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Solid competition

tech reviews Updated: Apr 07, 2009 20:03 IST

When it comes to build quality, the Samsung NP-NC10 is a cut above other netbooks. It is chunky, robust and flaunts a solid design. Even the colour used is all-solid; the one we tested was an elegant metallic violet.

The overall impressive build quality also includes the sturdy lid and bezel. With aptly arranged keys, the keyboard is one of the better ones we've seen so far. The touch pad is smaller than that of other netbooks but is comfortable and has a scroll zone.

There's 10/100 Ethernet, Wi-Fi b/g and Bluetooth. Samsung could have provided Wi-Fi n. Since the hard drive is roomy enough, why shouldn't users be able to download faster?

As far as performance goes, there isn't much to differentiate the NC10 from other standard netbooks. When stacked up against the Asus 1000H, the NC10 matches it in performance in most cases. The memory bandwidth is the same, and even the processing power doesn't falter in comparison. It performs as well as any Atom N270-based netbook. Sound quality is good and even the battery life is tremendous with nearly a whopping five hours when using regular applications.

Samsung is a late entrant in the netbook arena, but has introduced something solid.The hardware is courtesy Intel's Atom processor, which means it offers features that are common to most netbooks. It is built around the Intel 945GSE chipset and is powered by the Intel Atom N270 which is clocked at 1.60 GHz. This package and 1 GB RAM, a 160 GB hard drive and an onboard Intel GMA 950 GPU make this netbook worthwhile for business on the go. Its decently sized 10.2-inch screen which houses a 1.3-megapixel webcam is a nice touch for video calls and messages. The screen's resolution of 1024 x 600 is good enough for office work, an occasional in-fight movie or even light gaming.

There's one VGA and three USB ports, audio ports and a Kensington lock slot. There's an SD card reader housed in the front of the device. Along with the preinstalled Microsoft Windows XP Home edition, you get McAfee Virus Scan as well. The inclusion of the Samsung Recovery Solution for XP in the bundle adds value to the product. However, using the disc will need an external optical drive, which netbooks don't come with.

It's a bit costly at Rs 28,477. But we'd recommend this netbook if you are looking for a good battery life, sturdy build quality and a no-nonsense colour scheme.