back to article Samsung NS310 netbook

Will the tablet kill off the netbook? Probably not. Granted the netbook has never quite fulfilled its promise due to a combination of prices that went up with specifications that didn’t. Even so, I’ve yet to find a fondleslab that can truly replace my Windows 7/Ubuntu dual-booting Samsung N140. Samsung NS310 Lap it up: …


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  1. Piro
    Thumb Down

    I thought Brazos killed the Atom..

    I guess not. Pass.

    1. spencer

      I thought so too

      ...except that theregister steadfastly chooses to ignore any netbooks that don't have an atom chip, and then moan about how there's no innovation.

      1. Tony Smith, Editor, Reg Hardware (Written by Reg staff)

        Re: I thought so too

        We're not ignoring non-Atom netbooks, but we can only review the machines vendors will send us.

        Fling us 250 quid, though, and we'll happily buy one to try.

        1. Paul M 1


          But then aren't you pandering to the vendors as well as contributing to the impression that only Atom-based netbooks exist?

          Perhaps I over-estimate The Reg's influence with manufacturers?

          1. Tony Smith, Editor, Reg Hardware (Written by Reg staff)

            Re: Title

            What influence did you think we possess?

            1. L.B
              Thumb Down

              Just a thought...

              ...but have you ever asked the manufactures WHY they only send Atom based kit?

              Perhaps if you tell them how your readers are sick of not seeing the real competition they will lend you one. HP, Lenover, Toshiba, others all make and sell kit using the latest AMD chips and they must want to make money on them.

              PS: The TV Adverts I saw last night for PCWorld; were all for AMD Fusion based laptops & netbooks.

            2. Mike Richards

              I assumed

              You had photos of most high tech movers and shakers in compromising positions with an eclectic range of livestock.

              Disappointed if this is not the case.

    2. Anonymous Coward


      I would rather look around for an AMD "runt" at this point.

      Much more bang for the buck and most of them are not castrated by marketing to 1024x600 like the Intel "runt".

    3. 4.1.3_U1

      Are there any?

      I've been looking around, and haven't seen a netbook (i.e. 10" screen or less) that aren't atom powered. Anyone got a good example of one?

      1. gerryg

        what about...

        If I had a reason to buy it the money would leave my credit card at the reply speed to "who want's a drink?"

        1. gerryg

          sorry about the apostrophe

          I am a moron

          1. Hardcastle the ancient

            the apostrophe

            I assumed the drink had taken effect.

  2. GoFasterStripes
    Thumb Up


    1st one that I'd buy since the NC10 I bought the week it was launched.

    TBH I'd almost still rather have it with XP though. Or HAIKU!

  3. alain williams Silver badge

    Why dual core ?

    I thought that the purpose of a netbook was something light to carry round with a long battery life, so why a dual core cpu ? Also why a hard disk - a SD/flash of 16 or 32GB is more than enough ?

    There seems to be the idea that you run your life off this sort of thing and not a portable thing to compliment what you have at home.

    Can I get it without an OS so that I can install Ubuntu or Fedora ?

  4. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. Mark 65

      Why shite screen?

      600? Really? That is just utter shite. It's almost as if netbook manufacturers are trying to die a death by a thousand cuts with some of the crap they release. If Intel or MS are hamstringing you then use ARM or AMD and/or Linux. I can no longer see average Joe who can't install an OS getting one of these as they'll invariably want a tablet, hence Linux should no longer be the issue it once was. Put a sticker on it that says "Would have Windows 7 and Intel inside but they said no" if need be.

  5. G2
    Thumb Down

    no 3g/hsdpa modem?

    would it have killed them if they included a 3s/hsdpa modem built-in and leave me a slot to add a sim card? the bill of materials increase for an additional internal 3g modem is usually less than about 10 euro each when purchased bulk.

    I don't want to mess with an external usb modem on a small portable device because it tends to snag on all kinds of things and break off either the usb port or the dongle itself.

    also, is there any model available with a PixelQi screen yet?

    1. Matthew Malthouse
      Thumb Down

      For a price

      When I bought my N10 there was a version with a sim slot available.. for pennies short of £100 extra. Guess there may be such a thing in the newer models unless the customer base has finally got wise to being gouged?

  6. Steve McIntyre

    Crippled with Windows 7

    And expensive too because of it. With 2GB or more of memory and a bigger resolution screen instead this would look more like a sane system.

  7. Hardcastle the ancient

    Very pleased

    I'm very pleased you tried it with Linux, and reported everything worked. Now that is proper journalism, not cut-and-paste press release handling.

    Bit disappointed that you have to buy it with windows at all, but at least it is the toys-r-us version of W7, so the gatestax is a bit cheaper. Bad news for anyone who wants to use Winjows, as they have to buy it twice, but hey! that's M$ for you.

    1. Mike Taylor

      I'll second that.

      ... the final paragraph about it running with linux and everything working - pretty much the most important thing you said, cheers. More like this please.

  8. SoftFox

    Same again Sam

    Yet another (despite the article refute) samey Atom/1024 x 600 Netbook at a ridiculous price

    Its a few years now since they were introduced and you'd be hard pushed to see any technological progress since the first Aspire One/ASUS Eee PC

    Where is the innovation ? MS and Intel are partly to blame here with their crippled restrictions on Widows and screen size

    Its not the tablets thats killing the Netbook, its the lack of advance from the original concept. By now we should be having 1280×720 and at least comfortable HD decode/output...

    1. spencer

      Have a look at...

      Have a little look at the Tosh NB550D.

      Beefy graphics and Harman Kardon speakers, under £300 and utterly absent from theregister, both in mention and review.

      1. pdogguk

        Tosh NB550D

        This is a good call... you're exactly right,. I've never heard of it before and would be exactly what I was looking for (if it wasn't brown).

        Brown?! I see they make a blue 520 with older tech, but either way, the colour must put off so many potential buyers.

        Black sells for a reason. Whoever made the call on brown at Toshiba needs a good talking talking to and possibly a slap.

    2. David Hicks

      It still feels like the eee901 was top of the curve here

      Decent battery life, solid state storage, linux option (yeah, I know, only us geeks care about that), about 300 quid.

      Things are now shinier and can have better battery life. They have not got cheaper (in the UK), and they have all got hard drives now. Otherwise there's almost no difference.

  9. Michael Habel Silver badge


    At first I was going to how....

    (Then I thought why bother)

    Then I looked at it (NS310), and then immediately thought, would Apple try to get this banned too, cause it really does look more then a bit like an early Fruity iBook (or whatever they called 'em back then).

    And why is the Screen covered? I can only guess that it's not touch sensitive. I just know that given time Dust WILL GET BEHIND THAT SCREEN AGGGHHHH

    So does it run Mac? (or Hackentosh?), Sadly my N150 does not with its crappy Intel Graphic Chip.

    1. sT0rNG b4R3 duRiD


      If the hardware is known and if there are workarounds, it may well be possible. I have heard people running leopard on their Asus 1000HE's.

      I can understand if you have a great piece of kit, like an i7 rig and you want to run something Mac specific but don't want to shell out for a proper mac, but OS X on a netbook is probably gonna hurt probably as much as W7. ie I wouldn't do it. No way. This is being typed on 10.5 mac btw...

      1. David Hicks

        Actually performance may well be pretty good

        There are a lot of hurdles to overcome, depending on the exact hardware as you say, but once it's up and running you can get decent performance out of a hackintosh netbook.

        I gave up after a while as something about MacOS started to annoy me, but on my eee it ran well enough to run steam and play a few games like Plants Vs Zombies, and iTunes was fine too. Eventually went back to Linux though.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Paris Hilton

          MSI Wind

          I bought an MSI wind, like almost the very first model (except it was rebadged by Medion). It got Windoze 7ed immediately instead of the local language XP it shipped with, which was actually quite usable, since I did not clog it up with a zillion background updaters for software I don't use and other useless crap. Ubuntu went on and worked fine after I sourced the correct network stuff. Next came the Hackintosh. 10.6.x (I forget the last version I had on it).

          It ran almost exclusively as a Hackintosh until the keyboard lost function on a couple of keys, notably the '@' which was irritating. Over at the Insanely OSX or whatever forums, there is plenty of Info about hacking these and other Netbooks.

          Personally, for everything I am ever likely to do while travelling, the Hackintosh with the original Atom processor was more than sufficient. I don't run photoshop or DVD ripping on the road or watch HD movies on a 10" screen. This machine looks like an ideal machne for my GF, and it has cute colours which is a big ++ ;)

          Today I have a MacAir 11". Same story, way more than adequate for everything - despite a plethora of journalists claiming it to be underpowered. The "total package" is what counts.

          I tire of journalists and commentards obsessing about stopwatch performance differences - they are for the most part irrelevant for the average punter and for practical purposes invisible with the limited exceptions of tasks for which the Netbook was clearly never designed nor intended.

          On my race car, I can notice if I am down from 800HP/Tonne to 750/tonne and I can read it on the stop watch. On my road car, there is no useful or noticeable difference between 196BHP and 208BHP - mainly because there isn't any telemetry to point it out. The parallel should be obvious.

          Paris, because the blondes are all out today on a lovely sunny day.

        2. sT0rNG b4R3 duRiD

          Linux on the netbook

          Yep, that's hard to beat.

          Don't miss windows or OS X. About the only thing I have to gripe about using a netbook is lack of 3D grunt but that's of course, in my line of work, more of a recreational requirement. For that there's my nvidia i7 rig.

          Apart from that. I would say the one of the best thing I've ever done (twice) is found a good cheap netbook (cheap is a relative term of course because of what I do next), and upgrade the RAM and chuck in an SSD and boot debian. Tweaking required of course, but that's part of the fun.

          These 2 occasions they were Eees, but I can't see why it can't be a samsung etc hardware allowing.

          I am currently operating 2 mac lappies too, can't say they were bad purchases, they're incredibly well built, but I worry about the future of these. And lately I've grown to loathe Apple, A LOT.

  10. zybok
    Thumb Up

    Re toys r us windows

    I have a refurbed Toshiba NB200, it came with the crappy W7 starter so I repartitioned it and added Ubuntu just as they added unity, not liking it i moved over to easy peasy. But on ahem "obtaining" an upgrade to W7 Home Premium I never looked back. So much so i binned Linux, I aint agin it. My main Azus laptop moved from 32 bit Vista to 64 bit Ubuntu a couple of years ago and my well past it's sell by date Mac Mini dual boots Snow leopard & Linux Mint Debian Edition. Windows with the goodies added seems to me the way to go with something you travel with so much. So i am considering doubling the ram and adding an SSD. 64 GB should be enough. I am well pleased with it & dont want a tablet ( apart from a Kindle). However I also take a bootable Knoppix SD with me just in case. If I needed a replacement something like this Samsung would be an ideal fit, but a W7 anytime upgrade + Ram + SSD would make it an expensive option. You might as well bite the bullet and go for the smaller Macbook Air if you could pick up Apple refurbished one.

  11. Patrick R

    Such weak improvement in two years.

    One has to wonder why Moore's law doesn't seem to apply to Netbooks ?

    1. serviceWithASmile
      Black Helicopters


      whoever is controlling the netbook market has an anti-moore agenda?

      it's a conspiracy.

  12. David Lawrence

    Samsung build quality.....

    "the whole thing is nailed together with Samsung’s customary thoroughness". Interesting comment. I recently had the misfortune of trying to repair an early Samsung Netbook and found that....

    1. The fault was in poor design or poor quality parts. The screen display was intermittent and came on/off as you moved the screen between open and closed. I had to replace the ribbon cable between the motherboard and LCD panel to fix it. I found a significant number of people on various forums suffering from the same fault. It seems the horrendously complex hinge mechanism was to blame, effectively acting as a guillotine on the cable that was threaded through it. Crazy.

    2. The plastic bezel around the front of the screen self-destructed on removal. It seemed to have been made from reconstituted eggshell and moulded to a thickness that can only be measured with a tunnelling microscope. Appalling.

    Neither of the above fill me with confidence that Samsung will ever rise above 'cheap and cheerful' when it comes to netbooks at least.

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