Samsung NC10 Website
Asus are to blame for the whole ‘Netbook’ uprising that we have seen throughout 2008. Back in 2007 they came up with an Intel Celeron powered sub-notebook, running Windows XP on a 7" TFT screen. The whole machine had an ultra small footprint making it a great little portable machine. Storage was taken care of by a 4GB Solid State Drive (SSD), which utilises no mechanical parts. Power consumption on the device was extremely low as a result. The machine would be known as the Asus Eee PC 700. A lot of the space saving was due to the omission of an internal CD/DVD ROM drive. External USB DVD drives are already available as are large capacity USB flash drives should you require them anyway.
The device was a small hit and users wanted more, so Asus listened. They refined the range in 2008 introducing the 900 series – this time featuring a 9" screen, a better spaced out keyboard and storage capacities of 12GB and 20GB SSD’s. The 901 followed featuring the same screen size but a completely revised design consisting of Intel’s new Atom CPU. Bluetooth and Wireless 802.11n were also a pleasing addition. In short, the 900 series sold by the ton. Other manufacturers started to take notice…
Intel’s Atom CPU released in April 2008 is an incredibly power efficient CPU. Engineered specifically by Intel to meet the needs of their customers. It had to be low powered, give a good degree of performance and had to be cost effective. Built on a .45nm process the desktop variant of the single core Atom consumes just 4W, whilst the mobile versions are rated at 0.65 – 2W. These low power requirements are simply staggering. September 2008 sees Intel releasing the dual core versions of these CPU’s, which consume 8W.
Thanks to the Atom’s low power consumption other manufacturers can now produce EeePC clones, which contain storage solutions that consist of either SSD’s or full fledged Hard disks. Various sizes of screens from 7-10" are common with larger cell batteries giving incredibly long runtimes.
Given that I am giving my horribly powerful XPS 1530 away, I needed a replacement! All I did was browse the net and chat to my friends on the machine so it was grossly overpowered for my needs. I did initially purchase the XPS for a college/university course, which I never took.
Frankly I was torn between the EeePC 901 and the newly released Samsung NC10. The NC10 has received nothing but top marks in every review so far and is a very well built, beautiful device. I wanted a solid machine with an SSD that could take the bumps and knocks of daily travel on the bus to my work place. The EeePC 901 was just that since it came with either 12 or 20GB SSD’s. The Asus EeePC range also has a terrific community developing mods and software. It seemed like a one way decision, until I found out that the 20GB 901 actually consisted of two SSD’s, a fast 4GB version, and a slower 20GB unit. That wasn’t too good for me. I decided to look at the NC10 again.
The NC10 featured superb looks and build quality, with a 160GB Hard disk, a 10.2" screen, a 6 cell battery with a high runtime and a total weight of 1.2kg. It lacked the wireless 802.11n standard that the 901 has but that makes little difference overall. The main star of the NC10 was apparently the best keyboard ever seen on a netbook. In the end I opted for the NC10, even though the hard disk makes it less than robust against a model that has an SSD.
So with all that out of the way, lets look at the NC10!
Samsung NC10 Specs:
- Dimensions: 10.3 x 7.3 x 1.2 inches
- Weight: 2.8 pounds
- Display: 10.2″ TFT Display (1024 x 600)
- 1.6GHz Intel Atom N270 (Diamondville)
- 1 GB DDR2 RAM (PC2-5300)
- Intel 945 GSE Express Chipset
- Integrated Graphics: Intel GMA 945 128MB
- 160 GB Hard Disk Drive (Fujitsu 5400 RPM)
- Wireless: Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g, Bluetooth 2.0 with EDR
- Operating System: Microsoft Windows XP Home SP3
- Ports: 3xUSB 2.0, Ethernet, Headphone, Microphone, VGA, 3 in 1, SD Card Reader