I decided that it was time, I needed a smaller more portable computer and with all the hype around the new EEE Pc from Asus I decided to see what all the fuss was about with these ‘netbooks’. Essentially a netbook is a small, portable and ‘low cost’ addition to compliment your primary computer, although most manufacturers have opted to elevate the build and components and with it, the price.
Asus and the EEE Pc were first on the scene and considering this they have done really well to keep on top of their game. The EEE PC was a revolution and something that will ultimately change the way we look at laptops. It was based on this that I got my hands on the Asus EEE Pc 901. It was a very cute, light weight and a good looking netbook. My only fuss is being a 6 foot male with fairly large hands, I just could not come to terms with the tiny keys. They really were just too small for me. I was constantly making typo’s which raised my blood pressure with my sporadic rants. This left me with the larger, heavier 10.2” form factor to choose from. Asus again are strong in this field with their Asus EEE Pc 1000h. It does not differ in many specifications from the rest of the field and it became the benchmark if you will. In comes the Samsung NC10! Samsung entered the game late, but better late than never. After sitting on the side line biding their time, they took notes. They listened to what the consumer was saying; they took the gripes, the praises and the moaning and put together the king of the 10.2” netbooks.
The Beast, the Samsung NC10!
After choosing the Samsung NC10 as the netbook champion, I placed my order for the Black version from Insight. At £320 it is by no means cheap and straying very far from the traditional values of the netbook. In saying this, it is priced very well against all other competitors and so far has proved worth every penny.
The Samsung NC10 comes in 3 flavours, a black, blue and white version. The keyboard is a really good size and I don’t find myself making too many typos, they even managed to get the keys in all the right places and did not hide the right hand shift key like many of its brethren. Typo’s still happen, but I tend to blame my lazy fingers and my detached brain for this. It comes equipped with a power socket, Ethernet port, 3 USB ports, SD memory card slot, microphone and headphone jack and a VGA out. It has a chrome trim too which wraps around the netbook to give a really good looking finish. My only gripes are the touch pad and the glossy finish which is just too small to use effectively and the glossy finish is impossible to keep clean! This will take some getting used to and screen wipes galore for the cleaning.
The Samsung NC10 like many of its rivals comes with the Atom 1.6Ghz processor, 160 Gb IDE hard drive, 1Gb Ram and Intel onboard graphics. I ordered my Netbook with a stick of 2Gb Kingston Value Ram and installed that before the first boot. It was so simple to install and for the cost of £12 it is certainly worth it.
The default installed operating system (OS) is Windows XP home. Although it is not my first choice in operating systems I was glad they did not stick Windows Vista on without any alternate operating systems. The initial setup was really easy and consists of the final stage in Windows XP setup and the creation of a recovery partition. There is none of this ‘bloat’ that other manufactures install which normally ends up taking longer to un-install that the initial computer took to install. The 1.6 Ghz Atom is fairly nippy and up to the challenge of my day to day tasks. I installed Photoshop CS3 and gave it a run and it was definitely usable. Dreamweaver, Microsoft Office, VLC player, Firefox, Skype, MSN Messenger Live and iTunes have followed suit and all work really well. Temperatures seem low and there is little to no noise what so ever. I was a bit upset that there was no Linux version but so far I have not had any of the standard Windows hang-ups, blue screens or random MS errors. The final part which was one of the biggest selling points, this was the battery, over looked by many but a real selling point for those in the know. The standard 6 cell battery, although adding a bit of weight gives you a massive 4 ½ to 5 hours of usage. Considering that this is an IDE hard drive with a 10.2 bright LCD that is massive. Perfect for long flights, train journeys or just hours free from the constraints of a power cable.
The Samsung NC10 is just what the doctor ordered. The only thing it really lacks is a 3G/HSDPA slot; this would have completed the perfect package. Although this does seem to be a future addition and the slot is there but with nothing behind it. Samsung has really done well, this is a great looking netbook, has a great clear screen, battery life is superb thanks to Samsung’s energy management and a great 6 cell battery. The 160 Gb hard drive gives you ample storage at the slight risk of shock damage. A SSD would have been nice but can very easy be overlooked. The build quality is fantastic and feels solid and well made. The keyboard is a great size and feels good to type on, there is no flex in the keyboard and a touch typist should get on fine. The Samsung get s a report card that any parent will be happy with and a definite A+ from me!
Get Samsung NC-10 cheap from Insight, in stock now with next day delivery