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Samsung NC10 - 10.2in Netbook review

Andy Vandervell




  • Editors choice

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Samsung NC10 - 10.2in Netbook
  • Samsung NC10 - 10.2in Netbook
  • Samsung NC10 - 10.2in Netbook
  • Samsung NC10 - 10.2in Netbook
  • Samsung NC10 - 10.2in Netbook
  • Samsung NC10 - 10.2in Netbook
  • Samsung NC10 - 10.2in Netbook
  • Samsung NC10 - 10.2in Netbook
  • Samsung NC10 - 10.2in Netbook
  • Samsung NC10 - 10.2in Netbook
  • Samsung NC10 - 10.2in Netbook
  • Samsung NC10 - 10.2in Netbook


Our Score:



  • Stunning design
  • Fantastic battery life
  • Perfect keyboard layout


  • Mediocre speakers
  • Flimsy carry case
  • Weighty battery

Key Features

  • Intel Atom N270 1.6Hz processor
  • 1GB DDR2 RAM
  • 10/100 Ethernet and 802.11 b/g Wi-Fi
  • 160GB hard drive
  • Six-cell battery with a 5,200mAh capacity
  • Manufacturer: Samsung
  • Review Price: free/subscription

We could be coy and suggestive and hint at the conclusions to come, but given you can see the score at the top and might have read the strap line "the best netbook money can buy" on the front page, you should already know what's coming. That in May we visited Samsung in Korea and were told the company wasn't working on a netbook and had no plans to do so either proves that Koreans make excellent poker players, or that the Korean giant has designed, produced and delivered a truly superb product in a matter of months. Frankly, when you're dealing with a company like Samsung, anything seems possible.

Of course, fundamentally the NC10 is little different to any other netbook currently available. At the centre of it all, as ever, is an Intel Atom N270 processor running at 1.6GHz. This, as we've seen through the last few months, delivers a remarkable balance of performance and battery life. It might not be a high performance part, but for the needs of a netbook it's just right and until something else comes along to best it, either the AMD Conesus, the proposed ARM effort, or a dual-core Atom, it's as good as netbook processing gets. This is backed up the usual 1GB DDR2 RAM module and since there's just the one slot in the NC10, you'll need a 2GB stick if you wish to upgrade - something that's made easy thanks to a dedicated single-screw fixed panel.

Network connectivity comes in the form of 10/100 Ethernet and 802.11 b/g Wi-Fi and though the likes of the Asus Eee PC 1000H and MSI Wind U100-291UK also pack Draft-N Wi-Fi, it's a luxury we and plenty of others can do without. Naturally there's Bluetooth in there, too, along with the 10.2in, 1,024 x 600, LED backlit display that appears to have become the norm among netbooks.

For storage there's an exceedingly capacious 160GB hard drive and unlike so many netbooks, those mentioned above accepted, it features a six-cell battery with a 5,200mAh capacity. That it has all this and comes in at just under £300, approximately £30 less than the MSI, means the NC10 is already off to an extremely good start before you've even clapped eyes on it.

And when you do, things only get better. Glance at the NC10 and you'd be forgiven for thinking it to be an Eee PC, but closer inspection reveals plenty of differences and ones that make it a fundamentally more attractive and more durable piece of kit. Most striking in this regard is the faux-chrome accenting that runs down both sides and across the front edge of the machine. It's such a simple thing but it instantly lends the NC10 an ever so slightly more adult and grown up look, contrasting the otherwise all white chassis very nicely. You might be relieved to hear that white isn't the only option, too, with rather fetching blue and a black versions available at identical prices.

Aside from the chromed edges, there are plenty more things to like about the NC10's design. Its lid, for instance, has a matte plastic finish, as opposed to a glossy plastic one that's forever picking up fingerprints, grease and scratches. For something that's going to be used regularly on the move this can only be a good thing and it's pleasing to see Samsung paying attention to what many users have been demanding. This is joined by smart silver 'Samsung' lettering and each side of the lid is tapered slightly to meet the outside edges of the main body.


November 17, 2008, 1:24 pm

what's with the single mouse button, though?


November 17, 2008, 1:28 pm

Reading this review makes me feel very stupid for buying an eee 701 for 𧶲 when they came out last year :( I wish that they had enough of a resale value that i could sell it and get one of these now...


November 17, 2008, 2:14 pm

It has two trackpad buttons, its the same button, but it tilts in either direction. One point to note - unlike the white model, the black and blue models do have the glossy fingerprint style lid.

Luan Bach

November 17, 2008, 2:14 pm

"a firm punch in the back" ? Samsung may not be sending you guys any more review gears! :-)


November 17, 2008, 3:01 pm

Andy... Can you clarify the earlier comment here about the finish of the black and blue models? Based on the earlier 'TrustedReviews' image - http://www.trustedreviews.c... - some sort of sheen would appear apparent, but not so sure about gloss. I agree, this aspect is a particular irritant with all types of notebooks. I favour black or blue for imminent purchase, but will elect the white 'matte' finish if this is an issue. Have you seen all three colours?

Andy Vandervell

November 17, 2008, 3:24 pm

I haven't, but will do my best to find out for you. :)


November 17, 2008, 4:11 pm

This netbook will be bought by me imminently and looks so much better, in my opinion, in black. I do agree with BST though, the matte finish would have preferable with the darker colours, but I will forgive the glossy lid of the black model due to its colour.

Andy Vandervell

November 17, 2008, 4:21 pm

To be honest I wouldn't take those press shots as evidence, we all know how companies love Photoshop. Have asked Samsung for clarification.

Andy Vandervell

November 17, 2008, 4:38 pm

Just been confirmed, the blue and black have the same matte finish as the white.


November 17, 2008, 4:41 pm

yaaaaay! hurray for matte. mate FTW!


November 17, 2008, 5:04 pm

Thanks Andy for clarification. Just wondering if to order now, or have the patience to wait a few weeks to compare with the HP Compaq Mini 700; its attraction being the alleged internal HSDPA modem. Now that would be the icing on the Samsung NC10 cake. I hope you will be taking an early look at the '700 (?).

Andy Vandervell

November 17, 2008, 5:21 pm

Hopefully, but not so soon probably. HSDPA versions will only be sold through providers so that's likely to take more time. Should have the 1000 before the year's out with any luck, but it'll have to go some way to best this. As far as I'm aware they won't have 6-cell batteries either, which in mind is pretty essential - feel free to correct if someone knows otherwise.

Brian ONeill

November 17, 2008, 6:06 pm

Hi Andy, how does it compare to the dell 9?


November 17, 2008, 6:27 pm

The Blue and Black are matte inside but the lids have a gloss finish


November 17, 2008, 7:12 pm

Hi Andy, any chance for a video review?

Geoff Richards

November 17, 2008, 7:22 pm

@Singularity - it's being filmed tomorrow and will appear on the site as soon as it is edited together.


November 17, 2008, 8:59 pm

This is the first netbook I've been seriously considering and thanks for making the decision easier :) Looks like the best deal for me, as I'm particularly drawn to the large hard drive as I plan on using this to store video.


November 17, 2008, 9:51 pm

All that stands between me and the NC10 is a review of the HP mini 700/1000 - I guess the feature difference for me is the HP's better keyboard vs. better battery on the Samsung!

Thanks for the excellent coverage.


November 18, 2008, 1:27 am

any news on the toshiba netbook? Also, is there any Linux versions planned of the NC10?


November 18, 2008, 1:51 am

Funny how every netbook offered for sale has a flaw. This one seems fabulous, but the keyboard keys are coated with an anti-bacterial compound based on nano-silver. Odd that wasn't mentioned in the review - maybe the ones bound for the EU aren't coated?. Not nearly enough research has been done on the long-term consequences of nano-silver to individuals and the environment. Regardless, consumer products are now popping up with nano-silver coatings: socks, keyboards; I just saw plastic FOOD containers touting their nano-silver coating! I'm not saying nano-silver is the second coming of asbestos or Thalidomide, but anti-bacterials have the potential of just selectively breeding Superbugs. (further info at http://www.hazards.org/nano...


November 18, 2008, 2:18 am

I recently bought an Acr Aspire One, really wish I'd waited now!

Geoff Richards

November 18, 2008, 2:44 am

@Jag - the Acer is very good so I wouldn't feel TOO bad about it

@TheHoldSteady - I've never heard of "nano-silver" but I'll be doing some reading :)

Geoff Richards

November 18, 2008, 2:47 am

Incidentally, since the NC10 is available in three colours I thought I'd post the links from TrustedReviews Shopping in case people wanted to compare:








November 18, 2008, 2:54 am

Geoff/Andy, any word on whether the UK will see the HP mini-700 before Xmas? Looks like the US already has them.


November 18, 2008, 2:55 am

Does this support Aero Glass if I were to install Vista or 7?

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