Laptop Mag reviews Samsung NC10

Posted on 29 October 2008 by



nc10

LAPTOP has gotten their hands on a Samsung NC10 [Portal page] that is fresh off the press (the ‘press’ being Korea). Not content to wait around for a US model, LAPTOP imported an NC10 and it sounds like they really like the machine. Just listen to the opening sentence of their review:

The Samsung NC10 has joined the ranks of 10-inch netbooks—including the Eee PC 1000H, MSI Wind, and Lenovo IdeaPad S10—and it beats them all.

You better believe the NC10 must be pretty good with a statement like that. The review is filled with a lot of positive comments about the NC10, specifically its keyboard and battery life. Back when we first saw the NC10, we had high hopes for the keyboard which appeared to be nice and big. The LAPTOP review says that the keyboard is 93% full sized, and the key placement is nearly perfect. This is great to know when several netbook alternatives have the extremely annoying tiny right shift key, to the right of the up arrow. Unless you are Raon and like to use optical mice to save space on your computers; a large keyboard means that you will have to sacrifice space for some other parts of the netbook, such as the trackpad. LAPTOP tells us that the trackpad is undersized.

In addition to a great keyboard, the NC10 also boasts an impressive battery. A 6-cell battery is standard on the NC10 and will provide you with 7+ hours of use LAPTOP tested the battery with continuous Wi-Fi web surfing and 50% battery life screen brightness; the NC10 responded with an impressive 7 hours and 34 minutes of run time!

Chippy’s Update: Laptopmag ran a second test with 100% screen brightness and got just under 5hrs of wifi-on surfing time. They will re-run the tests with 50% screen brightness to double-check that the screen backlight is having such a big effect. In my opinion, 50% screen brightness could easilty add 2W to the overall drain if it’s a big, bright screen and make a huge difference. Keep a watch on the Laptopmag NC10 review page 3 for updates.

Swing by LaptopMag.com for the full review.

Categorized | Netbook

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28 Comments For This Post

  1. Hanzo says:

    Maybe someday we will see Toyota launches their Hybrid netbook…lol

  2. phreaker18 says:

    i just wanted to point out that in the last sentence u have mentioned 50% battery life whereas it should be 50% screen brightness !!

    thank u

    Chippy Reply:

    Thanks Phreaker. I just corrected it.

  3. Lance says:

    Sounds great, what is the price on this one?
    ….and whoa!
    the difference between 50% and 100% screen brightness is a full 2 hours of battery life!?!?!?!
    That seems really steep.

  4. Judge says:

    Price is around £300 so slighter cheaper than a MSI Wind and higher spec.

    http://www.ebuyer.com/product/150182

  5. Judge says:

    If all the indications about this are true this could become the best 10inch netbook on the market. This is definatly one for Chippy and JKK to roadtest if they can get one.

  6. BigJ says:

    Well, when your total idle power draw is around 9W, an extra watt or two can make a BIG difference!

  7. citrus538 says:

    FINALLY, a netbook that has decent battery life. This looks like one I may have to pick up. . .still waiting for reviews on the Pandora though, since I might want something smaller.

  8. ProDigit says:

    I agree with the above! Though I don’t understand a shit of what he’s saying… lol…

    Anyways, it looks like this will be the new winner then (replacing the Wind after 8 months of reign)?

  9. Craig Overend says:

    If only that screen was 12″ 1280 x 800, the keyboard 100%, the touchpad bigger and 802.11n, HSUPA and perhaps WiMax was supported. :)

    I /really/ hope Samsung build an NC12.

    I’m still waiting for this in this form factor. Dell 12″ netbook is close but for the crap keyboard and battery life. :(

  10. AJ says:

    Tried to load Ubuntu 8.0.4.1 (with Intel Atom Processor support). It hangs on partition editor. Tried other methods and it always hangs in the same place. I’ve an Acer Aspire One which runs beautifully in Ubuntu 8.04.1 and has similar hardware. I could be the installation media though I doubt this since I have used it successfully on other computers. I’m beginning to suspect that the Data Execution Prevention which is compiled into the NC10′s bios is preventing Linux from being installed. A fine netbook, if you are a Windows user.

    Linux enthusiasts, be circumspect with this one.

  11. phreaker18 says:

    AJ just wanted to ask u whether u tried the new Ubuntu 8.10 … i downloaded it 2 days back and its so much more easy to get a WiFi connection configured on it… they certainly have made great changes to the Comm Manager … i also read that they have tweaked the OS to run with UMPCs and Netbooks… so why dont u download a copy n try installing it on the Aspire One and the NC10 and give us a feedback as to how its performing on those two machines…

    thank u

  12. AJ says:

    Phreaker18, that’s my next step. In the next few days I will acquire Intrepid Ibex. My Aspire One works so damn well I’m reluctant to use it as a guinea-pig now. I’ve got everthing working on it including a 3G connection which I got working through the command line. I’ve come to rely on the Aspire One probably a bit too much.
    In terms of hardware and form factor, the NC10 is exquisite. I did manage to boot from USB with Puppy Linux 4.0 Foxy. That installed with no problems, but is far less usable thanUbuntu. Ubuntu runs as a live DVD/CD but when you get to installing it, it does not get past the partition editor. i tried Normal, text-mode, graphical and OEM modes nothing. After about 8 hours (yes I lost sleep. I’m a geek) and nothing. I returned the unit this afternoon. I need to read of this being successfully installed before I’ll buy. (Time and all that)

    Thanks for your advice though.

  13. AJ says:

    To Phreaker and interested parties

    Some one in Germany has successfully loaded up Intrepid Ibex (8.10) on a Samsung NC10. Perhaps Hardy Heron did not have the required code for the Intel 950 DVMT chipset/GPU rather than anything to do with DEP.
    The Acer Aspire One and the ASUS EEEPC 900 both have the Intel 945. Just a thought. My research continues.

  14. phreaker18 says:

    @ AJ

    i think u have hit the nail on the head… i was also pondering on the same lines… since im in India and im not spoilt for options … i cant get my hands on the NC 10 but most likely will get one if and when i visit KL…

    my next endeavor is to install OS X Leopard on my old Aspire 5000 running AMD …. wish me luck and please keep me updated !!

    with u all the best !!

  15. dave @ laptop deals says:

    “tested the battery with continuous Wi-Fi web surfing and 50% battery life screen brightness; the NC10 responded with an impressive 7 hours and 34 minutes of run time!”

    Amazed by this – cannot wait to get ahold of one of these!

  16. AJ says:

    To Phreaker18 and others

    For interested parties seeking get Ubuntu working with the Samsung NC10.

    I tried Intrepid Ibex from a 4GB Sandisk USB flash drive. Booted up no problems and the partition manager loaded with any issues. This is far as I got as I did this with the kind permission and in the presence of a sales person in a London computer store.Sound card works, brightness and volume controls responded. The problems I had initially stemmed from an earlier kernel. Will I be buying? Maybe. I’m now smitten by the ASUS S101 -, which is far more classier but the price is savage @ £449! In addition, it has an SSD drive of only 60GB. But it does support WiFi 802.11.b/g and N. Everything about is beautiful. Although I did not get a chance to try my Intrepid Ibex Live USB, I cannot imagine any issues with the latest Linux kernel.

  17. AJ says:

    To Phreaker18 and others

    For interested parties seeking get Ubuntu working with the Samsung NC10.(amendment)

    I tried Intrepid Ibex from a 4GB Sandisk USB flash drive. Booted up no problems and the partition manager loaded without any issues. This is far as I got as I did this with the kind permission and in the presence of a sales person in a London computer store.Sound card works, brightness and volume controls responded. The problems I had initially stemmed from an earlier kernel. Will I be buying? Maybe. I’m now smitten by the ASUS S101 -, which is far more classier but the price is savage @ £449! In addition, it has an SSD drive of only 60GB. But it does support WiFi 802.11.b/g and N. Everything about is beautiful. Although I did not get a chance to try my Intrepid Ibex Live USB, I cannot imagine any issues with the latest Linux kernel.

  18. Ken says:

    Apparently you got to set the install options with ACPI off in order to install linux on the NC10. Try this and see what happens.

  19. AJ says:

    Ken, you’re right. It’s all about acpi. I’ve encountered this before, but on older PCs.

    On another note, I’ve been looking at the ASUS EEEPC S101. Very well designed. The specs however are quite underwhelming for the price. Available in 16GB (Windows XP) 32/64GB SSD variants, is second to none in elegance. But the Samsung NC10 is sheer value for money for you get.

  20. phreaker18 says:

    Hey AJ… where did u … i mean which store did u check out the NC10 n how much was the price ?

  21. AJ says:

    To Phreaker18 and interested parties

    A well-known store beginning with M. The guys did not ‘have to’, but they were happy to let me use my live USB so long as I did not damage the Windows partition.

    Anyway, I’ve now got one and absolutely loving it. Apart from from a few very minor issues ( such as the headphone port not silencing the speakers) everything about it is great. Phreaker, the price has gone up! That is, from £299 to £329. The netbook jungle is crowded with several machines coming in at around the £299. Samsung and the retailers have probably caught on to what’s going on in that our Sammy NC 10 stands out in two areas : a highly usable keyboard and superb battery-life. The Toshiba NB100 @ £299 for instance is a crying JOKE. The keyboard is unserviceable!!! Made for a three-year old!!! You’d have thought that the alleged world-leader for mobile computing would have learned from ASUS. They had year to LEARN! A year!!
    The Acer Aspire One I must has served me well. But the battery-life is not up to it and it has bricked on my at least four times. I simply reload a bios upgrade from a USB flash drive. Annoying.
    The ASUS S101 may be sheer class, but out of my reach at £449 with a diminutive 16GB SSD.
    I’d greatly recommend the Samsung NC10. (Yes, I am typing this message on the above mentioned and in Ubuntu 8.10 Intrepid Ibex. Works a treat).

    NB The memory slot is easily accessible (unlike the Acer Aspire One), but already occupied by a 1GB DDR2 memory module. I’d be suprised if this cannot take 2GB max. Samsung’s website does not state on the spec page that it can.

  22. AJ says:

    According to the more detailed flash based user manual, the NC 10 CAN be maxxed out to 2GB. The 1GB module,obviously, has to be removed and replaced with the a 2GB DDR2.

  23. AJ says:

    The manual actually contradicts itself. In ‘Product Specifications’ page 195 it says 1GB is the maximum. Then on page 189 in relation to the playing of 3D games it explicitly says that upgrading to “2GB” of ram is “recommended”. The memory slot is accessible. (Why provide one if upgrades are not possible?)

  24. AJ says:

    Has anyone read any definitive studies and on silver nano technology (which is use on the allegedly anti-bacterial keyboard) and the possible health risks asssociated? True, false, exaggerated? See http://www.nanoaction.org.

    If it’s true, the Sammy is the ultimate deal-breaker of all time.

  25. AK says:

    Hi AJ,

    has your NC10 the HSPA card? If so, does it work on Ubuntu?
    I’d like to buy this netbook, but only with such a card and only when Ubuntu supports it…

    Thanks & regards

    AJ Reply:

    Hi AK,

    The Samsung NC10 does not come with a functioning HSPDA module, although the when the battery is removed there is certainly a SIM card slot which has been deliberately blocked. I use a USB HSDPA (Huawei E220) dongle to achieve web access on my NC10. It works out of the box with Ubuntu 8.10 or Intrepid Ibex. It also works with Mandriva 2009 aswell.

  26. phreaker18 says:

    AJ…

    im more confused than ever… since the announcement of the MSI Wind 110 & 115 ..

    i think ill hang in there for the time being.. lets hope the wait is worth it !!

  27. anton says:

    hello i was wondering if the samsung nc10 supports a mmm let’s say usb wifi-N or something like that, that will let me have more speed

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    Бесплатный просмотр видео онлайн, с возможностью загрузки.

3 Trackbacks For This Post

  1. 칫솔_초이의 IT 휴게실 says:

    ê°•ì²  체력에 상황별 성능 조절되는 넷북, 삼성 센스 NC10…

    좀 뜬금없기도 하고 갑작스러운 일이기도 했다. 삼성의 넷북 시장 진출 말이다. 그동안 넷북에 대해 애매한 입장-사실 부정적 입장에 가까운-을 취했던 터라 발표 소식을 듣고는 더욱 헷갈릴 …

  2. Samsung NC10 goes on sale in the US | UMPCPortal - The Ultra Mobile Computing reference site says:

    [...] The Samsung NC10 [Portal page] which is being regarded as one of the best netbooks you can buy, is finally available in the US from Buy.com in white or blue for $499. The netbook has been available in other areas for the world for a short period of time, but is just now coming to the US, just in time for the holidays! For anyone considering this device, be sure to check out the very favorable review by LAPTOP. [...]

  3. Samsung NC10 goes on sale in the US | UMPCPortal - The Ultra Mobile Computing reference site says:

    [...] The Samsung NC10 [Portal page] which is being regarded as one of the best netbooks you can buy, is finally available in the US from Buy.com in white or blue for $499. The netbook has been available in other areas for the world for a short period of time, but is just now coming to the US, just in time for the holidays! For anyone considering this device, be sure to check out the very favorable review by LAPTOP. [...]