Samsung NF210 review

26 Oct 2010

Good looks, but it's pricey for a netbook, and you'll hardly notice the new dual-core processor

Price when reviewed 
349
3

After a couple of years of hogging all the attention, netbooks have all but dropped out of the limelight. With Intel's latest dual-core Atom processor in tow, and a curvaceous new design, Samsung's NF210 wants to rekindle the flame and reclaim its place atop the PC Pro A List.

Shy and retiring aren't words that you'd associate with the NF210. Swooping curves and rounded edges abound, and this combines with a startling gloss-white finish, and silver trim stretching around the edges of the lid and chassis. Peer inside and you'll find a faux-aluminium wristrest jostling for attention with acres of matte black, enlivened further by a handful of grey pinpricks dotted around the glossy-black bezel. It sounds awful, but, in the flesh, it's one of the very few netbooks that actually look good.

Samsung NF210 rear

It's apt that such a novel design delivers the first glimpse of Intel's much-touted dual-core Atom processor. Intel's Atom N550 finally brings the hope that, finally, the netbook might break free from the shackles of mediocre performance.

The truth, however, is that it merely rattles the chains. Our benchmarks saw the NF210 deliver an underwhelming score of 0.35, just a couple of per cent quicker than its single-core predecessors. Not surprisingly, it was video encoding and multitasking that saw the biggest boost in performance, but it could have been so much better. The N550 has only 1GB of RAM, which is definitely a limiting factor.

Details

Price ex VAT £297
Price inc VAT £349
Overall rating 3
Features & Design 3
Value for Money 3
Performance 5

Warranty

Warranty 1yr collect and return

Physical specifications

Dimensions 275 x 188 x 31mm (WDH)
Weight 1.320kg
Travelling weight 1.6kg

Processor and memory

Processor Intel Atom N550
Motherboard chipset Intel NM10
RAM capacity 1.00GB
Memory type DDR3
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

Capacity 250GB
Hard disk usable capacity 233GB
Spindle speed 5,400RPM
Internal disk interface SATA/300
Hard disk Hitachi HTS543225A7A384
Optical disc technology none
Optical drive N/A
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

Wireless hardware on/off switch no
Wireless key-combination switch yes
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
Optical S/PDIF audio output ports 0
Electrical S/PDIF audio ports 0
3.5mm audio jacks 2
SD card reader yes
Memory Stick reader no
MMC (multimedia card) reader no
Smart Media reader no
Compact Flash reader no
xD-card reader no
Pointing device type Touchpad
Audio chipset Realtek HD Audio
Speaker location Front edge
Hardware volume control? no
Integrated microphone? yes
Integrated webcam? yes
Camera megapixel rating 0.3mp
TPM no
Fingerprint reader no
Smartcard reader no
Carry case no

Battery and performance tests

Battery life, light use 8hr 39min
Battery life, heavy use 4hr 9min
Overall application benchmark score 0.35
Office application benchmark score 0.29
2D graphics application benchmark score 0.40
Encoding application benchmark score 0.31
Multitasking application benchmark score 0.38
3D performance (crysis) low settings N/A
3D performance setting N/A

Operating system and software

Operating system Windows 7 Starter 32-bit
OS family Windows 7
Recovery method Recovery partition
Software supplied N/A