Just below the keyboard, however, is a suspiciously small touchpad that sits more or less flush with the chassis. Thankfully, our initial concerns about its size turned out to be unfounded. On such a low resolution display it works perfectly well and a small tweak of sensitivity makes it easy to navigate quickly and accurately. As it is a Synaptics touchpad it supports both vertical and horizontal scrolls zones, as well as ‘tap zones’ in each corner, while the driver settings are quite comprehensive.
Unlike the Acer Aspire One, Samsung has chosen to keep the buttons below the touchpad, in this instance in the form of a singular rocker-style segment. It works as well as you should expect, proving not too stiff and providing a positive feedback.
One slight peculiarity in terms of layout is the integrated microphone, which can be found to the right above the keyboard. Ordinarily we’d sooner see it next to the webcam, but it works fine and isn’t easily obscured like it would be were it lower down the chassis.
Like the basic components, the NC10 features the same sort of connectivity seen in most netbooks. This includes, on the left, a power input, an Ethernet port and two USB ports sat side-by-side. On the right, meanwhile, you’ll find the power button on the hinge section, a lock slot, a VGA output, another USB port and the headphone and microphone sockets.
Having at least one isolated USB port is useful if you have any bulky USB devices – something Apple really ought to learn. We also like the fact that the memory card reader, a 3-in-1 unit supporting SD, SDHC and MMC formats, is housed on the front. This makes it easy to access quickly and the plastic blanker is unobtrusive, so doesn’t disturb the visual flow of things either.
This might not be the case if your leave a card in permanently, but given the very large 160GB hard drive this hardly seems likely. Indeed, the drive is large enough that you could happily dual-boot Ubuntu Netbook Remix, or the Linux distribution of your choice, and have plenty of room going spare.
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