If you can live with the price, relatively fragile hard drive and Windows then the Samsung NC10 is, without doubt, one of the best netbooks currently available. However, Samsung has decided that its range needs to address the parts of the market that other netbooks don't reach and with that in mind it has launched the N120, an …
Too expensive ?
Surely this is too expensive at nearly twice the price of the original SCC format as 'defined' by Asus. Why not keep the netbook tag for the modestly priced devices and start review these things as mini-laptops, after all some of them have the prices to match.
You're still talking about almost £400 for an underpowered machine
Which is far too much by any standard
1. Take components designed for a low spec, cheap system
2. Put them in a laptop case.
3. Sell for laptop prices
Anyone who buys this is a mug.
The USB powering feature is not unique
It is quite handy if you use a 3G modem. It may take it anything up to a minute to boot, pick up a 2G network and handover to 3G from cold. If it is powered however it can connect nearly instantaneously.
As a result having USB powered even when in sleep/standby/off is actually quite handy for a netbook. Oh an by the way, the Lenovo S10e does that too for standby mode.
Re Too expensive ?
I second that motion - these have moved so far from the original as not to be 'netbooks' anymore...
Start the mini-laptop reviews
El Reg says, "If you can live with the price, relatively fragile hard drive and Windows then the Samsung NC10 is, without doubt, one of the best netbooks currently available."
I've been running a full install of Ubuntu 8.04 on my terrific NC10 since I got it. And as I bought it - brand new - for £280, fully a 100 quid cheaper than the N120 price you cite, I don't think this over-priced, Windows-only offering from Samsung comes anywhere near the NC10, or the GNU/Linux-toting alternatives from Asus, etc.
Back to the drawing board, Samsung.
I always was a big fan of that tiny little red thumb next to G (sometimes called nipple). It's so nicely designed on my IBM laptop that I really don't even thing getting external mouse ...
my new ACER laptop is good, but does not have this nipple. I really struggle with the touchpad in situations when I have to left-click hold the button and grag mouse on longer documents - it's almost impossible with one hand. I tried other laptops and really did not find any touchpad which really worked (to be honest although Apple Laptops have extra large touchpad, the fact that the button is part of the touchpad makes it even harder than other laptops with touchpad+button).
I'm very dissapointed that none of netbooks offer this nipple.
It probably performed the same in VLC and Quicktime because VLC will use the cpu-bound Quicktime decoder if it's available.
@ Jimbo 7
The Sony Vaio P has a nipple but, unfortunately, remortgaging your house so that you can afford one just isn't as easy as it used to be. ;-P
Not a netbook
I don't think netbooks are purely defined by size. Like others have said it's also the price.
To me a netbook is the best tech I can get with a 10" max screen for less than £200.
Anything more than £200 and I will consider a small notebook.
Still waiting to see what ION and ARM do to the netbook market when competitive products role out.
Fragile disc? + performance
Huh? What you talking about? Nothing wrong with the NC10 disc. Sure it's a disc and not an SSD, but unless you're going to be playing Frisbee with the thing it's perfectly fine.
Piro - Have you actually tried an Atom based PC?
Sure they're not gaming rigs, but hell, my NC10 is running Windows XP whilst playing 720p HD material, streamed over WiFi and upscaled to my 1080p telly perfectly smooth all with software codecs!! (and actually it does play many older games quite nicely). Hardly underpowered in performance terms for the job it's designed for, but it is low powered in wattage terms. This is why Atom processors are in my opinion going to be ideal for low powered, quiet HD HTPCs.
Sure £300 to £400 can get you a decent spec PC (as long as Apple's name isn't on it). Fine, in a netbook this size? Hmm, thought not.
Anyway, if your experience of Netbooks are those crappy "cut down linux" based budget EeePcs, then try these higher spec machines running XP, Win7 or even Ubuntu.
Depends on you expectations though. If you want top spec gaming rig in a netbook size device that's not a 300W heater and won't burn through the desk, then you're in for a disappointment. For everyone else who wants a highly portable, low powered, device for web, email, the odd document, taking to meetings, and watch a few vids on a flight, etc, these are ideal.
as someone who has dropped a running SSD Acer Aspire 1 down a flight of stairs I can see where El Reg is coming from. Netbooks are first and foremost portable, and portable means having to withstands knocks, bangs and drops. I wouldn't treat a £370 Samsung with the same disregard as a £200 AA1, and that's exactly why I bought the AA1. If I want to carry around something that I have to treat with kid gloves I'll my cart MacBook around with me. More reason I suspect to start calling machines like the NC10 and N120 "mini-laptops" and machines like the AA1 and Dell Mini 10v - btw, can we get a review of this soon? - "netbooks".