Samsung – N210 review

solid netbook with an instant-on operating system
Photo of Samsung – N210
£300

Samsung’s N210 is yet another netbook. But it is not just any old netbook. This one has some superb features that include good battery life, a great keyboard and a very serviceable instant-on operating system sitting alongside Windows 7 Starter Edition.

Size-wise the N120 is no surprise. Its 10.1-inch, 1024 x 600 pixel screen means it sits in quite a small chassis, and it is fairly light and easily portable. It comes in both black and white variants, each with a patterning on the lid section which adds a little something distinctive to the N210′s overall appearance.

The keyboard is a chiclet style variety with keys that are physically separated from each other. They feel great under the fingers and we found we were able to touch type at a perfectly acceptable speed, considering the small overall size of the keyboard.

The touchpad incorporates some multitouch features. You can use two fingers to pinch to zoom and also to rotate images on screen. There are scroll zones for horizontal and vertical scrolling too, which come into their own for Web browsing.

Battery life is something you want to be very good in a netbook and the N210 does not disappoint. Samsung states that up to 12 hours is possible. We weren’t able to approach that but we did manage to take the N210 away for a weekend without its mains power adaptor and get through all the light to moderate use we needed without getting to the nail-biting stage.

The instant-on operating system is interesting. Called HyperSpace, it offers quite a strong range of applications including a Web browser, Twitter client, Facebook client, Gmail, RealPlayer, to-do list manager and a word processor. There are a couple of games in there too, and you can access the notebook’s Wi-Fi.

You get to HyperSpace by hitting a function key when the N210 is booting, or can boot into Windows and then flip out to it by clicking a desktop icon. To be perfectly frank, we’d probably boot into Windows all the time and stay there, but if you like to have an alternative, this one is quite capable.

The netbook’s core specifications are a fairly average bunch. The hard drive provides 250GB of storage, wireless runs to 802.11b/g/n. There is Ethernet here too. The processor, Intel’s Atom N450, is no surprise and there is 1GB of RAM. A webcam sits above the screen, and there are three USB ports and an SD/MMC card reader.

Company: Samsung

Contact: 0845 7267864


Verdict
If you are looking for a netbook and want something that is solidly made with good battery life then the Samsung N210 could be ideal. Some will find that the instant-on operating system is unnecessary, though.