Samsung N210 - 10.1in Netbook - Samsung N210

Andy Vandervell

By Andy Vandervell



Our Score:


Since we've mentioned the samey hardware, we should also deal with another samey element: the connectivity. Remember the original Asus Eee PC 701? Well the N210 has the exact same options as it did: three USB ports, VGA, a memory card reader, and two audio jacks. Samsung does at least spring one pleasant surprise, however, since one of the USB ports supports standby power, so you can charge USB devices from the N210 even when it's turned off.

Another interesting feature is the use of Phoenix Technologies' HyperSpace instant-on OS. Like DeviceVM's SplashTop (also known as ExpressGate on Asus machines), it's a Linux derived OS that's meant to provide fast access to essential features. It certainly boots fairly quickly, reaching the desktop in around 35 seconds and a web browser in 50. By comparison it takes just over a minute to reach the Windows desktop.

In use, HyperSpace exceeds SplashTop in creating a more usable and useful desktop. On the left you get shortcuts to programs and web services, while the main body can be split into one or two columns and filled with widgets for Twitter, Gmail and popular news services (e.g. BBC, CNN), as well as useful functions like a calculator, to do list and notes. You can even have separate desktop tabs. Native applications include what looks like a variation on Open Office and a Real Player media player for video and music. Almost everything else is accessed via the web browser.

It's all quite promising, but it has several issues. While it's fast to boot, in general use HyperSpace feels a tad lethargic. Of course this is true of Windows, too, but ultimately the functionality on offer here is far too limited to justify itself. An extra 30 seconds or so is hardly a long wait and if instant access is such a priority, leaving the machine in standby is far more effective.

It also commands some system memory (user selectable between 128, 256 and 512MB), which leaves you even less memory for Windows. Another irritation is that if you boot into Windows from HyperSpace and then shutdown, instead of turning off the machine it returns to HyperSpace. We also encountered some problems getting the OS to discover our Wi-Fi network, a problem that miraculously solved itself in time. We can commend Samsung for trying to add something different here, but ultimately it feels a bit superfluous.


March 23, 2010, 11:25 pm

Does House come with it or do I have to buy that separately?

JW Clapham

May 17, 2010, 11:51 pm

I bought the slightly higher spec n220, and unless I have a dud one I warn any potential buyers that even after upgrading the memory to 2 , the machine can't cope with i-player or even Skype video calls.. for me the latter is a serious oversight, its a great shame as otherwise its good. J


June 11, 2010, 6:32 am

Thanks for the heads up JW. I see that cutting corners will just make me frustrated. I might as well spend a few hundred pounds more on a machine I can use.


July 6, 2010, 1:33 am

@JW Clapham: can't cope with iPlayer and Skype? You're kidding, right? How can a machine which touts ability to play back 720p HD Video not cope with iPlayer?

@Andy the reviewer: What's the integrated webcam like? Tech spec on Amazon says it's only 0.3MP - sounds a bit substandard...

Ben Beckwith

August 4, 2010, 2:21 am

Does anyone know the differences between the n200, 220 and 230? On the Samsung website, the specs are pretty identical except perhaps for bluetooth 3.0.

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