Price: Approximately £350
Size: 12.1 inches
Weight: 1.5 kg
Battery Life: Over 6 Hours
Processor Speed: 1.3 GHz
Hard Drive: Up To 160 GB
RAM: 1GB DDR2
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Samsung’s NC10 raised the bar in the netbook category by providing one of the most usable keyboards and more than 6 hours of battery life. But like all 10-inch netbooks, its smaller form factor had limitations when compared with full-size notebooks. Enter the newest member of the NC family, the Samsung NC20.
This machine has a more spacious 12-inch display and a full-size keyboard, which makes it look more like a traditional notebook than any other netbook to date. Other than its screen size, the biggest difference between the NC20 and other netbooks is that this one is powered by VIA’s Nano U2250 processor and Chrome9 HC3 integrated graphics, as opposed to Intel’s Atom CPU and integrated graphics.
The NC20 is not as powerful or thin as premium ultraportables, but it provides adequate performance and a good deal for those willing to pay extra for a bigger screen and keyboard. The Samsung NC20 shares the NC10’s design. Its rounded lid sports an identical matte cover. Surrounding the edges of the netbook is a silver trim complemented with glowing blue and reddish orange status lights on the front edge, which project a futuristic aura. A blue glowing power button is on the rounded right hinge.
The Samsung NC20 is larger than other 12-inch systems—including its closest competitor, the Dell Inspiron Mini 12—and higher-end 12-inch ultraportables such as the Lenovo ThinkPad X200. At 11.5 x 8.5 x 1.2 inches, the NC20 is thicker than the Mini 12 by 0.4 inches. It is also heavier than your average 2.8-pound netbook, tipping the scales at 3.4 pounds with its standard six-cell battery. While we couldn’t toss this machine into a purse as with the NC10, the NC20 slid into a shoulder bag without a problem. The expanded chassis allows the NC20 to house a full-size keyboard, up from the 93 percent–size keyboard on the NC10; however, the touch and feel of the keys are the same on both. The raised keys provide nice tactile feedback and were comfortable for long typing stints, and there are no spacing issues like those of many netbooks on the market: the right Shift key is full size and directly below the Enter key.
However, we were puzzled as to why Samsung decided to keep the arrow keys and the function keys slightly smaller than the rest, given the extra space on the deck. Also renovated is the touchpad, a marked improvement over the trackpad on the NC10. The mouse button, while longer, remains a single rocker bar and lacks a divot to separate the left and right sides.
The scrolling bar was useful for moving through long Web pages. The NC20 houses the same ports as the NC10, including three USB 2.0 ports, a 3-in-1 memory card reader, mic and headphone jacks, a VGA port, and an Ethernet port. We would have liked to see the extra space used to accommodate an ExpressCard slot for adding a mobile broadband modem card and/or an HDMI port.
- Product Description: Samsung NC20 Via Nano Processor 1.3GHZ 12.1″
- Screen: 12.1” LED WXGA (1280 x 800)
- CPU: VIA Nano™ ULV Processor U2250 (1.3+GHz, 800MHz)
- Chipset: VIA VX800 Unified Digital Media IGP Chipset
- Graphics: Integrated VIA Chrome9™ with DirectX 9.0 3D graphics support and hardware video acceleration
- OS: Microsoft R Windows XP Home Edition
- Memory: 1GB DDR2 (1*SODMM)
- Storage: 160GB HDD (9.5mmH 2.5’’HDD, SATA)
- Webcam: 1.3 Mega pixels web camera
- LAN: 10/100Mbps LAN
- Wireless: Atheros 802.11 b/g
- Bluetooth: 2.0+EDR (Enhanced Data Rate)
- I/O Ports: USB2.0 x 3, Ethernet LAN, 3-in-1 card reader
- Battery: 6 cells Li-ion Battery Standard
- Dimensions: 292.4mm x 217mm x 30.7mm
- Weight: 1.52kg
- Special Features: 6.5 hours battery life
- Colors: White / Black
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