When it comes to connectivity, Samsung’s U200 doesn’t exactly impress. Along the left side is an unwieldy flap with soft plastic hinges that hides a memory card reader, two well-spaced USB ports (one of which doubles as eSATA), and two audio jacks (1x headphone, 1x microphone). It would have been much more practical without the annoying flap, but at least this hides the hideous colourful sticker Samsung has used to differentiate the ports. Having this visible would have given the U200 even more of a ‘my first PC’ look.
At the back, meanwhile, we have a further four USB ports, Gigabit Ethernet and a DVI output. Regrettably this is yet another of those frustrating all-in-one machines that don’t offer any video inputs, making it impossible to utilise the screen with any external devices. It’s especially galling as this is a deficiency that the similarly priced Asus EeeTop ET2203 and MSI Wind Top AE2220 Hi-Fi don’t suffer from.
It’s even more of a pity as the U200’s 20in, 1,600 x 900 screen is surprisingly good. Once you get past the reflections you’ll delight in the even backlight and impressive greyscale performance, with a bias towards dark detailing at the cost of white range that should help get the most out of dark films and games. There’s almost no sign of banding or artefacts, and sharpness is excellent.
In fact our only complaint regards horizontal viewing angles, which due to strong contrast shift aren’t as good as most of the competition. It’s also worth noting that due to the screen’s resolution, 720p video may look a little less detailed as it is being upscaled. On the audio side of things, the 3W stereo speakers carry a bit more bass than we’re used to, but this advantage is nullified by distortion at higher volume levels and generally muddy mid-tones. They’re just about usable if you’re not picky, but pale in comparison to the AE2220 Hi-Fi’s impressive performance.
Getting to the included USB peripherals, Samsung’s mouse and keyboard are an interesting mix. The plain ambidextrous mouse is as basic as it gets, with an optical sensor, two buttons and a notched-feedback two-way scroll wheel. At least its curves make it quite comfortable to hold.
The stylish keyboard is more elaborate, with two-tone black and white styling to match the PC. It offers an excellent layout with matt tile-style keys that provide superb feedback: positive and springy but not loud. It also offers dedicated volume controls and a sleep key and is, overall, one of the best bundled wired keyboards we’ve come across.
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