Archive for July, 2009

Samsung NC20

ESSENTIAL SPECS

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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REVIEW
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.samsung-nc20-netbook

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.

SPECIFICATIONS

  • 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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Finding the Perfect Small Laptop / Netbook



Small Laptops Guide have put together some info on helping you find the perfect netbook or small laptop.

Firstly, lets discuss, “What is a small laptop / netbook?”

A netbook or small laptop is a smaller, low priced, less powered, laptop computer. They are great for surfing the web, checking email, working on word documents. They do a lot more than this, but this makes up 90% of what most people use a laptop for anyway. Netbooks are becoming increasingly popular with all the big manufacturers from Dell to Lenovo to HP getting in on the market. There is a flood of small laptops available on the market nowadays, this can prove to be a little confusing. So how do you pick which is the right small laptop for you?

Small Laptops Guide will discuss the important specifications to look for when buying the perfect small laptop. In order to get the info on the specifications, we would recommend looking at reviews of particular machines before going ahead and purchasing. From a review you can pick up important details which can help you make decisions when buying. Our site has a list of reviews from all the main manufacturers so have a look and make a note of the important specifications of each machine so that you can compare easily.

What are the important specifications to look out for? We have listed them below:

1. Processor

Look out for the Intel Atom Processor 1.6GHZ, most small laptops have these as standard. They are specifically made for netbooks and can run Windows XP.

2. Hard Drive

In the case of hard drive, more is better. Look out for Solid State Drives, with more than 15GB of space. Some of the newer models have up to 80GB so you can easily install programs and have plenty of files on there.

3. Operating System

Most of the netbooks and small laptops on the market today give an option of Windows or Linux as standard operating systems. For the majority of users, Windows is the preferred platform, although Linux machines tend to be cheaper and you are much less likely to get a virus.

4. Screen Size

Around 9 to 10 inches is a good size for your netbook, but this is often down to personal preference. Some people prefer portability whilst others prefer a slightly larger screen size.

5. Battery Life

More is better. A minimum battery life for your small laptop should be 4 hours at the least.

6. Price

Around £300 or $500 is a good average price you should expect to pay.

If you are interested in buying a small laptop for yourself, Small Laptops Guide has teamed up with Amazon to provide you with the best and latest small laptops available to buy.

Visit our shop and buy your own new netbook here.


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Coming Soon – Sony Vaio W Series


Sony is set to release the new W series to compete with the latest small laptops in the market today. The Sony Vaio W is based around the same Intel Atom N280 Processor which is used in many other netbooks. It also has a similar 10 inch screen. However, it differs from the rest when it comes to screen resolution.

The Sony Vaio W has a screen resolution of 1,366 x 768 pixels, which means that more of a website can be fitted on the screen and the users will have to scroll less than on the small laptops of its competitors. Sony aims to use this and the large touch panel to promote this laptop computer. The touch panel on the Sony Vaio W is almost the same size as one on most conventional laptops.

Sony have stated that they are aiming this small laptop at light users and this is an entry level model. Sony also have another smaller netbook on the market, the Sony Vaio P Series which is also reviewed by small laptops guide. The W series, however, is larger than the 8 inch P Series and Sony have stated that each of the two are aimed at different consumers.

With a global decline in PC sales, the only segment of the computer market showing growth is in the sales of small laptops as they are affordable and compact – perfect for basic users of computers. Read our article on Why Small Laptops.sony vaio w

The Sony Vaio W Series comes with 1GB RAM memory, a 160GB hard drive, and weighs only 2.6 lbs. There will also be the option to upgrade the memory by a  further 2GB. The other main selling point is the keyboard, with 86% size of a normal keyboard, typing is expected to be a lot easier than other small laptops available. The Vaio W is 1.3 inches thick and will be availabel in colours of White, Brown and Pink. This small laptop is due for release in August and is expected to be offered at a price of around £400.

Small Laptops Guide will be adding a full review soon.

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