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Thread: Netbooks

  1. #1
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    I've just purchased a Samsung N130 Netbook for me Dad, and am very surprised by how good this little system is.

    I was quite surprised the other week when my Dad suddenly said that he wanted to buy a laptop. He has never had any interest in computers, other than the odd email sent to him via my Mum's email address, which she has printed out for him, or the very odd occasion when he has wanted something ordered or something looked up online.

    I think he has decided it would be good to have his own so he can learn how to use email, and so he has more time with the computer when looking up fishing and shooting sites. Plus the ability to order things himself.

    So I took him to PC World to have a look and he decided that one of the small netbooks would be ideal for all he wants a PC for. I had read a lot of reviews about current netbooks and the Samsung had come out on top.

    We didn't buy it from PC World though as they were over 50 than I could get one online, and they didn't have one in stock when we asked anyway.

    The netbook we finally ordered was the Samsung N130. There is also an N140 but the only differences the more expensive model has are a longer battery life and bluetooth. He will mostly have it connected to the mains when using it so battery life isn't that important, although even the N130 is meant to have 6 hour battery life (N140 is 11 hours). And he never uses bluetooth. Didn't even know what it was.

    I've now finished setting the N130 up for him and I'm quite impressed. The build quality of the little system is very good. It feels strong and well put together, with solid plastics that don't flex. The screen, while only 10.1" and 1024x600, is very clear and easy to read, and there is a utility that expands the display to 1024x768 if needed to run certain applications, although that does make things look a little distorted on screen (but useful all the same). The keyboard is nicely laid out with large keys for the size of the system. Unlike some other netbooks who's keys are hard to type on, the Samsung's are nice to use and you could easily live with it for word processing and email.

    The rest of the N130's spec is pretty standard for current netbooks. An Atom N270 1.6GHz CPU, 1GB Ram, Intel integrated graphics, 160GB HDD, Webcam, WiFi, 3 USB ports, card reader and Windows XP SP3.

    Before using the system properly I was a little concerned at how well XP would run on these Atom CPUs, but I'm pleased to say it is very nice to use. It boots very quickly and it's fast and responsive to use. I also hadn't realised that these Atom CPUs have HT technology do the system sees it as a dual core CPU, which is a nice feature to get the most out of these little CPUs.

    It came with XP SP3 already installed and configured, plus Office 2007 pre-installed (ready to be registered), so there is no need to try and install that yourself, which is a bonus for a system that doesn't come with a CD drive as standard.

    So I think my Dad will be very happy with this little Netbook for what he needs. And if anyone is looking for a small PC for travelling or commuting I think this is ideal. It is very small so fits easily into any bag, has a keyboard you can actually type on, with a nice feel to the keys, the screen whilst small is clear and easy to read, and XP runs pretty fast for every day use.


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  2. #2
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    Thanks for the write up.

    Netbooks are nice little machines. I've never taken to Laptops, they tend to be unreliable, over-priced and not as good as a custom built desktop with dedicated monitor, but Netbooks are another thing entirly.

    They fit the job perfectly for portable net surfing and checking emails, which is all I need out of a portable PC. For people who use computers only for similar things, they are also cost effective and very cheap to run! Nice to see how brilliant those Atoms are in XP!
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