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Samsung toughens up netbooks for school

  • Samsung NB30 at BETT 2010
  • Samsung NB30 lid close-up
  • Samsung NB30 keyboard close-up

By Tim Danton

Posted on 13 Jan 2010 at 12:52

Samsung has unveiled a semi-ruggedised netbook designed to survive the rigours of the classroom.

The NB30 is on show at BETT 2010, and is packed with features aimed at preventing accidental damage. Among these are a spill-resistant keyboard, a hard-disk freefall sensor that parks the drive head if the NB30 is dropped, and – most importantly – a rubberised, shock- and scratch-resistant lid.

“Many netbooks just sit under the sofa, ready for when people want to go on the internet,” says Darren Matthews, commercial manager of Samsung’s mobile computing division, “but the NB30 is designed to be used by children on the move.”

“We’ve already got fantastically low failure rates for our netbooks, and the NB30 will improve things further.”

The most striking feature is that lid, with a swirling, contoured finish that Samsung also claims is resistant to smudged fingerprints. The 10.1in LED-backlit screen it protects looks sharp and vibrant, with the usual netbook resolution of 1,024 x 600 pixels.

The NB30 is built on Intel’s latest Pine Trail platform, with a 1.66GHz Hyper-Threaded Atom processor and Intel GMA 3150 graphics. The rest of the specs follow a familiar pattern, with a choice of Windows 7 Starter of Windows XP Home, 802.11bgn wireless, and either 160GB or 250GB hard disks.

The Samsung NB30 is already on sale, with selling the Windows XP version for £230 exc VAT and the Windows 7 version for £277 exc VAT.

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User comments

My daughter has one of the NC10's (from a PCPro recommendation!) and it's very, very good. This should be even better.

By Minou on 13 Jan 2010

My daughter has one of the NC10's (from a PCPro recommendation!) and it's very, very good. This should be even better.

By Minou on 13 Jan 2010

Good news

They are making them small, tough, light and cheap. I'm sold!

It's what a netbook is all about.

By cheysuli on 13 Jan 2010

But will it sell?

It would be interesting to know how many schools are actually buying these for students.

Another department has had 20 laptops for use by students and apprently only about 3 of them still work or aren't broken in some way.

The kids complain that the hardware is old and slow, yet they can't look after the stuff when they do get it. Sigh.

By mviracca on 13 Jan 2010

spec change

I would have thought it more prident to put a SSD in rather than a hard drive.Far more robust.even if it does add another £70 to the price and the capacity goes down.That way it should truly be shock proof.the way to test for shock proof by the way is for someone to shout at the netbook.I hear that the apple I tablet will be launched at a retail price of £200 and the battery will be removable.If the hard drive does not die of shock then it should survive anything ;-)

By Jaberwocky on 13 Jan 2010

@mviracca - Laptops or netbooks?

A school I worked at recently bought 20 linux ssd netbooks (asus eee pc's), along with a hefty flight case/charging station.

These were bought to replace our fleet of laptops which were old, inadequately specced for the software they were running and most of them broken.

But with the netbooks, we expect to see less damage, because they are new, because they are tougher IMO (especially with SSDs), and because of the new rules in place for their management.

By GAZZAT5 on 13 Jan 2010


just another thinkpad-lite. you can get an x60s / x61s on ebay with 1-2 yrs warranty left for £300. an order of magnitude better in every department, including toughness.

By gavmeister on 17 Feb 2010

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