Jump to content

Samsung NC10 Netbook


Recommended Posts

I've been toying with the idea of picking up a Netbook for work demos. My every day workhorse laptops & desktops are a Macbook & an iMac respectively however as voice/video & realtime type stuff are part of my core thing it's not really feasible to use these products under virtualisation on the Mac. The audio simply doesn't cut it.

Now, before somebody pops up and says Bootcamp - I can't use that on my laptop. I have to work on a number of secure sites that require full disk encryption, and you cannot use Bootcamp on an fully encrypted disk.


Over the break then I picked up a Samsung NC10 Netbook for a play. It looked about the best of the bunch. I essentially wanted something small and transportable that could meet these needs:

1. To take travelling for photo/video processing. Had to be small.

2. For customer demos of Microsoft Voice & 'other' technologies. Had to be able to plug in to large screens.

Pretty easy specs. The only reason I didn't go for a full blown 'normal' laptop is that I'd have to carry this as well as my 'normal' every day gear and seeing as I tend to get the tube everywhere carrying a lot would be a pain in the ass.

Anyways, the NC10. Specs are here: NC10-14GB netbook - mobile computing SAMSUNG

Quick summary:

Dual Core Intel Atom 1.6Ghz

160Gb Hard Disk 2.5" SATA



100Mbs Ethernet

Wireless (54Mbps not .n unfortunately)

7+ hours battery life

3 x USB 2


Memory card reader (3 x MMC/blah blah blah)

10.2" Screen 1024 x 600

Built in web-cam

My expectations weren't that high - my normal kit is pretty powerful.

Firstly, the hardware. In terms of physical build the unit seems incredibly well put together, especially when I put it side by side with some of the other so called Netbooks such as the Acer/Asus lots. They kind of appear to be a bit 'My First Computer' whereas the Samsung actually looks like it's built more like an ultraportable.

I was pleasently surprised with the expansion options - 3 USB for example, that's one more than my Macbook. Go figure. Also, the USB on this unit seems to be able to power my external USB drives with a single port, something my Macbook cannot.

The VGA out will also run my external 24" at 1920xwhatever - that really surprised me. COupled it with a Bluetooth keyboard & Mouse and you can close it and forget about it... Which is nice.

The unit is provided with 1Gb of PC2-5300 RAM so the first thing I did was upgraded it to 2Gb simply because I had some 2Gb chips in a drawer that would fit.

So the hardware seems really well put together. The keyboard is a little smaller than a normal size one and does take a little bit of getting use to, especially with me use to the excellent keyboards on my Mac(s). Once I'd found a keyboard

mapping I liked that is - I prefer the US layout (@ on the 2) as opposed to the UK one.

What about software? It comes supplied with Windows XP Home and lots of 'small' Samsung apps, souch as touchpad apps, video etc. etc. I don't know about you I normally immediately strip all this stuff out. Home wasn't capable of running the demo stuff that I needed so the first thing I did was upgraded it to Windows XP Professional SP3 + Hotfixes.

The I installed Office 2007 Ultimate + Patches, including my audio/video stuff.

Well, what can I say. The performance of the unit is simply astonishing. It's quick, responsive, and quite a capable small unit. Is nothing like I expected - like I say, I was kind of expecting a 'My first computer' however what I think I've ended up with is a very, very capable ultraportable.

After playing with it for a few days I thought it was performing so well I'd upgrade it to VISTA Ultimate for a laugh. The upgrade took forever, left it to run overnight. There was some hunting around for relevant drivers as Samsung don't provide them for VISTA for this platform however all the parts are relatively standard so it just took a bit of google'ing.

Well it's running Vista now, Office 2007, my audio/video stuff, all out of an external 24" monitor, and you know what - it just works, and it works well. It plays back videos pretty well, struggles a bit with hi-def stuff on the 24" but you can't have everything.

I'm astonished about the capability of this unit +++

The price - 250GBP+VAT... Astonishingly good value in my opinion. So good in fact I'm buying another one for my daughter to replace her aging iMac.

Thoroughly fantastic piece of kit - very highly recommended +++

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 69
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Posted Images

Looks good.

My eldest daughter has a dell, but this might suit her younger sister.. Do you reckon it would suit a youngster?

Yes +++ Like I say I think I'm going to get one for my daughter who's 9.

She's quite computer literate though and is pretty happy whipping around my Mac or Windows machines :eek: To be fair she's had an Apple in her room since about the age of 4 - she could point and click at her movies which would stop her waking me up at 5:00am :grin:

I think out of all the Netbooks I've looked at this definitely comes out on top - especially as it copes so well with movies.

Incidentally, picked up PC Pro this arvo as it was reviewing Netbooks - you may want to go have a look. Anyway, they came to the same conclusion - the NC10 is the pick of the bunch.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I just bought one of these, top notch piece of kit. Is the RAM upgrade worth doing? (as mentioned above) How much would it cost and what is the fitting like? I am a novice with computer upgrades/mods as if you coudlnt tell!!

Cheap as chips - about £20 if I remember rightly. In fact - here you go: Corsair 2GB (1x2GB) DDR2 PC2-5300C5 200-Pin SODIMM Module (VS2GSDS667D2))

It's one of those. I know overclockers are out of stock but that shows you what you need.

Do you need it? Well for XP, Office, web etc. then probably not. I upgraded it mainly because, well, I could. I had memory in my drawer that would fit.

The fact that I've upgraded it led me to put Vista on it (and shortly Windows 7 when I sort the drivers) - I wouldn't have done that with 1Gb of RAM.

Oh, as to how hard it is, it's a doddle. Single chip with a door on the back.

In fact pretty good instructions here: Add Ram to the Samsung NC10 - How to Add RAM to the NC10

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Mac,

Nice review, you might well be able to get Mac OS on there i have it running on the Dell Mini 9 nativily you just need to tweak around to get the bios to boot from USB and then use a patched copy of the Mac OS X from "somewhere" on the internet. If that netbook is based on the MSI Wind and you might need to swap out wifi card though.

Ok who has bets apple will make a netbook very soon!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nah I specifically needed a Windows laptop. Not bothered about running OSX on it really...even for the geekery value :grin:

Must admit a native Apple netbook would be sweet +++ It'd be in my collection faster than I could get my little legs to Regent Street.

I had an air to play with for a while, but it didn't really do it for me.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

:roflmao:That desk looks very familiar......:o

Mac, quick question for you. My FIL's PC has gone kaput today and I've been tasked with finding him something to replace it with. I immediately thought of one of these but then realised it has no optical drive. Can you get a plug in DVD drive for these? The portablility factor would be great for in the in-laws but they would like to watch DVDs on it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Netbooks are currently the hottest selling PC type devices at the moment - and with that excellent review I can see why...

I wonder how it'd go with the latest Ubuntu Distro - you up for a test Mac, or have you not got any spare HDDs? :grin:

For those commenting on Apple entering this arena - the Emperor Jobs decreed that Apple didn't know how to make a $500 US machine that wasn't cr@p. Having said that he might make one for $600-$700 US, and the rumours are abounding for MWSF on 12th Jan. and for a month or two later. These include a big iPod Touch (7"-9" screen) and the old tablet rumour. Wait and see...

Edited by Rachel
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Netbook won't carry any data so it doesn't need a bigger hard disk - honest :D

Saying that it's a standard 2.5" SAT 9.5mm and I've a couple of 7200rpm 320Gb units kicking about. I'm sure I could put Ubuntu on one of those and try it +++

Edited by Mac
Link to comment
Share on other sites

In fact I've a 500Gb 2.5" SATA sat here - it's not in my laptop cos it's only a 5400rpm, whereas my Macbook has a 320Gb 7200 rpm unit in.

I'm guessing there's not an awful lot of difference in speed. Mind you, I also carry with me a 500Gb external Firewire drive too :eek:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, you can. The 'proper' Samsung one is called AA-ES0N09B - catchy hey :grin:

I've got a slimline DVD external, Panasonic I think, and it works fine. Haven't tried it with movies though? It's in the office at the minute, I'll check it on Monday +++

Hi Mac,

I, like you, have a MacBook albeit the aluminum version and my mother's HP laptop has just gone on the fritz and likewise I have been charged with getting something to use in the intervening period plus can be taken away.

Naturally I also have thought of one of these Netbooks and the Samsung certainly looked the best and she even liked the white one! I will also buy Office but wondered how more software on CD's was loaded given the lack of optical drive.

Unfortunately my Windows knowledge is now pretty non-existent but do you have to buy the external optical drive or is there another way of loading software?


Link to comment
Share on other sites

The simplest way is a plug in USB CD/DVD drive - they can be picked up pretty cheaply. This one for instance: LiteOn DX-20A4PU-03C 20x DVD±RW ReWriter USB External Drive - Retail

That's just a writer I picked out. You can get DVD external readers for around 20 quid now.

Personally I rarely use real DVD media any more. I loaded the s/w on the Netbook by accessing shares on my other machines - you can use that to share a DVD drive on an existing machine for example.

If you want it simple though then pick up a USB CD/DVD drive. That way you can just plug it in and it'll work +++

Another, cheaper, option is to use another machine to copy the contents of the DVD/CD to a USB memory stick.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...