Samsung isn't the first company to attempt to ruggedize a netbook, the Dell Latitude 2100 beat it to that particular punch line, but it's as much as it can do make netbooks remotely interesting at the moment. A variant of the N210 we reviewed earlier this year, the NB30 discards its shallower touches and adds a toughened shell and a free-fall protected hard drive.
Don't get ideas of ToughBook style ruggedness, though, the "toughened shell" we speak of is merely a wave like pattern that allegedly makes the NB30 stronger and more scratch resistant. It's hardly a revolutionary step, and though it may have some effect on the NB30's ruggedness, it's only marginal.
As for the free-fall protected hard drive, it's a good addition, but one that Toshiba has had on its netbooks since the original NB200. Nonetheless, if you're particularly prone to dropping things, free-fall protection - where the drive heads are parked when motion is detected - is a good thing to have.
Elsewhere, the NB30 is the same netbook we've reviewed several times over. It has a 1.66GHz Intel Atom processor, 1GB of RAM and a 250GB hard drive, with Wireless-N Wi-Fi and Bluetooth rounding off the wireless connectivity. A 10.1in screen, and its incumbent 1,024 x 600 resolution display, is another given, though Samsung wins brownie points for using an anti-glare finish.
For wired connectivity you get the usual suspects, which include three USB ports, VGA, audio jacks, Ethernet and a memory card slot. This is perfectly sufficient for most demands, and there's the added bonus of one of the USB ports supporting standby charging. This is a great feature for anyone who wants to charge their phone, but doesn't have the mains power adapter to hand.