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Samsung NC10 - 10.2in Netbook - Audio, Display & Battery Life

Andy Vandervell

By Andy Vandervell

Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

10

Also included in the box is a slip case, though if Samsung has skimped anywhere this is clearly it. While you'd happily use the neoprene efforts provided by Asus, the NC10's slip case is little more than a fabric pocket - there isn't even a Velcro clasp to keep the flap closed. So, though it suffices for simply throwing in a random bag, making it better than nothing, it's a token effort and nothing more.

Other sundries, like the speakers, are also predictably mediocre. Housed underneath the front edge they can reach "okay" volumes and for watching the occasional video clip on the Internet (or our wonderful video reviews) they're absolutely fine, but you probably wouldn't want to listen to music using them unless your standards are unusually low, while films are similarly ill-suited. Thus, if integrated audio is of particular importance to you then the Asus Eee PCs (particularly the Windows ones with Dolby Sound Room support) remain the best options, even if it's probably a niche concern for the majority of prospective buyers.

Samsung does, however, have a slight edge when it comes to the display. Given Samsung manufacturers the panels itself this isn't a great surprise, but we were particularly impressed by the brightness and fidelity of the screen found in the NC10. Unlike some netbooks it doesn't render dark scenes in video almost entirely black and horizontal viewing angles aren't too bad either. It still sports the slightly mottled look of displays of this type, but nonetheless text is very sharp and overall this screen sits among the best netbook displays around.

All the NC10's qualities would be for naught, though, were it not for its prodigious battery life. Its six-cell, 5,200mAh battery does add weight, pushing the machine just over 1.3kg, but it's definitely worth it. Running a standard definition video, with screen brightness and volume at 50 per cent, the NC10 continued running for a superb five hours and 40 minutes. This comfortably bests the MSI Wind, whose six-cell battery has only a 4,400mAh capacity; though we dare say the Asus Eee PC 1000H might still win a head-to-head due to its higher 6,600mAh battery.

Nonetheless, it's a very impressive result and it should be remembered that the 1000H weighs a hefty 1.45kg. We might have been able to excuse such a weight when it was the only hard drive equipped netbook with reasonable battery life, but in light of both the new MSI Wind and the Samsung NC10, 150 grams is a considerable handicap.

Alexa08

November 17, 2008, 1:24 pm

what's with the single mouse button, though?

JellyUK

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...

flares

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! :-)

BST

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.com/... - 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. :)

Rsaeire

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.

ilovethemonkeyhead

November 17, 2008, 4:41 pm

yaaaaay! hurray for matte. mate FTW!

BST

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?

TL1210

November 17, 2008, 6:27 pm

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

Singularity

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.

Gnormie

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.

GherkingTR

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.

DangerousQ

November 18, 2008, 1:27 am

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

TheHoldSteady

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/nanotec...

Jag

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:





White


http://shopping.trustedreviews...





Blue


http://shopping.trustedreviews...





Black


http://shopping.trustedreviews...

GherkingTR

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.

Wilson

November 18, 2008, 2:55 am

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

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