PC World - Netbooks are so formulaic these days, it's difficult to stand out from the crowd. Samsung, in a small way, has managed that with the $330 (price as of May 11, 2011) NC110. With only the standard netbook 10.1-inch display, the typical 250GB hard drive, and the usual accoutrements, the NC110 instead makes an impression through a combination of styling, battery life, and software. Unfortunately, it also stands out as a slow performer.
The NC110 is one of the better-looking netbooks to pass through our portals, thanks largely to a small swoop downward at the rear of the unit (at the battery), a Chiclet-style keyboard, and a lower deck that's sculpted back from the edges of the ports. Those features not only enhance the looks but also assist with ergonomics: It's easier to position your fingers properly on a keyboard with gaps between keys, and the ports are easier to find by feel than their flush-mounted counterparts.
Said ports are the standard netbook array, consisting of three USB 2.0 ports, microphone and headphone jacks, VGA and ethernet ports, and the power jack. The front edge of the netbook has the status lights, plus the SC Card reader slot. Connectivity includes gigabit ethernet, 802.11n wireless, and Bluetooth.
Although the NC110's keyboard has a decent feel for a medium-stroke unit, the touchpad feels a little less responsive than most; it also offers no visual delineation of the scroll areas, so they're a tad easy to activate accidentally.
The NC110 turned in a WorldBench 6 performance score of 34--a point or two below the netbook norm. Subjectively, as configured out of the box, it feels even slower. That's not surprising considering that it has a single-core Atom N455 CPU, just 1GB of memory, and a lot of unnecessary background applications running. However, while the NC110 isn't a stellar performer, it has stamina in spades: The netbook lasted just 3 minutes shy of 8 hours in our battery testing.
Samsung bundles a lot of software with the NC100--some good, some useful, and, as mentioned, some that merely suck up CPU cycles. You'll find about a dozen games from Oberon Media, as well as Microsoft Office 2010 Starter, Adobe Reader, Skype, and a dozen more "Easy" applications from Samsung. The Samsung apps are indeed easy to use, but you don't need programs such as Easy Display Manager, Easy Network Manager, or Easy Battery Manager--Windows 7 Starter has nicely integrated utilities that cover all of those functions. Trials of the netbook edition of Norton Internet Security and Norton Online Backup are also included.
- Path Selection Infographic Path Selection Infographic
- Hyperconvergence Infographic A wide range of observers agree that data centers are now entering an era of "hyperconvergence" that will raise network traffic levels faster...
- Preparing Your Infrastructure for the Hyperconvergence Era From cloud computing and virtualization to mobility and unified communications, an array of innovative technologies is transforming today's data centers.
- How WAN Optimization Helps Enterprises Reduce Costs If you wanted to break down innovation into a tidy equation, it might go something like this: Technology + Connectivity = Productivity. Productivity...
- Cloud Knowledge Vault Learn how your organization can benefit from the scalability, flexibility, and performance that the cloud offers through the short videos and other resources...
- LIVE EVENT: 5/7, The End of Data Protection As We Know It. Introducing a Next Generation Data Protection Architecture. Traditional backup is going away, but where does this leave end-users? All Netbooks White Papers | Webcasts
Our new weekly Consumerization of IT newsletter covers a wide range of trends including BYOD, smartphones, tablets, MDM, cloud, social and what it all means for IT. Subscribe now and stay up to date!