a lower-priced package for now (by about $50, which in the netbook category is significant).

The white exterior of the ASUS EeePC 4G, once thought of as sleek and sexy, has been copied over and over for other netbooks like the Wind, the Acer Aspire One, and the Lenovo IdeaPad S10. Splashed in navy blue, the NC10 is neither bland nor head-turning. The HP 1000's embedded patterns and the metallic lid of the ASUS EeePC 1002HA are taking netbook designs to another level, and the trend won't stop with them. At 10.3 by 7.3 by 1 inches, the NC10's dimensions practically identical to those of the ASUS EeePC 1002HA. The HP Mini 1000 (10.3 by 6.6 by 0.9 inches) and the Lenovo S10 (9.8 by 7.3 by 0.9 inches) are slightly thinner and smaller. At 2.9 pounds, the NC10's frame seems heavy, but once you factor in the standard six-cell battery, its weight is actually on a par with its 10-inch counterparts.

By 10-inch, I mean the size of the widescreen. Netbooks like the Acer Aspire One (2.1 pounds), the Dell Inspiron Mini 9 (2.3 pounds), and the ASUS EeePC 900 (2.2 pounds) are noticeably lighter because they have smaller 8.9-inch widescreens. The viewing experience is obviously better with a bigger screen, but the 1,024-by-600 resolution is the same across the board. The NC10's brightness and contrast levels are consistent with those of other 10-inch netbooks and make for pleasant viewing. Its 93 percent keyboard is 1 percent larger than those found on the Mini 1000 and the MSI Wind—not a huge difference, although the keys are noticeably bigger and the typing experience better. Consequently, the touchpad is minuscule compared with those of the EeePC 1002HA and the Wind, resulting in a tighter pinch when using your thumb and index fingers to navigate.

The NC10's features are consistent with those of other top-rated netbooks. It comes with three USB ports, a VGA-out, an Ethernet port, and an SD slot. Lenovo opted to forgo a USB port in its S10 to make room for an ExpressCard slot, which is a handy addition for expansion devices that enable 3G wireless services and other specialty ports. Both the HP 1000 and the Dell Inspiron Mini 9 have 3G wireless built in, simplifying things even further. A 160GB hard drive is included and appears to be the capacity that everyone is settling on. By next year, you'll see netbook hard drive capacities standardized at 320GB.

The NC10 contains the same parts as every netbook. Its 1.6-GHz Intel Atom N270 processor and 1GB of memory are no surprise. The same could be said about the integrated graphics. The ASUS N10Jc-A1 is an exception, a netbook that utilizes two sets of graphics chipsets to its advantage—one for 3D work and another to save battery life. The NC10's SYSmark 2007 Overall score topped the Wind's by a point, though you wouldn't notice it in real-world applications. The NC10 was a bit slower on video-encoding tests, trailing the others in the comparison by at least 2 seconds. (full Story)

This entry was posted on Feb 28, 2009 at 11:15 PM and is filed under , , , , , , , , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .

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