Samsung N310 (aka Samsung Go) Reviewed

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Samsung n310 Netbook

Since the beginning of 2009 Samsung has strived to become one of the leaders in netbook area, creating sturdy built systems with up to the standards performance. With its new Samsung Go (actually a renamed N310 with an extended battery), the company is trying to establish itself as the leader when it comes to style, too; it’s one of the most unique and chic 10-inch netbooks on the market, and its island keyboard is a pleasure to type on.

Below is a brief extract of a more detailed review carried out by the laptopmag team.

Samsung N310 Tech Specs

CPU 1.6-GHz Intel Atom N270
RAM Included 1GB
RAM Upgradable 2GB
Hard Drive Size 160GB
Hard Drive Speed 5,400rpm
Hard Drive Type SATA Hard Drive
Display Size 10.1
Native Resolution 1024×600
Graphics Card Intel GMA 950
Video Memory 128MB
Wi-Fi 802.11b/g
Bluetooth Bluetooth 2.0 EDR
Operating System MS Windows XP (SP3)
Ports (excluding USB) Ethernet; Headphone; Microphone; VGA
USB Ports 3
Card Slots / Readers 3-1 card reader
Warranty/Support One-year limited/24/7 toll-free phone
Size 10.3 x 7.3 x 1.1 inches
Weight 3 pounds (1,23 kg)

Design of Samsung Go

The Samsung Go is fashionable and no one could argue on this. It has rounded and smooth edges, bright orange (black, navy blue, and light blue) lid is covered in a slightly grainy, rubberized surface that is more durable than the typical hard plastic shell. These touches definitely make the Go stand out from its closest competitors.

Measuring 10.3 x 7.3 inches, the Go has a slightly smaller footprint than the Asus Eee PC 1005HA (11.2 x 7.8 inches). Tapering from 1.5 to 1.1 inches (owing to its battery), the Go is similar in thickness to the Toshiba mini NB205. However, the Go’s 6-cell battery juts out only slightly from the bottom of the system, as opposed to that on Toshiba’s netbook, which extends more obtrusively out the back. Weighing 3 pounds by itself, the Go (in its included felt case) and its A/C adapter came in at 3.8 pounds, and didn’t put much strain on our shoulder as we walked around New York City.

Keyboard and TouchpadSamsung N310 keyboard

Samsung’s previous netbooks provided classic keyboards, while the Go has an island-style layout that is 94 percent of full-size. They’re the same kind of raised keys that you’ll find on systems such as the Toshiba mini NB205, Apple MacBook, and several Sony VAIOs, but the keys on the Go are also treated with a nano-sized silver ion powder that makes it “bacteria free.” When compared to rivals the Samsung Go’s keyboard is one of the best you’ll find on a netbook.

The original touchpad on the Samsung NC10, at 2.3 x 1.1 inches, was disappointingly small and very vertically narrow. Like the Samsung N110, the Go has a horizontally and vertically expanded trackpad. Measuring 2.5 x 1.3 inches, the size of the pad is now comparable to those on other netbooks, including the Acer Aspire One AOD150 and the MSI Wind U123. However, the touchpad isn’t quite as large as that on the mini NB205 (3.1 x 1.6 inches).

Display

Samsung N310 displaySimilar to the HP Mini 2140 and the Dell Inspiron Mini 10, the Samsung Go has a flush 10.1-inch (1024 x 600-pixel resolution) LED-backlit glass screen. Samsung’s software lets you easily increase the resolution to 1024 x 768, but it compresses everything on the screen.

Performance

The Go has the already netbook industry standard 1.6-GHz Intel Atom CPU and 1GB of RAM. Running on Windows XP this provided the netbook normal behaviour in terms of performance.
The Intel GMA 950 integrated graphics chip with 128MB of shared memory delivered a score of 736 in 3DMark03, which is 95 points higher than the category average. Its 3DMark06 score of 88 was just below the category average; a downloaded high definition 720p video clip played back smoothly with no hiccups or pauses. When we transcoded a 5:05 MPEG-4 video clip (114MB) to the AVI format using Handbrake, the Go completed the task in 29 minutes and 10 seconds, which is dead even with the netbook average.

The Go’s 5,400-rpm, 160GB hard drive booted Windows XP Home in 45 seconds, 10 seconds quicker than the netbook average. The LAPTOP Transfer Test (copying a 4.97GB folder of mixed media) took 5 minutes and 1 second, or a rate of 16.9 MBps. This is fairly fast for a netbook (the average is 15.1 Mbps), but not as fast as the Acer Aspire One AOD150 (17.7 MBps). The Go stayed relatively cool during testing; the underside got no hotter than 90 degrees.

Battery Life

Like other Samsung netbooks, the Go is no slouch when it comes to endurance. Its 6-cell, 8850 mAh battery lasted 8 hours and 23 minutes on the  LAPTOP Battery Test (Web surfing via Wi-Fi), which is more than two hours longer than the six-cell netbook average (6:02). While the Eee PC 1005HA (8:57) and Toshiba mini NB205 (9:24) have greater run times, the Go will allow you to work for an entire flight from New York City to California, and then some.

Wireless Performance

The 802.11b/g Wi-Fi card inside the Go provided a steady connection for working on the Net. Delivering 20.2 Mbps and 15.9 Mbps from 15 and 50 feet, respectively—both slightly above average—we were able to maintain a strong signal far from our access point. Streaming video clips on YouTube and music over Slacker.com were void of any pauses. The netbook features Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR, and Samsung plans to offer the Go with built-in mobile broadband by the Fall.

Pros

* Eye catching, compact design
* More than eight hours of battery life
* Roomy and comfortable keyboard
* Fast boot time

Cons

* More expensive than similarly configured netbooks
* Ostentatious Samsung logo

 

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