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Samsung N130 - Connectivity, Usability, Battery Life & Verdict

Andy Vandervell

By Andy Vandervell

Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

8

User Score:

Connectivity on the N130 is little different to 99 per cent of netbooks. There are three USB ports, a couple of audio jacks, VGA for video, a Fast Ethernet port and (at the front) a memory card reader. This covers all the basics you really need, though the addition of standby charging on one of the USB ports might have been useful.

Samsung N130 side left and right

Samsung netbooks have traditionally had excellent keyboards and the N130 is no different. Its keys are a comfortable size and have nice crisp actions, making typing a relative breeze. This is supported by a good layout that's enhanced by the cursor keys being slightly withdrawn. If one were being picky it would be nice to have a larger right-Shift key, but it's a minor complaint.

This excellent keyboard is matched to a touchpad that works just fine. It's a reasonable size for a netbook, and its buttons offer good feedback.

Samsung N130 keyboard

As for the screen, it's a fairly nondescript affair. Its 1,024 x 600 native resolution is the same as that found on most netbooks, offering enough real-estate to fit web pages satisfactorily but not much more. Vitally, it has a non-reflective finish, which makes the N130 much easier to use when out and about. Colour production and detail levels aren't outstanding but they are sufficient, and text is extremely sharp and readable.

Speakers on netbooks are rarely much to shout about, but the N130's are particular poor. It doesn't help that they're housed beneath the front edge of the machine, but even so they're very weak and tinny. Anything more taxing than an online video clip is to be avoided.

Samsung N130 full size

Far more important to a netbook is its battery life. Though the N130 has a six-cell unit, its 4,000mAh capacity isn't quite as munificent as more expensive models such as the Samsung N210. Still, it can last up to five hours when playing video, which should suffice for the great majority of users.

Verdict

There's nothing flashy about the Samsung N130, but that's kind of the point. It's everything a netbook needs to be - no more, no less - and is priced accordingly. If that sounds good to you then it's well worth looking at.

Overall Score

8

Scores In Detail

  • Performance 6
  • Value 9
  • Features 6
  • Design 8
  • Battery Life 8

Simon

June 10, 2010, 2:41 pm

Just a minor point, it would have been nice if you mentioned the 5 hour battery life when watching video within the text of the review.

Ed

June 10, 2010, 2:53 pm

@Simon: You mean aside from in the last paragraph?

Simon

June 10, 2010, 8:15 pm

Apologies!

GoldenGuy

June 10, 2010, 8:15 pm

It's always embarrassing for Mac users when reviews get to netbook connectivity, where you have to step up to a £1000 portable to get SD, and over £2000 for 3 USBs.

PaulW

June 11, 2010, 5:16 pm

Very fair review, as I have one of these. Have increased RAM to 2Gb, updated to Win 7 Ultimate and dual boot Win 7 / Ubuntu Netbook. Can't really find anything to complain about! For £225 when compared to "anything MAC" its a no brainer! Both Win7 & Ubuntu 10.04 Netbook edition run very spritely. Am well chuffed.

totally exasperated

September 22, 2010, 1:30 pm

I've had an N130 for a few months and it's nearly been chucked out of the window several times - it's maddeningly slow, especially on reply when I'm emailing. None of the reviewers here seem to have the same problem - can anyone suggest a solution?

Ed

September 22, 2010, 1:44 pm

@totally exasperated: Netbooks are slow I'm afraid. That said, I'd suggest trying a different email client and see if that's any quicker. You're not running antivirus are you, cause that will kill performance?

Nomad25

October 3, 2010, 7:53 pm

Looks like Samsung have reduced the hard disk capacity since the review down from 250GB to a 160GB (5400 rpm S-ATA) according to their on line brochure and the Amazon listing http://xrl.in/6ggd

gmaatt

October 26, 2010, 5:23 pm

Hi,


I am interested in getting one of these, but I want to be able to watch my dvds on it. If I were to copy my dvd image to the hard drive and view it, would this machine handle the dvd playback (being hard of hearing I need the subs). Also I have read that this machine stuglles when multi tasking, is that so the case?

Phillip Thorne

January 14, 2011, 7:21 am

I bought the N130 160GB model with webcam from Cash Generator (second hand goods shop chain) for £90. I installed a 500GB Samsung hard disk, 2GB PC2 DDR667 800Mhz Samsung RAM, connected a P.C DVD drive to a USB to SATA converter and installed Windows 7 (x86) Home Premium. It runs super fast and the Intel graphics chipset is good enough to use the full function of the Windows 7 themes. Amazingly I can play Modern Warefare Call of Duty on it in medium resolution without any glitching issues!


Just one other point that wasn't mentioned - This has an L.E.D screen as opposed to an L.C.D so the picture is also crisp and vibrant.


One of my better buys, I recommend it!

danielbaker114

August 1, 2011, 4:56 pm

Great little netbook,. suggest buy it

Great value for money

Pete

December 3, 2013, 10:47 am

The Samsung N130 looks like an excellent replacement for the Display Screen PCs / laptops which we use. These are loaded with the Display Screen images ( webpage running WMV files in a frame ) and can be updated remotely if on the LAN. VERY IMPORTANT is the fact that the N130 will output to 1024x768 when connected to a larger display screen. We previously used Acer Revo 3700 nettop PCs, but these have fried themselves as they are constantly left running 24/7. The N130 is slim enough to sit behind a display screen and does not suffer from the overheating issue. A few modifications should have them shutting down overnight and boot on lan int' morning, then auto refresh the current web components.

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