The Samsung N110 / NC110
The Samsung N110 (also often incorrectly referred to as the Samsung NC110) is Samsung's replacement for the now ageing (in netbook terms) NC10. The NC10 was it's class leader for many months and the Samsung N110 does not disappoint.
Don't Change a Winning Formula
Samsung have not forgotten what made the NC10 such a great little machine and have made incremental improvements with the N110. No massive redesign here just a few tweaks to the design and performance improvements where they matter.
The looks are slightly improved with a fetching red strip inset around the base and a more curvy feel to the machine as a whole. It's still not the best looking netbook around but the NC10 was not renowned for its looks so any improvement here is welcome.
Most of the fundamentals of the Samsung N110remain the same as the NC10 with an Intel Atom 1.6g CPU, 1g Ram, 10.1 inch 1024x600 pixel screen and 160g hard drive. So, no surprises there and no surprises in that it performs much as the NC10 and many other netbooks of similar specifications. It retains it's fine keyboard which is easy to use and build quality seems up to the usual Samsung standards.
Where practical features are concerned there are two areas that matter. The touchpad is slightly bigger than its predecessor, which was criticised for being on the cramped side, but the major plus on the new model is its claimed 9.5 hour runtime. This should be enough in real world conditions to see you with between 6 to 8 hours of constant use depending on what you do. This is what all netbooks should have and makes the N110 a practical tool for using if you are out and about all day saving you from being dragged down by a power supply and cables. Well done to Samsung for producing a great netbook and not crippling it with a pathetic battery as some others have done in the past.
No reviewer would be worth his salt without finding something to complain about and although its not easy there is just one thing that could in some circumstances be an issue for some. The NC10 had a fine display with a matt finish that cut down on reflections. With the N110 Samsung have gone for the all too popular glossy finish that all electronic devices must have and this may make the screen less readable due to reflections in certain conditions. Don't get me wrong, the screen is still a fine display with bright and vivid colors. Under normal conditions it will not cause any problems it's just that in bright sunlight you may find the odd reflection getting in the way.
Old or the New
With the Samsung NC10 being a fine machine and possibly available at discounted prices is it worth the extra cash for the Samsung N110? The answer; yes... or maybe no. Yes if you're budget is flexible and you can afford the price increase, the extended battery life is worth it alone in my book, but if money is tight then the NC10 is a great machine. You wont be sacrificing a huge amount by buying an NC10 instead and you certainly won't regret buying one.
When compared to similar models from other manufacturers then the Samsung N110 is starting to get a bit pricey (no doubt Samsung are playing on the success of the NC10) so is it worth the extra? On balance I'd say yes it is. The overall package and of course the battery life do it for me. If price isn't the major deciding factor in your buying decision then I think this is the best 'standard' type netbook and worth the money. If you are price sensitive then there are other makes that come close and are cheaper but they don't have it all like the N110 does. You will be sacrificing something for the lower price.
The Samsung N110 (or Samsung NC110) is a worthy replacement to the crown of best 10.1 inch netbook. Several worthy improvements have been made and surprisingly for a manufacturer these days they appear to have not screwed anything up. Of course it's more expensive than it's predecessor (and many of it's rivals) and this gives you just a minor dilemma, can you afford the increase in price, if yes then it's the one to get.
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