NC10 battery life.

Posted on 10 November 2008 by

I’ve already posted about this, twice. Samsung have some great engineers.

I had the chance to look at an NC10 (#1 device on the portal right now) at the netbook meeting in Cologne on Saturday and the first thing I did was to measure the minimum drain of the device. Within minutes, I was seeing a fantastic sub-5W minimum drain.


This is lower than on most UMPCs and is a good indication that the electronics on the motherboard, the power components and the screen are well engineered. There’s no point putting in a low-power CPU if you’re going to lose the advantage it with crappy engineering. Take the Kohjinsha SC3. It uses the latest, lower clock, lower power CPU and chipset and yet even after hours of optimising, the base drain on it is no less than 7.5W. That’s 50% more than the, much bigger NC10 that doesn’t even use the low power CPU and chipset.

Battery life outweighs most requirements for me so considering that everything else on the device is up to scratch, I’m seriously thinking of getting a black NC10 as my only laptop and selling the M912 and Medion Akoya. They’re both excelent devices but neither of them are as well engineered as the NC10

Samsung NC10 links and specs in the product pages.

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  • deriuqer

    Cant wait to see their MID.

  • The choice of battery is important, by Pixel Qi fan in waiting…

    One Good thing about one of One Laptop Per Child’s battery designs, is that when it was used up, it can be processed into fertilizer (now that is a green battery).

    Environmental Implications of OLPC

    “The batteries can’t explode, right? I mean pick your company. They have recalls about every six months of millions of batteries that are exploding using lithium ion technology and so we explored different technology and batteries that would last much longer. The typical lithium ion battery lasts some 500 charge/recharge cycles, which is if you’re running off a battery all the time, a year or a year and a half, two years. Well, ours lasts 2,000 charge/recharge cycles and so that’s like five years, right, even if you’re running off a battery all the time and lithium ferro phosphate which we use as well as nickel metal hydride, lithium ferro phosphate actually with processing decomposes into fertilizer”.

    Reshaping the Laptop Market

    “We turn off the whole motherboard in a tenth of a second while somebody is just pausing, looking at the screen, thinking, whatever, showing the picture to somebody. And then if there’s a key press event or a packet comes over the internet, it wakes up and so it’s sort of opposite because the CPU makers are so dominating this sort of march of computing and been so incredibly effective but then when you look at something at the low end you just want to use whatever is a pretty low cost CPU and turn it off most of the time because why use it if somebody is just typing an email or thinking or surfing the web or writing a paper and thinking about what they’re going to say? They don’t need it. What they really care about is their battery lasting for 20 hours, especially for the developing world, but in the developed world as well. And so for the CPU makers it’s difficult and so I feel their pain and I want to help. But I think that the future portable computing is all about the screen. It’s the most expensive and most power hungry component and so we’re trying to improve the screen and the reading experience because people want to be able to read on the screen.

    • Why hasn’t anyone repackaged this tech into MID or Netbooks?

      All of this ground breaking tech is wasted in the OLPC with it’s kid’s keyboard, weird shape and color, low RAM, small SSD, etc. Why hasn’t a MID or Netbook maker repackaged their designs into a commercial product with all the “mobile user friendly” features that we see in the current crop of MIDs and Netbooks?

  • jke

    Exactly, am also waiting for the black NC10 with BT & UMTS.

    • Sicarius

      BT is standard, atleast the one’s available here. 3G shouldn’t be so hard to mod it in yourself.

  • Pops

    Quote: I’m seriously thinking of getting a black NC10 as my only laptop and selling the M912 and Medion Akoya

    I tried the Akoya and liked it, but when I saw your discussion/review of the M912M I decided to return the Akoya and wait for the Gigabyte machine. I really like the idea of the tablet mode for more relaxed working – I’m just disappointed that more suppliers haven’t come out with cheap touch-screen/convertible tablet format machines.

    • Chippy

      As I said, the M912 is a great machine. Really. I haven’t used my Akoya at all since I bought the 912. Its consistently the fastest non-desktop device I have.
      But….I want that battery life and the M912 doesn’t deliver enough for me.

      I’m of the opinion now that a netbook is ‘just’ a laptop and most don’t have anything to do with the ultra mobile market so i’m just going for the best sub 1.5Kg laptop I can find for under 500 Euro and
      I’m going to get my mobile kicks from a MID or UMPC.


      • Vakeros

        Completely agree about netbooks.
        I belive the maximum size for a mid/umpc is 6″ screen and that is with a thin bezel. Otherwise you are going to have to go the projector route or the fold up screen!

  • Jez – NC10 Blog

    Good to see you have had some positive experience with the NC10. I already have mine on order and it should be here this week. Hopefully Friday but might slip into next week!

    I will be reporting back as soon as it turns up – looking forward to it!

  • Joao Oliveira (BassoPT(

    Looks really nice the NC10 but i got so used to my m912x with touch screen and high resolution that i cant imagine my self having a netbook without any of these two features. I use the netbook quite a lot to edit music scores and work with audio, and for exemple, ruuning finale 2009 on a 1024×600 screen is very hard. 1280×768 makes a lot of diference.

    Battery yes is a problem on the m912 they could have done it much better a 6 cell one would make it perfect but….

    Any new live session soon?

    All the best,

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  • yep

    just out of curiosity – which software did you use?

    rgs, yep

    • Chippy

      Its ‘perfmon’ shipped with all Windows OS’



  • Dam if the NC10 utilized the SIM card slot I’d get one. As such I’m looking at the Advent 4213 (MSI Wind)
    Has anyone actually crack one open to see if the 3g components are installed?

    • Sicarius

      The NC10’s available now have a plastic piece covering the simcardslot, there is, however, room for a mini pci card on the motherboard.

      • That’s interesting, if the mini pci cards are cheap enough then the nc10 could be the way to go.

        Now to wait for JKK to attempt this mod :)

        • it doesn’t have the connector… so you need to solder both pcie and sim connectors…

          .. and test if lines are ok and that bios lets u use 3g card…

      • Chippy

        Just wait for the 3G version to appear in a high-street cellular reseller soon!!

        Oh, perhaps not in the U.S. ;-)


  • hmmmm that’s a tab too much work. I’ve already fried a epc 900 attempting mods.

  • .. btw. nc10 has 20% bigger battery than 901.. 901 can idle at 5w too… so actual difference looks to be just better quality battery.

    • Chippy

      Yes, jkk, 901 is a great build too. DOn’t worry. We hadn’t forgotten about your baby!! (Although remember this one has 10″ screen)


      • Sicarius

        Don’t forget the nice keyboard, with the full right shift. Finally some netbook builder got it right.

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  • tal

    To say that a Netbook is “just a laptop” is blasphemy :)
    Now seriously it just a matter of what you call mobility. The fact that you look at UMPCs and MIDs as the only forms with mobility “kick” is just because of your mobility expectations.
    I for now get my “kick” from being able to carry the device all around with comfort (sub 1.3kg is good). UMPCs are a rare breed, and are pro users only. I really doubt how long they are going to stay around. MIDs are soon to be Smartphones.
    There is mobility of computing (via Netbooks) and mobility of connection (via Smartphones/MIDs). Both are great and different and once mixed make less sense.

    I want to also whole heatedly agree with ‘Pops’ –> the fact that for a 8.9″ swivel touch screen Netbook under 1k$ we have only Gigabyte ATM is annoying. I wonder when Acer or Asus will add these 2 features as well.

  • anon

    What is that power consumption counter called in Perfmon and under what performance object is it? I can’t find it!

    • Make sure you aren’t plugged in and you should see the Battery object appear with a battery drain option.

    • Chippy

      Sometimes you have to try and add the counter twice before it appears in the list


      • anon

        Thanks, it appeared on the second try. Seeing a 7 – 7.2 W minimum drain on a 900A with wireless. (6.5 with wireless off) Now – how to reach those 901 figures…

  • Steve it was just all day computing. I switched it on when we got over to the meeting, then some 3 hours of live streaming (using the NC10) and getting back in the late evening with still enough juice to play some games on the train back home.

  • scoobie

    And don’t forget I hope we can expect a new Q2 UMPC from Samsung at CEBIT

  • Brentan

    it’s not magic, go play with 1. the screen is dimmer than it’s competitors at the same brightness level.

    thats why when you turn up the brightness to 100% in the Samsung it gets under 5 hours.

    • Chippy

      I’ve played with many devices and this one clearly has best-in-class motherboard and screen drain. Even if you drop the screen brightness on many other devices, you won’t see this level of efficiency. At 2W (or more) advantage at this level translates to real advantages in normal use.


      • ProDigit

        There’s actually a command you can use on the EeePc to improve brightness, since standard brightness goes from something like 20%-65%.
        (in root type:
        setpci -s 00:02.1 f4.b=FF
        Where FF stands for the value of the brightness.
        don’t go lower than 05 on the EeePc, since then your backlit screen is gone.)

        If you set your eeePc to 100% brightness you only get about 65% of it’s real brightness.
        On the full 100% brightness, the EeePc hurts your eyes. It’s like a flashlight at night.

        Can anyone test if this code works on a linux (Ubuntu, Xandros, Mandriva) version on the N10?

  • Did I mention I can not wait to get my hands on this? come along now Mr Postman…

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  • Fredrik

    I have a Samsung NC10, what settings do you use to get below 5W of battery drain? Even if I turn BT off, Wifi off, screen brightness at minimum and shut down all major processes in Windows I still only get down to 6.5W, I can not get it below 5W. How do you do it?

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