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    Thursday, July 02, 2009

    Samsung N310 after a week…

    Well, I’ve had the netbook a little while now so i thought i should go over some of the little things that have been bugging me!

    1) The right shift key on the UK keyboard, I’ve said it before but this really is the single most annoying thing about this netbook! Honestly, i thought it would be a matter of getting used to, but i am still pressing the ‘\’ key instead of shift!


    2) The battery life could be better! Although Samsung’s battery life extender does an interesting job of attempting to extend the overall life of the battery by giving you the option to only charge to 80% of the full capacity.However, when running the netbook on battery from 100% to the point it enters automatic hibernation, i got a time of 2.35 hours. This was running the display on 50% brightness and surfing web over the WiFi connection.


    3) Boot time on Windows 7, it is unfair to blame this on the netbook but is an important point to consider if you are intending to run Windows 7. It takes 1.24 minutes from cold boot to login screen, then another minute to log in. Bear in mind these times are with 2GB of RAM and booting into Windows 7. Stock N310’s running XP with 1GB of RAM probably have a completely different time.


    4) If I am being really picky, then the ‘rocker-bar’ style mouse click button feels very cheap, the feel is defiantly not as nice as some of the Asus netbooks (The later ones rather than the earlier ones), but saying this, the trackpad itself is a joy to use, I don’t find it cramped at all.

    Okay so that’s the negatives out of the way! So after a week, what are the things I'm really liking about this netbook?

    1) It has to be the screen, this is a seriously nice screen for a netbook. The sharpness of the screen literally blows away every other netbook screen I’ve seen. Although on a slight negative, the reflections from the edge to edge glass display can be slightly distracting, but it doesn’t bother me. I am going to try and calibrate the screen using an eye-one device in the near future, i will keep you posted.


    2) The keyboard, aside from the right shift key, the rest of it is a dream to type on. After a few days, my typing speed is the same on the netbook as it is on a full sized keyboard. The chicklet style design really helps to avoid wrong key presses!


    3) WiFi – This netbook has an incredibly good WiFi connection, it only comes with 802.11 b/g at the moment, I’m guessing 802.11n will be added to a later revision (Possibly the ‘Samsung Go’ in the US). But seriously, this thing can get WiFi reception where other laptops cannot. If there is even a trace of a signal, it seems to pick it up and work with it, where my Mac would not even allow me to connect!


    4) Video playback performance. Even though this netbook is equipped with the GMA945 Express Chipset, rather than the more powerful GMA500 Chipset, this netbook managed to playback several 720p HD videos in a row without faltering! (It did have trouble streaming BBC iPlayer HD content though, normal iPlayer content streamed fine!)


    5) Temperature / Fan speed. Some netbooks I have used in the past have gotten pretty hot. It may be standard now, as I have not got any other netbooks to compare this too, but the bottom of this netbook stays fairly cool with no audible fan noise! Always a bonus!

    Anyway, that concludes my experiences with the N310 after a week or so. Incidentally this is also my first post using Windows Live Writer (From my netbook) so if there are any glitches you know why! As always, any questions? I’m happy to answer!