Samsung NB30 review

2 Sep 2010

A competent machine that trades snazzy design for a bit more durability

Price when reviewed: 
294(£289 inc VAT)
4

Samsung's NB30 is a durable netbook. While we're not going to claim it's as bullet-proof as genuinely rugged machines, it still grants a little extra protection from drops and bumps, making it especially suitable as a beginner laptop for small children.

The chassis is coated in tough rubber rather than the gloss we usually see on netbooks, so it's able to withstand the occasional knock, and it won't pick up unsightly scuffs and scratches as easily as most. Those shocks and bumps are unlikely to trouble the delicate hard disk either, since it features shock protection to safeguard your data in the event of a fall. It even has a spill-resistant keyboard.

Samsung NB30

While the NB30's wrist rest and lid don't feel as flex-free as some of its rivals, the thick, solid plastic shell inspires more confidence than most. The keyboard carries on this solid feel with an unyielding base and a pleasant typing action, and the accompanying trackpad is just as impressive, with accurate cursor control and a pair of comfortable buttons.

The 10.1in 1,024 x 600 display is fine, with decent viewing angles and bright colours, and we're pleased to see a matte finish rather than the usual glossy panel. And, while the benchmark score of 0.30 isn't anything out of the ordinary, the light-use battery result of nine hours is superb. It'll easily manage a working day away from the mains.

In all, then, the NB30 is a capable machine packed into a durable chassis. It's more expensive than the competition, but worth the extra if you value durability over looks.

Details

Price ex VAT £250
Price inc VAT £294
Overall rating 4
Features & Design 4
Value for Money 5
Performance 2

Warranty

Warranty 1yr collect and return

Physical specifications

Dimensions 262 x 188 x 35mm (WDH)
Weight 1.270kg
Travelling weight 1.6kg

Processor and memory

Processor Intel Atom N450
Motherboard chipset Intel NM10
RAM capacity 1.00GB
Memory type DDR2
SODIMM sockets free 0
SODIMM sockets total 1

Screen and video

Screen size 10.1in
Resolution screen horizontal 1,024
Resolution screen vertical 600
Resolution 1024 x 600
Graphics chipset Intel GMA 3150
Graphics card RAM 64MB
VGA (D-SUB) outputs 1
HDMI outputs 0
S-Video outputs 0
DVI-I outputs 0
DVI-D outputs 0
DisplayPort outputs 0

Drives

Optical disc technology N/A
Optical drive None
Battery capacity 5,900mAh
Replacement battery price inc VAT £0

Networking

Wired adapter speed 100Mbits/sec
802.11a support no
802.11b support yes
802.11g support yes
802.11 draft-n support yes
Integrated 3G adapter no
Bluetooth support yes

Other Features

Modem no
ExpressCard34 slots 0
ExpressCard54 slots 0
PC Card slots 0
USB ports (downstream) 3
FireWire ports 0
PS/2 mouse port no
9-pin serial ports 0
Parallel ports 0
3.5mm audio jacks 2
SD card reader yes
Memory Stick reader no
MMC (multimedia card) reader yes
Smart Media reader no
Compact Flash reader no
xD-card reader no
Pointing device type Touchpad
Speaker location Front edge
Integrated microphone? yes
Integrated webcam? yes
Camera megapixel rating 0.3mp
TPM no
Fingerprint reader no
Smartcard reader no

Battery and performance tests

Battery life, light use 9hr 0min
Overall application benchmark score 0.30

Operating system and software

Operating system Windows 7 Starter 32-bit
OS family Windows 7