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Review: Samsung N310 netbook. Style over substance?

by Tarinder Sandhu on 5 June 2009, 00:00 3.25

Tags: N310, Samsung (005935.KS)

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The nascent netbook sector has been characterised by a bunch of higher-end machines that have near-identical specifications, based around Intel's N270 Atom CPU, 945GSE chipset, 10.1in screen, and 160GB mechanical hard drive. MSI's Wind, LG's X110, Advent's 4214, Lenovo's S10e, Samsung's NC10, and the ASUS Eee PC 1000HE are all examples of such netbooks that currently ship at between £250-£300 and usually bundled with Microsoft Windows XP Home.

Recently, however, NVIDIA's ION platform has made waves and we've begun to see the first netbook iterations of the do-it-all mini-notebook, mixing the guts of the Atom CPU with a more-potent graphics subsystem powered by the GeForce 9400m GPU. We expect such netbooks to cost £300-plus when officially launched.

Coming back to wholly Intel-powered netbooks, Samsung's NC10 has won many pundits over with its better-than-average build quality, good keyboard and battery life. Priced at £299, a touch dearer than most, it still remains a heavyweight contender in the high-end netbook space.

Samsung has fleshed out the N-series (netbook) range with the NC20, based on VIA's Nano CPU and, now, with the N310 - offering all of NC10's qualities but with a sleeker, cooler design. We take a look to see if it's style with substance.