Samsung N350 review
A little pricey and battery life is below par; not our favourite Samsung netbook
Review Date: 7 Dec 2010
Reviewed By: Luke Sampson
Price when reviewed: £283 (£332 inc VAT)
Features & Design
Value for Money
The market for netbooks has been at a standstill for some time now, but the emergence of a new range of dual-core Atom chips has recently stirred manufacturers into action.
Samsung's N350 is one of this new breed, but initially you'd struggle to tell the difference. It has a shiny slate-grey chassis with a largely plain black interior, and while it isn't offensive, it lacks the pizzazz of the Toshiba NB520. The rest of the design is nicely understated, though, and impressively svelte. With dimensions of 264 x 189 x 22mm (WDH) and a weight of just over a kilo, the Samsung's no porker.
It's comfortable to use too. The Scrabble-tile keyboard feels sturdy, and the trackpad is responsive too. There are two separate buttons beneath the trackpad that make a nice change from the ubiquitous one-piece rocker-style button. General build quality is good, too, although we'd prefer slightly stronger screen protection.
That aside, the 1,024 x 600 10.1in display performs well: colours are largely accurate and it offers as much sharpness as can be expected from a netbook display. More beneficial from a business perspective is the matte coating, which cuts glare and irritating reflections.
Inside, that dual-core 1.5GHz Atom N550 is backed up by 1GB of DDR3 memory, and as with the other dual-core netbooks we've tested so far, it doesn't appear to offer much advantage over the single-core Atom, with a score of 0.35 in our benchmarks. The new dual-core processor does at least make Windows 7 feel a little snappier in use.
More concerning, however, is the N350's battery life. The model we tested came with a three-cell, 2,950mAh battery - and it showed. In our light-use test with no applications running, brightness at medium, and wireless switched off, the N350 managed 5hrs 46mins to the Asus Eee PC 1015PEM's, 8hrs 20mins.
If this were a budget netbook we might be able to forgive the sub-par battery life, but at £332 inc VAT it's on the pricier side of average. Instead, we'd recommend plumping for an older netbook such as the A-Listed Asus Eee PC 1001P, which offers similar performance in a much more stylish and wallet-friendly package.
Author: Luke Sampson
Why do they bother?
I remember being excited when netbooks first came out. I am just disappointed now. There seems to me a stream of me too machines that have no obivious or compelling advantages over the orginal efforts and are more expensive.
By JamesD29 on 8 Dec 2010
Because people buy them...
By matbailie on 8 Dec 2010
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