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back to article Samsung NC10 netbook

The NC10 is Samsung's take on the Small, Cheap Computer but unlike many 'me too' netbook competitors, the South Korean giant has clearly put a bit of thought into differentiating its offering from the other Eee-alternatives out there. Samsung NC10 Samsung's NC10: not a bad looker Perhaps the most distinctive thing about the …

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Anonymous Coward

I want one

This is the netbook I've been recomending to anyone that asks, yet I don't own one for myself.

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My colleague just got herself one of these...

...and she is very pleased with it so far.

That is all.

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Great little SMUNG

Bought my daughter one of these for school (She loves it) however I have found she has to prise it away from her mother to use as she loves it too.

From an IT professional's perspective this is a great little machine with very little to grumble about (the touch pad excluding).

We even have a pet name for it: SMUNG

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Too pricey, no 802.11n?

Get it closer to 250 quid and its won hands down. For that price I would definitely expect 802.11n.

Once you get beyond 300 quid it's definitely into the territory of considering paying a bit more for a proper laptop..

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Happy

Snappy little machine

It runs Windows7 nicely too... the beta (installed via a USB key) feels faster than the pre-installed version of XP.

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Linux

OS

With seemingly all netbooks coming with XP now I've more or less given up expecting Linux.

However since M$FT appear to be virtually giving XP away you can always console yourself that buying one of these seemingly very impressive machines has contributed next to nothing to the Redmond coffers - before thowing away that nasty 10yr old XP and replacing it with Ubuntu Linux - which means 3G dongles are nicely integrated, office software is included as standard, and a virus free life without the performance sapping overhead of mcafee et al.

(and while I'm on about it, how about Thunderbird email, which is fully compatible with Outlook).

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JZ
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Fail on price

300 quid??? No.

AAI is better value for money - even if you spend and extra fifty quid plus on the larger six-hour battery.

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NC10 - Good One

I bought this 2 weeks ago, on recommendation. I am used to a full size laptop which was ageing, so the Atom processor, whilst slower than desktop was anoticeable speed increase. Keyboard is good, trackpad is poor, so a mouse was the first accessory purchased. I love the screen, i like its dimensions and weight, but it takes a bit of getting used to the limted screen acreage, but hey its another learning curve. I love the battery life - it can go for 7 hours between charges, so is ideal for carrying my mapping software out into the countryside. All in all a pleasing purchase, yes I paid more than i would for a lesser competitor, but i have NO regrets.

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I'll stick with my Aspire One thanks ..

The AAO has a very low starting price and adding a £50 7-8 hour battery gets you a very nice unit .. the extended battery also makes the unit easier to hold and less likely to topple over. I've put in extra 1 Gig RAM (£10) and a 16 Gig SD card (£20) in to compliment the on-board 8 Gig SD and it runs OSX like a dream. £10/month Three 3G dongle and you're off.

Whilst the Samsung is okay .. it is just not worth the price and hence fails the SCC test for me. If you are going for a 10 inch screen then at least up the resolution to 1280 x 800 pleeeeze.

My next SCC upgrade would be for a £250 Acer or ASUS with swivel touch screen and 16 Gb SD and 3G connectivity built-in .. by the end of the year is my guess. There is still lots of money to be had in the CHEAP netbook market (I can say netbook because I still have my upgraded Psion 7 8-).

I really don't see the point of trundling around with more than a few gigs of files (you can get a lot of DVD quality video on SD cards these days) .. a lot less data to lose if everything else is online.

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Tom
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Unhappy

I want one but...

Not available in Canada.

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Dead Vulture

Yawn...

Another day and another rip off... come on el reg, it’s the same crap as all the others. There is absolutely no innovation here.

You should be critising these guys for offering so little variety, we want better resolutions and more flashing lights :D

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Got one...

...love it!!

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drool!!

I have been drooling over this since I first saw it advertised. it is a great pity I cannot justify buying one!!

I think this nano silver coating would be ideal for hospitals, why Samsung are not marketing a full sized keyboard for medical use is beyond me.

One point though, the reviews I read stated wifi as B,G, and Draft N, who is wrong??

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looks familiar

That looks reaaallly like a scaled down version of the old (already small) Samsung Q30. Which is no bad thing.

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Stop

The 'new' netbook champ?

Bit late to the party, are we? This thing's been around for ages! Get with the programme, El Reg!

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I do not see the point

I had the eee pc 4gb when it came out and a Toshiba NB100 and the atom is slow to slow for even doing basic search on ebay takes and age to load the page

So I settled for a Packard Bell Easy Note BG45-U-300 Which sports a Pentium Dual core at 1.86 ghz and did have Vista Basic but installed Xp Home instead. runs very nice and yes battery life is only just over 2 hours but the machine did only cost £250 brandnew. shame they stopped selling them in PC world etc.

its got a 12.1" tft glossy and is nice too, very easy access to sata hd and the cpu and memory slots and can take upto 4gb ram, mine running on 3gb due to xp limits on 32bit.

You cannot beat it for the Money and yes its not going to win any battery life records but sometimes there is more to life than battery. The mains point is about 1 meter away from me so battery life is not a problem.

each to there own. if you all want to buy and under powered netbook that runs for 4-8 hours then thats up to you. And no i have not got it to run Crysis etc but can run some older games like gta san andreas etc.....

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Nice battery, but.....

....where's the novelty? It's basically the same as everything else out there.

Stick a 1280*720 screen on it and I'd be interested. That's a whole heap more convenient for web browsing.

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Unhappy

So near and yet so far

This looked perfect for my remote working use (I especially like the non-glossy screen and decent battery life, great for working from the beach) - but no built in 3G? That's a big no-no for me, it won't be long until I snap off the 3G dongle by mistake.

Still can't find the perfect netbook :(

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over £300?

Samsung have priced it out of the netbook range and I would always opt for a fully featured laptop given the price difference. get it <£250 and I would seriously reconsider.

@spegru

Can't you linux zealots just keep away from ONE linux unrelated article? This is about the hardware not the OS so it isn't the place for your OS evangelism. We really don't give a flying f*** about your preferred choice of OS, stop trying to shove it down peoples throats. If it really is all that good, why does it need people like you hijacking every thread on every forum trying to make people believe linux is the saviour of I.T.? Your personal preference is not necessarily the same as someone else.

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Anonymous Coward

Size isn't evertything.

I don't get it.

These things just aren't small enough to justify the price. It's too big to slip in any of my pockets so it's going to get carried. If I'm going to have to carry it I may as well have a proper laptop with a proper screen and a proper keyboard and better performance for a similar price.

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Anonymous Coward

Cost and laptops

I really don't understand peoples constant comments along the lines of "for that price I could buy a laptop".

Yes you could, a heavy laptop with rubbish battery life, which is fine if you just want something for around the house. But isn't what these machines are really designed for.

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Lovely machine!

Just bought one of these to replace not only my Eee 701 (on permanent loan to her indoors), but also my Apple Powerbook. The reason why I could replace both is that it's the first netbook I've tried where the keyboard and screen are large enough to be comfortable while programming. As the review points out, the shiny lid on the black version really shows up fingerprints, but the accompanying fake suede case that makes a great cloth for cleaning the smudges off.

As for not coming with Linux, that's no problem, as I wiped the disk and installed NetBSD on it anyway - just as I did with the Eee and the Powerbook. Even if I preferred Linux and it came pre-installed, I'd probably do a clean install just like every other netbook owning Linuxite I know. As for the "Windows tax", life's too short for me to get worked up over it.

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Scale

Arrrgghh! I'm very grateful for your reviews, el reg, but can we *please* get photos with a sense of scale in them?

I'm really tired of seeing the same manufacturer provided photos again and repeated showing the laptop/camera/smartphone/teledildonic-leafblower rotating in a white vacuum bereft of any scale comparison. This netbook could be a few nanometers across or the size of the Starship Enterprise. Just one (one!) picture of the shiny thing on your desk as you run the benchmarks would be *so* useful!

Love to your mothers.

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s

I like the loo kof the keyboard

But not the rest...

My Eee1000 has a non shiny screen that works well even in bright sunlight, the trackpad (now it's running Windows 7) is fantastic and the rest look s relatively similar.

However the keyboard looks very nice and is my biggest gripe with the Asus. I can stand the little keys as my fingers are not too small - but the location of the up arrow and the half sized right shift key are the real killer of the keyboard...

But a little too much for what you get...

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Good review, but a couple of months late...

...now that the Samsung NC20 is out!

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@Danny

Since the term Netbook was defined by the original Linux based EEE701 you cannot claim this is not related.The whole thing is about personal preference whether it's size, colour, trackpad ............... or OS.

You don't have to agree with me but you can't complain about my opinion

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W

Got there in the end, eh, El Reg?

The NC10 seems to combine the best bits of the EEE 901 and 1000, but in a nicer package.

Only wish would've been for an SSD *option*. Ruggedness is arguably more important than vast storage in a machine like this.

And perhaps you could've stretched to mentioning the HSDPA version that's available for an extra £100.

On the subject of price, it seems a little odd to balk at a £323 price tag. John Lewis' price, yes, but it's widely available for less than £310, delivered (or sub-£300 if you dig around a bit) and even that's inflated due to retailers taking advantage of short supply. Check the price history at Foundem for a quick reference of how the price has fluctuated (http://www.foundem.co.uk/M/computing/Laptop/Samsung/NC10.jsp).

Predictable noise from the AAO fanbois too. Yes you can spend £150 at Asda. But you'll get a £150 machine. If they have any of them left. Match an AAO spec for spec with an NC10 and the AAO costs more than the NC10. And you'll have a machine that that will have 6cell battery (essential £70 add-on £70) noticeably jutting out of the back, and you'll still be looking at a 8.9" mirror compared to the Samsung's 10.2" screen. And when the tme comes for an upgrade, the NC10 will hold it's value better, no question. Face it: you've paid the price of early adoption. Though wasn't it ever thus?

Across the intertrons, you struggle to see anyone with a bad word to say about the NC10. The only legitimate grumble seems to be the nod towards the touchpad. I can live with that. I've been holding out for the right machine and this is the one for me.

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@Danny

"Your personal preference is not necessarily the same as someone else."

That's why Linux/FreeBSD etc. users are so fed up with paying for Microsoft Windows on almost every machine they buy. Lets have machines with no O/S and then I don't have to put up with the 'personal preference' of the manufacturer.

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@Danny from Mars

Can't Microsoft just keep away from ONE laptop? This is about the hardware, so it isn't the place for your pre-installed OS. We really don't give a flying f*** about your pricy OS, stop trying to shove it down peoples throats. If it really is all that good, why does it need people like you hijacking every laptop from every manufacturer and forcing people to buy Windows? Your personal preference is not necessarily the same as someone else's.

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Heart

Got one of these for the missus...

...and it's perfect for her. As a non geek she can do without having to learn Linux and it's useable for running presentations, writing papers on etc., while still being great for carrying on her bicycle to work. The battery life is absolutely excellent too, and on the price well, as ever, you get what you pay for. This just feels like such a better quality piece of kit than the Asus and Acer I tried.

If you can't afford it, then fine, but it's the one to go for if you can.

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Nice, but pricy

Got one for work and it's nice. But the entry level Asus is only 2/3 the price, so that'll be the one at home.

SCC -- if you drop a C there's no so much left.

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Black Helicopters

Get the ASUS EEE 1000HE

I'll take the new ASUS EEE 1000HE. 92% the size of a standard keyboard, 1024*768 native [not *600] and with power saving tweaking up to 9.5 hours (!) of battery life. Notebook Review web site gave it it's editor's choice. They tweaked the power settings to more typical usage and got over 7 hours. So 260 minutes is peanuts!

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(Written by Reg staff)

@Gis Bun

That seven-hours 1000HE runtime is for typical usage. Our figure is *not* for typical usage, which we'd say is rather longer than 260 minutes - as we point out in the review.

We don't specify a 'typical' usage figure because usage patterns are entirely individual. It makes more sense - we think - to adopt a specific usage (SD video playback) that we can use to compare diffrerent netbooks (and notebooks) directly.

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Paris Hilton

So...where is the cut-off...

Who decides whether it's a netbook or a laptop? IMHO if it looks like a duck and smells like a duck then it probably is a duck.

So, is it screensize, weight, keyboard size, battery life or price?

'scuse my naivety but I thought netbooks were small, light and CHEAP - that's the whole idea. After all, didn't we have the "sub-notebook" before for things like the Toshiba Libretto, the tiny Acer ummmm I forget the number (270 seems to spring to mind) and the ickle Dell. All those were premium priced so what did that make them?

Paris - cos she'd look crackin' in the Emperors new clothes

Emperors new clothes springs to mind

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Unhappy

aww :(

wish they would have remade the Q1 with these specs. I personally love my Q1 but its getting a bit old and some newer programs don't work quite as well as they do on the 2 atom based boards I own.

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Boffin

Re: So...where is the cut-off...

A couple of years ago, a sublaptop with a credible performance and a similar size to these machines would cost twice the price of standard, cheapo, bottom of the range 15" laptops (and then some) for the option of portability.

Now, you can have the portability of a sublaptop at a sub-laptop price, taking only a very minor hit in performance (yet remaining totally capable of everyday tasks).

Basically, they're smaller and cheaper than yer average laptop, rather than smaller and more expensive.

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Head in sand

'Virus free life'

I appreciate there are far fewer than with MS but they do exist. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Linux_computer_viruses

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Had both

Had both the AA1 and now have a NC10.

Personally I feel that the AA1 is a SCC whilst the NC is a small cheap laptop replacement.

I liked the use of linux, I also like to use windows but I prefer OSX over both of them.

Why does there have to be a them and us with all these things.

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Happy with mine

Good to see this review finally up (saying Samsung never sent you one is not an excuse, with the number of readers mentioning the NC10 in comments for other SCC reviews you should have gone out and bought one months ago for review).

I'm very happy with mine, I wanted something small enough to carry in a bag, put on the bookshelf out of way, but big enough to be able to see the screen and use the keyboard. I did not want to buy a "proper" notebook. Size and specs are great, especially just for surfing, but it has coped OK with other things thrown at it including picture viewing, basic Photoshop and Dreamweaver (but I wouldn't want to tax it too much). Battery life is very good. I just didn't like the look, feel or size of the cheaper netbooks.

The trackpad is a bit annoying, but you get used to it. The main fault I have found is the VGA out (which you'd only probably use with a projector) does not have screw sockets either side so the lead does not stay in. So when you do a presentation if you move the netbook about the lead can come loose. Not something to worry about if you don't need it.

I also like the quick start-up (much quicker than my desktop) which of course is dependent on what you have installed, but this is ideal to pick up, switch on, check emails and surf the net without getting off the sofa.

Mine is in white, does not show any fingerprints.

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Wonderful netbook

This review is spot on - got one of these for Christmas and have been singing its praises ever since. Excellent build quality, great battery life, lovely keyboard, capacious HDD and a very, very good-looking! The suede carry pouch does a good job of buffing away those pesky fingerprints too.

You get to choose partition sizes for C:\ and D:\ drives the first time you boot up, which is nice. I removed the annoying McAfee trial straight away and installed AVG Free. Samsung's bundled update software is useful and periodically checks for system software updates, etc.

Currently my desktop machine is out of action so I've got the NC10 on performance mode, driving my 22" Samsung Pebble over VGA at the full 1680x1050 with no issues at all - fast, responsive and quite happy playing full screen video. I *love* this netbook. =)

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There's late, fashionably late and ...

... an El Reg review of the NC-10 ;) C'mon guys, this is older news than the Roman invasion. Well, almost.

The NC-10 is the best netbook by a country mile, apart from the price.

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re. antibacterial keyboard

This not a gimick. A family home was tested for 'germs' about a month after their teenage child returned back from hospital after an operation (broken bone I think). This was on TV a few months ago.

The 'dirtiest' place was the family PC keyboard. This gets contaminated by fingers, food and drink etc. It was the only place that they found MRSA in the home! It had more germs than the lavatory seat!

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QVC of all people...

...had it for under £300 before Christmas - around the £285 mark I believe. Bargain.

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Quality...

I picked up one of these at Edinburgh Airport at the weekend, romantic trip to Dublin and a bargain purchase in Dixons tax-free shopping. Saved just short of £50.

Considered the DELL Mini9, but the keys were ludicrously small, the Acer I checked was Linux with 8gb SSD (no ta), so the Samsung won me over (I am a bit of a Samsung fanboy anyway).

The Samsung Matches or exceeds my 4 year old HP multimedia laptop (other than no DVD). Its more than speedy enough if you don't play games, it looks fantastic, the build quality is beautiful and once charged it seems to last forever. I've used it for 5 hours and its only just at 53% battery power.

Favourite feature is how easily it connects via bluetooth to my home cinema audio setup, my bluetooth GPS and my phone.

I'd recommend this to anyone who actually knows anything about computers. What it isn't is a gaming powerhouse laptop PC. But then originally I was going to buy an 18" monster laptop that weighed in at something like 7x heavier than the NC10. Yeah it would out perform the NC10, but it would also break my back when transporting it. So what if I can't watch blueray on it, I can walk from room to room on MSN with the laptop in 1 hand and a beer in the other.

If you want a powerhouse laptop then buy one, but why not treat yourself a few extra hundred notes and pickup an NC10 for when you just want to surf and email.

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Close but no ciggies...

Sorry but until these things go beyong 600 pixels vertical they're off my shopping list. Scroll-happy I AN NOT!

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I have one of these and it's great!

Bought one a couple of months back. It's an excellent bit of kit. And I really don't understand those that complain at paying £300 for this - it's a bargain. It starts up quickly, the battery lasts for hours and hours, it runs very cool and most of the time it's completely silent. The screen is very good (none of that silly reflective stuff - which idiot thought that was a good idea for a display???), it has a built in SD card slot, 3 USB ports which is very useful. Basically, I can't fault it - it's excellent.

My ONE gripe, and it's quite a big issue for me, is that OpenBSD has no drivers for either the wired or wireless network devices, which is a huge shame. It's also not too happy with running X - I think it may be the screen size that's upsetting things (I didn't look into it). In the meantime, I'm having to put up with Windows. Hopefully this will be fixed quite soon.

Also, why are USB CD/DVD drives so expensive? £50+ is WAY more than they should be.

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Re: So...where is the cut-off... (@W)

The difference is that the old sub notebook category came as premium machines aimed at the executive market, and came with a surprising amount of grunt for their size and were considered fully featured - my Vaio TR from 2004 came with a DVD Re-writer built in, 10.6 inch screen at 1280x800 and 40GB HDD, back when most large machine were only just breaking the 100GB barrier… and no, I’m no executive but I needed a machine that I could fly weekly with, and, might I add, the keyboard was and still is extremely easy to type on and probably preferable to this work HP I’m on now. The market still exists for these machines but the newer ones come with Core 2 Duo ULV chips, oodles of RAM, huge SSDs and stupidly high screen resolutions and will set you back a couple of grand.

I’ve been trying to get my hands on one of the newer netbooks to test but to no avail, as I believe that the Atom is an in-order processor and I wanted to see how it compared to an out-of-order single core chip (like the Pentium M)… I’d like to see how bad the “minor hit in performance” really is…

I’m toying with the idea of the N10 with the discrete GPU – then I can frag on the khazi, where my gaming machine would break/burn my thighs!!!

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Anonymous Coward

Baffled by negativity

For those of you slagging this machine off I think you need to bear in mind the following facts:

1) Do you have one of these machines

2) Does it meet your requirements? No? then why get it?

3) The machine is as good as you make it

I had very clear requirements for my daughter and the usage she wanted it for and I was pleasantly surprised as I have a much beefed up HP laptop that is all singing and dancing, however the smung met all the requirements I went to market with and I think before you become hell bent on a "mine is better than yours mission" you really need to evaluate what you are slagging the machine off for? The fact it is too expensive, the fact it is not powerful enough or maybe, just maybe your requirements were not clearly set out, you took a punt and it has not paid off!

Don't mean to offend anybody but it's the age old adage. Research before you buy......

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Coat

El Reg bought the review copy??

Where is it now?? Anyone using it, or can I have it as a wedding present??

Pretty, pretty please!!!!!

Mines the one with the netbook sized pockets.

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I have to agree with baffled by negativity AC

Those slating the price, the £329 is the max RRP. We all know realitically you can easily get it for £280 with not much effort at all. Those saying "you can get a full spec laptop for not much more". Yep you can. But it'll be a bigger, heavier thing, and probably not so solidly made with a predominance of plastic, not metal, to get it into the price point. Which is the intention, and if you need the features then pay the £100 extra and get a laptop. But if you need discrete portability with very little features compromise other than optical drive and CPU grunt, this Samsung has all the benefits of the current SCC's with very little of the compromises.

And again, before the nay saying starts, have you used it? Did you spend four hours on a train and easily write a 3000 word report and edit a presentation? Whilst listening to music too? With wireless switched on (and in use)? And still have 30% left of a battery at the end? I did, and I wasn't in any way compromised by the size, the keyboard, the screen, the RAM, or the CPU.

Two weeks ago I dropped off a table (by accident, honest), a current crop £430 laptop and the build quality (price point compromised), meant the weight of the machine itself cracked the case wide open and damaged the screen. Whilst waiting for a new laptop to be found in the organisation, I have been using my NC10 and someone kindly did to it what I did to my laptop, and it bounced down two steps as well. The light weight meant it simply bounced and the only tell tale sign is a scuff on the edge.

Anyone, or any organisation, looking to get the benefits of portability and a decent enough computer at a VERY good price, would be very foolish to overlook this. An in built 3g slot would have been absolute perfection, but I'll take the genuine six hour battery life over the LG with 3g and two hours of battery any day.

To quote Charlton, "from my cold dead hands" to get me to part with my NC10.

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