Well, sorta. Samsung’s budget lappies have actually been on sale for a few weeks already, but they had a formal coming-out party (along with the high-end 80 series of laptops) this evening at the Samsung Experience gallery in Manhattan.
For tight budgets, the N210 (at left in the image above) offers most of what you need. The spacious keyboard, with separated, square keys, is a good low-cost approximation of the lovely Apple MacBook pro board that I just typed this on. The keys have a solid feel, resolute click, plenty of up-and-down travel, and generous spaces between them to minimize errant fingers from all-thumbs typists like yours truly. The tiny touchpad is standard-issue netbook, however, requiring tight navigation for big fingers; and the mouse buttons are cheap-feeling clickers.
The N210, and other Samsung Netbooks, dual-boots into either Windows 7 Starter edition or the Linux-based Phoenix Hyperspace OS (once you figure out the
Performance is as you might expect for a low-cost model. You’ll spend plenty of time looking at Win 7’s “I’m Working On It” animated spinning icon when booting up, launching apps, or opening largish files.
The N210 and NB30 can, in theory, play HD video, thanks to Intel’s “Pine Trail” duo of the new Atom N450 processor and NM10 Express Chipset. The stock Windows Media HD nature video that comes on Win 7 systems sometimes ran fluidly. But on other occasions, it was more like high-res stop-motion animation that often skipped whole chunks of scenes. Even standard-def video looked a little bit sluggish and uneven at times. Perhaps the poor showing was because some random Windows background process that was running. But it happened often enough to appear to be more than a fluke.
Samsung boasts up to a day of battery power, if you run the netbook in the power-saving Hyperspace OS. But even in Windows 7 with video, the power meter estimated an impressive 5 hours of life.
With its textured, black shell, the NB30 looks like a step up from the N210, though most specs are about the same (Atom N450 processor, 1GB RAM, 10.1-inch, 1024×600 LED-lit LCD screen). And both are priced at $379.
The NB30 sports a different keyboard than the N210. The keys are closer together, with gaps just the right size to capture most crumbs. Typing didn’t feel quite as fluid and resolute as on the N210, at least for these clumsy fingers.
Neither model is a barnburner. But either of Samsung’s low-cost model will get the job done for basic surfing, emailing and typing. In other words, they are nice netbooks.
This post was filed from NYC by Sean Captain.Follow:ComputersTop Storiescomputerlaptopsn210nb30Samsungsamsung n210samsung nb30samsung netbooks