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Samsung NC10 - 10.2in Netbook - Build Quality & Keyboard

Andy Vandervell

By Andy Vandervell



Our Score:


Faux-chrome hinges are attached to a strong hinge section and the matte plastic finish is continued throughout. Rubberised legs on the battery and at the front of the machine ensure it remains well planted on an even surface, while also enhancing airflow under the machine. Indeed, one thing that became immediately apparent is how cool the NC10 remains under all operation. There are plenty of vents, particularly around the hard drive, while the fan rarely seems to spin up and even when it does the NC10 remains blissfully quiet with no annoying squeals or squeaks - something that can afflict poorly fitted fans.

Other nice visual touches include how the ports, like on other Samsung notebooks, are labelled at the top of the machine, aiding easy identification and location, while the slightly upward angle of the front edge is also worth noting. Not only is it a nice visual cue, it means the status lights that run along the front edge are easily visible even if the lid is closed.

It's stuff like this that immediately gives you the impression of a quality product, an impression backed up by outstanding build quality. This isn't always something netbooks are renowned for, both the MSI Wind and the Acer Aspire One could be accused of using some cheap feeling plastics, but the Samsung has an enviably solid feeling to it. All the plastics used in the NC10, even on the underside of the machine, feel very solid and durable. Vitally, the screen is also very well protected. When forcibly bent, pressure is transmitted evenly, rather than concentrated on a specific area, while even a firm punch to the back produces little distortion.

Nowhere is this quality more apparent than in the keyboard. Keys have a firm and springy feel to them and a pleasing amount of travel as well. Flex is near non-existent - you have to press down unrealistically hard to garner any movement - while the keys are 93 per cent of full size, so are well proportioned and easy to type on.

Samsung has also absolutely nailed the keyboard layout. There's a decent size Return key, the Fn key sits inside the Ctrl key and no important keys have been miniaturised to fit them in. It's particularly good how the cursor keys, along with Page Up and Page Down, have been slightly withdrawn from the main body of the keyboard, ensuring that they never get in the way of normal typing - a perennial problem on Eee PCs in particular!

All told, it's a faultless effort and within minutes we were up to our normal typing speed. We prefer it to the otherwise very good MSI Wind keyboard thanks to its withdrawn cursor keys and as a whole it's only surpassed by the HP 2133 Mini-Note PC, but that's soon to be replaced by a new effort from HP and can't be recommended in the interim. Thus, if a really good keyboard is high on your list of priorities, you can't go far wrong with the NC10.


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.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. :)


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/nanotec...


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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