The Bottom Line
- Matte Display Coating
- Comfortable Keyboard
- Attractive Design
- Performance Issues On Battery
- Too Many Preloaded Programs
- Could Use Bluetooth At This Price
- Intel Atom N450 Mobile Processor
- 1GB PC2-5400 DDR2 Memory
- 250GB 5400rpm SATA Hard Drive
- 10.1" WSVGA (1024x600) LED Backlit Display With Webcam
- Intel GMA 3150 Integrated Graphics
- Fast Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n Wireless
- Three USB 2.0, VGA, 5-in-1 Card Reader
- 10.5" x 7.4" x 1.2" @ 2.8 lbs.
- Windows 7 Starter, Works, McAfee Security Center
Guide Review - Samsung N210 10.1-inch Netbook Laptop PC
Apr 23 2010 - Samsung's N210 is their middle of the road netbook that is priced between their previous N310 Go netbook around $450 and their new low cost N150 model at $330. It uses the new Intel Pine Trail platform including the Atom N450 processor that provides it with a slight boost in performance over previous N270 based netbooks and some added power features.
Performance on the N210 was slightly below average due to the large number of applications that Samsung preloads on the system. While it is nice to have things like Works and McAfee Internet Security, all of the other programs tended to use up the limited 1GB system memory forcing the system to feel more sluggish during certain applications especially video streaming. Users can improve the performance by removing unwanted applications.
One of the advantages of the newer Windows 7 netbook licensing is the increased hard drive sizes. Netbooks previously were restricted to 160GB drives but now Samsung can include a larger 250GB model in the N210. The extra space is a welcome addition for anyone who wishes to carry a large number of media files.
The feature that really sets the Samsung N210 apart from other netbooks is the display. It still has the same 1024x600 resolution with LED backlight like just about every other netbook but it uses a matte coating on the display rather than a glossy coating. This allows the system to be much more functional outdoors and in certain lighting. The downside is that the colors are a bit more washed out and less vibrant than similar glossy coated displays. The graphics are powered by the usual Intel GMA 3150 that still lacks sufficient performance for dealing with any sort of high definition video streaming.
My battery test pointed out an issue that some people may have when using the system on battery. When running on battery, the power profile restricts the CPU to half its full clock speed. This prevented me from properly streaming video for my test until I switched it back to the full CPU speed. When I did this, the system was able to fully run the test and ran for roughly four hours before going into standby mode. This is below many other similarly priced netbooks with six cell batteries but if the power profile is left at the factory setting with more typical web usage, it should be able to reach the seven hours of battery life Samsung claims. Just be sure you aren't taxing it too hard.
Like their previous N310 netbook, the N210 uses an isolated keyboard design that is very comfortable to type on and has a very nice layout including full sized shift keys. This makes for a very comfortable typing experience but the spacing of the keys makes it not quite as nice as options from Toshiba or HP. The trackpad is slightly off center of the spacebar but nothing that users will need to adjust for.