November 25, 2008 at 6:21 pm #159550RT HillMember
I posted my experiences with the NC10 on a couple of other sites and one of your members suggested I do the same on your web site. Hope my experiences lend a little value…….
Iâ€™ve been involved with PCâ€™s since PCâ€™s came into existence. Through the years Iâ€™ve owned a wide range of notebooks from luggables, desktop replacements, to travel companions (currently I own a couple of 12â€ touch screen tablets and two HP 20â€ HDX media notebooks used as desktop replacements). I was ready for a new travel notebook and started to follow the evolving â€œNetbookâ€ category. As in the past, I was faced with a substantial expenditure (several thousand dollars) to get one of the current higher end travel notebooks that would meet my general laptop requirements; a light, relatively powerful, good battery life and compact design. The evolving +/- $500 Netbook category piqued my curiosity and I started to read reviews and study the new product offerings including their upgradability potential, or lack thereof.
In my experience, most air travelers use a laptop similar to myself, web browsing, email, and light office applications (word, excel, etc); or in other words the â€œNetbookâ€ categories target market.
On occasion I take long trips across the country (8 to 10 hour block to block) and I wanted my new purchase to provide a single charge that would last through that dayâ€™s journey; no spare batteries or AC adapter in tow. A typical trip for me begins at the departure gate and firing up the notebook for a little catch-up computing while waiting for departure. Once airborne and settled in, I pull my notebook out for some on-board work. Upon arriving at my connection stop I either head to a travel lounge or the departure gate and get on-line once again. On the last flight leg, Iâ€™ll generally pull out my notebook for some additional in-air use before getting to my destination.
My target requirements:
1. Light weight & Compact foot-print
2. Long battery life
3. 10â€ – 12â€ screen size, 1024×600 minimum resolution and bright
4. Reasonable processing power for intended use
5. Windows XP Pro
6. 2 GB of memory and a 320 GB 7200 rpm hard drive
MY NETBOOK SELECTION:
I purchased the â€œSamsung NC10â€ and Iâ€™M VERY IMPRESSED! I pre-ordered from Amazon.com and received the unit on 11/19/08. I settled on the white version since Iâ€™m not a fan of black keyboards which the NC10â€™s blue and black color options sport. With the modifications discussed below, this little machine exceeds my overall expectations and is everything the various reviewers have analyzed and discussed to date. Most reviewers consider the keyboard on the NC10 the best in category, but since Iâ€™m not a touch typist that wasnâ€™t one of my hot buttons, however the key board is large, solid, and pleasant to use.
The standard NC10 came closest to my purchase specs for light weight; itâ€™s under 3 lbs, long battery life; it seems Samsungâ€™s targeted 6 – 8 hours of battery life is doable (Iâ€™ve hit 6+ hours using disk, WiFi and toned down screen brightness). The 10.2â€ screen is very bright and clear with 1024×600 resolutions; it helps to auto-hide the taskbar to buy a little more screen real estate. The unit is very compact and like most Netbooks its projected area is smaller then an 8.5â€x11â€ sheet of paper and the closed clamshell is 1â€ thick. The standard unit arrives with XP Home, 1 GB memory and a 160 GB 5400 rpm drive. The NC10 feels solid, build quality (inside and out) are excellent and out of the box the unit was responsive and fairly snappy. I have two WiFi access points in my home and the NC10â€™s WiFi card picked both up with excellent reception and through-put; I also tried my Sprint USB broadband adapter with equally satisfactory results.
Like most engineering types; â€œIf its not broke, take it apart and fix it anywayâ€. Iâ€™ve read the reviews and knew the memory and hard disk could be easily be upgraded (given a little bit of prior experience and some hardware finesse). I went to my preferred parts supplier, Newegg, and purchased a 2GB stick of RAM for $32 and a 7200 rpm 320 GB disk drive for $100. I also picked-up a nice Netbook carrying case by Caselogic for $12 with my Amazon order. I used Apriconâ€™s EZ Upgrade Kit to image the unitsâ€™ standard 160 GB disk and then put it on the shelf as the failsafe backup. It took me about 10 minutes to take the unit apart and upgrade the components. I then prepared a Windows XP Pro DVD slipstreamed with SP3, repartitioned the disk, reinstalled the operating system and all the Samsung drivers and application software. Samsung did an excellent job of putting all the NC10â€™s drivers and application software on their technical support web page. The overall result of these upgrades makes a noticeable improvement in overall performance. Iâ€™m very pleased with the final results for this tweaked, travel ready road machine (an example: standard boot time to WiFi connection is about 90 seconds, however I use hibernation on my notebooks and the machine will boot-up to WiFi connected status in 25 seconds).
I agree with many of the industry and media experts who have editorialized on the Netbook phenomena. Netbooks will continue to be a significant new growth segment in the overall notebook category. The manufactures have an interesting dilemma however; Netbooks will also continue to cut into sales of the higher margin, costlier tier of their notebook offerings. Feature creep is probably going to be the manufactures biggest marketing challenge; the temptation to seek product differentiation by adding larger screens, faster processors (central & graphics), more IO, etc., all tending to increase price, size, weight, and cut into battery life. If you examine your real world use and expectations you may have the same epiphany I have had; these little Netbooks are excellent solutions vs. the more expensive traditional notebook offerings. With a couple of easy inexpensive tweaks, the â€œSamsung NC10â€ is a home run!November 25, 2008 at 8:34 pm #171399jezMember
Thanks very much for posting your review here RT Hill.
I was interested to see that you set up a list of requirements too. I did a similar thing at the start of 2008 and decided I’d buy the first machine that met them! For so long there were many that got close but there was always a deal breaker.
Until the NC10 came along that is!
Welcome to the site 🙂November 25, 2008 at 9:01 pm #171406RT HillMember
Thanks for the welcome jez. Hope my comments help readers out….November 25, 2008 at 9:26 pm #171405PugriderMember
Excellent post. One question – is there a reason why you didn’t change to a SSD?November 25, 2008 at 9:36 pm #171402adatay92Member
Because an SSD wouldn’t have met the 320gb requirement he had….!?November 25, 2008 at 9:48 pm #171404OneTimeMember
Nice article. Good read. Nice upgrades…plan to do the 2GB ram upgrade very soon. I’m happy with the 160GB HDD. I use it as a work machine for university and therefore do not require large HDD space.November 25, 2008 at 10:01 pm #171400jezMember
Let us know how that upgrade goes. I’m not sure it has made a huge difference to me but I’ve not really pushed things yet! Spending to much time being a webmaster right now lol! But you can check out my upgrade experience.
But I also thing that 160gb is plenty enough space. I think the only way I could get close is by finding a (legal) movie download site and maxing out my internet connection for several days!
Of course everyone’s use will be different and someone will find a way to use up all that space lol!November 25, 2008 at 10:04 pm #171403Richard TMember
I agree 160gb is huge,recently moved from 120gb and had barely 30gb filled so 160gb will do me just fineNovember 25, 2008 at 11:21 pm #171401bikerjonesMember
thanks for the review it was a bit of dejavu as I had just finished reading your review on the amazon.com site before signing in here! For now 160gb hard drive is enough for me but good to know that upgrading is an option. I
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