February 25, 2009 at 6:35 pm #161315
I am one of the original NC10 purchasers who was afflicted by the dreaded screen blotch plague. I returned my blue Sammy to Buy.Com, and after some rangling received a full refund. Even better, they followed up with a $50 gift certificate good for one year on any Buy.Com purchase. So, I am ready to dip my toe back into the netbook marketplace, but what (and where) to buy?
The latest 10″ comparison shows the field of contenders has tightened immensely:
The NC10 was the clear leader after it was released, but now everyone else is catching up. I don’t think that there will be any major innovations before the end of the year:
The only one maybe worth waiting for is the Nvidia Ion paired with an Atom N280 processor, but I am not that worried about HD playback, and I am not a gamer.
So, my four options are as follows, with their strengths and weaknesses:
Original NC10, white ($449):
+ I know it will do everything I need it to do
+ White matte lid and matte screen are my preference
– More expensive than the Asus EEE 1000HE
– Do I want to hold out for an 11″-12″ HD screen?
Special edition NC10 ($499 preorder at Amazon in US)
+ Better battery and larger track pad
– Anti-reflection gloss coating display (what does this mean?!)
– Higher cost, can’t use Buy.Com credit
– Preorder only comes in glossy black(?)
– Not sure when it will ship
NC20 (not yet available in US, price?)
+ 12″ high resolution screen
+ Via Nano with separate graphics chip
– Untested chip (Nano), may not be that much better than N270
– Only glossy black and blue lid
– Unknown cost and availability in the US
Asus EEE 1000HE ($375)
+ Much improved keyboard and battery life
+ Matte screen
+ N280 Atom (but no GN40 graphics processor)
+ With Buy,com credit prices goes down to $325
– Glossy lid
– N280 not that big an improvement over N270
– heavier than the original NC10 (not clear on the special edition weight)
– Concerns about quality relative to Samsung
I have looked at other netbooks and ruled them out for reasons of quality, price and availability. The HP 2140 would be in the running it it was really $500, but I think it will be considerably more with an HD screen and SSD. Also, I like the aluminum case but can’t stand the glossy screen.
I want to purchase by mid March. Please provide feedback on any of the above in terms of positives or negatives I have missed. Thanks.
PugriderFebruary 25, 2009 at 6:44 pm #185012milarmonMember
Remember that the EEE netbooks have the right shift key at a strange possition… if you write a lot with your netbook, you will hate it…February 26, 2009 at 2:19 am #185017ragmanMember
This link has some discussion, but more links to comparisons. The latest Computer Shopper rated 10 netbooks. I couldn’t find article online but did read the hand-held version of the magazine last week. Pretty thorough writeups on all the specs, although I didn’t agree with the conclusion (I believe they picked the EEE and Wind as Editor’s Choices).February 26, 2009 at 9:49 am #185005jezMember
A review last week still placed the NC10 on top:
I use liliuputing as my prefered supplier of general netbook information.
Let us know what you buy and how it compares to you NC10 experience – would be valuable info 🙂February 26, 2009 at 3:30 pm #185013ParodyMember
[quote1235661478=milarmon]Remember that the EEE netbooks have the right shift key at a strange possition… if you write a lot with your netbook, you will hate it…[/quote1235661478]
The HE has the right shift to the left of the up arrow. It’s not full size, but it’s a lot better than it was.
ObTopic: I think you’re right that it’ll be a while before there’s enough “next gen” netbooks to make a good decision between them. If you’re going to buy now, I don’t think you can go wrong with the existing NC10 or the EEE. (If you can, try typing on one of the new EEEs first; it’s a different style from the NC10 you’ve already tried.) If you’re going to wait, I’d wait until this fall and see what comes out of the new netbook-oriented chips/chipsets.February 27, 2009 at 3:11 pm #185015mjpileggiMember
The first time I saw a netbook, it was the Acer 8.9″. I decided it would be perfect for my travels, something small to carry. I have a Palm TX and foldable keyboard that was always a pain in the butt to use. However, I didn’t like the Acer keyboard – too small, as well as the screen being too small, so I started looking for something a little bigger. That’s when I discovered the Sammy NC10.
For me the NC10 is perfect. I wouldn’t want the 12″, as that defeats the “travel” reason. The longer battery life of the NC20 is nice, but for me it’s not a big difference. I didn’t want the glossy screen of the special edition and didn’t want to pay more money. I love the white mat finish of the NC10. No finger smudges.
Just based on your comments, I think you want the NC10. You want something in March and you said it does everything you need. You’re talking a $75 difference with the EEE, which as you said, it heavier. For me the point of a netbook is size and weight…with a good keyboard. 🙂
MonicaFebruary 28, 2009 at 6:47 pm #185016Dr. ZoidbergMember
If you really need the extra battery of the NC10SE then go for that. Otherwise for sure the NC10 over those ones. Another one to look out for Sony’s new offering – supposed to be super portable but pricey.March 1, 2009 at 10:13 pm #185006
Thanks for the feedback so far. I looked at the forums at Amazon.com, and a lot of people are in the same boat. Here are a few updates:
As I posted elsewhere, the Samsung NC10SE has a matte, not a glossy screen. Someone from the Amazon forum heard the same thing from Samsung. Now, it it only came in the smudge proof white – as of now the pre-order version on Amazon only comes in black.
The Samsung rep. I echatted with did not have a US release date for the NC20.
The Asus 1000HE has the new “chicklet” keyboard, but I think I prefer the Sammy’s traditional keyboard.
Also, the 1000 HE weighs 3.2 pounds, versus 2.8 for the NC10. How much more does the NC20 weigh? I thought it was 3.5?
Finally, the 1000 HE advertises wireless N, but according to a post on the Amazon forum the version of N is less than he expected:
“Just a heads up about the 802.11n for this netbook. If you’re like me you have an 802.11n wireless network at home and your new 1000he can’t see it. Why? I run 802.11n using the 5ghz spectrum. The radio in the 1000he will only see/connect to 802.11n on the 2.4ghz spectrum.
This is a let down because all the speed and range advantages of 802.11n is when you use the 5ghz spectrum NOT the 2.4ghz spectrum. Making 802.11n more of a buzz word for this product, and not anything useful.”
So, I am leaning towards the NC10 SE, but want to read more about the NC20 before pulling the trigger. So far I haven’t seen much by way of posts from new owners or from reviewers.
PugriderMarch 3, 2009 at 4:42 pm #185011ktbMember
Hey there, I wrote the netbook faceoff you mentioned (thanks for the link!) and even though the ASUS did come out ahead in the numbers, I still prefer the NC10. I’m buying a new netbook myself and I’m waiting until the end of March. I heard somewhere that the NC10 is going down in price around then. But it could just be a horrible lie 😉 It was third hand.March 12, 2009 at 5:37 pm #185007
Quick update, I have decided to wait until Apple comes out with their touch netbook.
With my birthday coming up next week I decided to get off the fence and order a NC10-SE from Amazon. Given the cost of buying a battery separately I decided it was worth it to get the SE, even though it only comes in black. My scheduled shipping date is March 30, 2009 – April 17, 2009, but I am hoping Amazon will receive another shipment before then (they did with the first batch).
I decided against the Asus 1000HE and NC20 because of the extra weight – both are over three pounds. Also, the NC20 has a glossy screen, and the new Asus chicklet keyboard doesn’t do anything for me.
One last factor that weighed in my decision was how wonderful this forum is. I know that Asus has great ones as well, but nothing I have seen tops the helpfulness of “The Fighting Sammies”. perhaps we should have t-shirts made…
PugriderMarch 12, 2009 at 7:33 pm #185018BlueMember
surely this comes down to what you want out of the device, weighing all factors to be considered? 🙂
IMHO they tend to fall into these categories, and when I was researching my purchase I scored them on a simple basis –
0 = does not meet my requirements at all
1 = partially meets my requirements
2 = totally meets my requirements
Usage Requirements (Basic or high end)
Connectivity (IR / Bluetooth / WIFI / HSPDA)
Portability (size and weight)
Portability (Battery life)
Addons / Extras
It may sound a little lame – but a quick excel spreadsheet soon sorts it out – and bear in mind these are YOUR requirements – not the reviewers opinion. i.e. if you think Linux is the OS for you, and the netbook you are reading about comes with XP, then it get’s a 0 in that category – regardless of what the reviewer things.
Have fun looking ! ! ! (It’s all about the journey)March 12, 2009 at 8:42 pm #185008
You need a spreadsheet? I memorize all of the features and do this in my head!
Pugrider, who has killed far too many brain cells to do the above…March 12, 2009 at 9:43 pm #185014ParodyMember
Hmm…thinking back to when I bought my NC10:
Budget – They’re all less than $500.
Performance – They all have the same basic parts (Processor/Video)
Usage Requirements (Basic or high end) – It’s a netbook, you can only do so much.
Operating system – It’s getting XP whether it likes it or not.
Connectivity (IR / Bluetooth / WIFI / HSPDA) – They all have WiFi.
Portability (size and weight) – I carried a desktop replacement laptop around for the last three years; it can’t be any worse.
Portability (Battery life) – I carried a desktop replacement laptop around for the last three years; it can’t be any worse.
Addons / Extras – This one comes with a decent keyboard! We have a winner!
Unfortunately, you omitted one thing that, for many of the people I know, is the only important question:
Does it come in ?March 17, 2009 at 8:51 pm #185009
Rather than deal with buyer’s regret I made the decision to cancel my Amazon order for the NC10 SE (which are now in stock). I did so because I want to see what the price ends up being for the US version of the NC20. When I re-examined my preferences I realized that I would be willing to trade some battery life and weight for a bigger screen size with better resolution. See this thread for more information:
The NC20 has a 12″ WXGA 1280×800 gloss display versus the NC10 10″ WSVGA 1024×600 matte display. See these links for more information on screen size and resolution:
IF the NC20 is priced in the low $500 range it may be worth the extra .37 pounds and extra inch in width and depth (very small difference in height) to have the extra screen space. I don’t necessarily want a 10″ screen with higher resolution, as the text becomes too small.
So, I am back on the sidelines, waiting to see when the NC20 will be released across the pond and how much they will ask for it.
PugriderApril 24, 2009 at 7:20 pm #185010
Just to finish this thread off, I did end up buying an NC20, and am very glad that I did! The higher resolution/larger screen make a big difference, with minimal extra weight.
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