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I have a Sony Viao laptop but i wanted something lighter and more portable for travelling so I thought about getting myself a netbook. I had a look round the shops but they all just seemed too small and I had trouble even reading the text on the screen but then I seen an article on the Samsung nc20 which is the upgrade of the nc10 which I had looked at and thought was nice but too small. The big difference between them was that the nc20 had a 12 inch screen instead of the usual 9 or 10 inches. After reading reviews I decided to buy it.
The nc20 comes with 1GB of RAM and 160GB of hard drive. It also comes with a via nano processor instead of the usual Intel atom one and this is supposed to make it quicker.
I want to state that I am not an expert on computers and use mine mainly for entertainment so please do not expect me to be able to answer all the technology questions, I will review the netbook as to how I use it.
I got the white version and I love the look of it, it is quite matt and it has a silver trim round it. It's really thin and light, about an inch thick due to it not having a disk drive.
The keyboard is nearly the size of a normal keyboard so is much easier for tying on than the smaller netbooks but a couple of the buttons are in an awkward place so takes some getting used to. The track pad is quite easy to use and the left and right button is on one single bar but it doesn't really pose a problem.
I upgraded the memory to 2Gb which was really easy to do even for me and I expected this to make it run as smooth as a laptop but I was disappointed in this.
I added Microsoft office and vlc player and I only use it for internet, watching videos and for word documents. Surfing the internet is fine and the pages look good but sometimes when I have a few tabs open then it does go a little slower than I would like. Youtube is especially annoying and the videos take ages to load and then they are jumpy.
Watching videos on the vlc player look nice and the screen has a resolution of 1200 x 800 but it is forever stalling and switching itself off and stalling which is annoying. With the upgraded 2GB RAM and 160GB hard drive I expected it to run so much better than it does.
As it doesn't have a disk drive it comes with 3 usb ports, Bluetooth and a 3in1 memory card reader. I've never really missed the disk drive as I download all my movies and software so for me it's an unnecessary extra. The memory card reader is a good bonus and so easy for adding my pictures.
The battery is 6 cell and this is where this netbook excels. My Sony is lucky to get an hour of use before I need to plug in the charger but my little Nc20 manages about 4 hours of constant use surfing the internet and watching movies on its highest power so I imagine you could get about 6 plus if you changed the energy efficiency settings. This makes it ideal for travelling on the train or taking it to a coffee shop etc.
Another thing that disappointed me was the fact it still comes with a power brick albeit a smaller one. I was really hoping it would be able to forego this to bring the weight down when in my backpack.
The white gets so dirty really easily but a quick wipe of a cloth will bring it back up gleaming.
I do like my Nc20 but at nearly 400 pounds I expected a little bit better performance than I got but for someone who wants a nice light netbook that offers a proper sized keyboard and a larger screen then this will be a good choice, just don't be expecting laptop power.
When I finally gave up on my Dell Studio laptop, I decided to go for portability and price over looks and speed. After much hunting I discounted the host of standard netbooks available and went for the slightly larger Samsung NC20.
The attraction for me was the larger than average glossy 12.1" screen, and the ability to upgrade the memory from the standard 1gb, together with past good experiences of the marque. Supplied with Windows XP the laptop has a respectable 160gb hard drive, and with 2gb of RAM works perfectly for the sort of standard web and office applications I and most people need. There is also a Via Nano 1.3mhz processor, so it performs very well on all but the most challenging graphics work.
There is a built in video camera which whilst good, lacks clarity if run on battery - I assume the power is diverted from that and the wireless network to lengthen the battery life (though that's just a guess!). As with most netbooks, investing in an external CD/DVD drive is essential if you want to use anything but web based applications, and I suspect the casing, which is a little less than rugged, may not wear well. These factors aside, this is a great product for the money. Battery life is around 6 hours in normal use, and longer if used on a more frugal setting.
I have installed Windows 7 and can honestly say the speed increased substantially, and the driver and software support available from the Samsung website was excellent.
Available in the matt, slightly pearlescent white finish, (which is really very pretty!) or a glass black for a more professional look, the NC20 thin, light and a joy to use.
I've had the pleasure of using this netbook for the last month or so, and I love it. After a lot of research I decided to go for the NC20 as it matched all my requirements and was already highly recommended by a reliable source.
This is an upgrade from the NC10 model, and uses the new Via Nano processor, offering superior performance over the Intel Atom used in most other netbooks. Samsung is the first manufacturer to use Nano in a mobile device. At 1.3 GHz it's pretty fast and I've had no issues with it so far, everything loads with no delay and Internet browsing is a delight. Only HD videos give it a bit of trouble, but that doesn't bother me. Otherwise, it's a pretty quiet and cool machine.
You get 1GB of installed RAM, but this can be upgraded to 2GB, very cheaply (around £17 last time I looked) and very simply by following the instructions in the manual provided. I haven't done this yet, and I might not bother doing it at all, as so far it's not an issue. I can run several programs at once without any noticeable sluggishness.
The operating system is Windows Xp Home, which I preferred over Vista. The hard drive at 160GB is more than sufficient for my needs at this time. One thing to remember is that you don't actually get 160GB, once you allow 11GB for the operating system and 6GB for the system recovery (should you mess it up somehow), what's left is 143GB of space.
When you first switch on the NC20, you will be asked to partition your hard drive. I'd never come across this before, so after some more research, I decided to leave the C: drive at the minimum 25GB (for all the programs installed) and set the D: drive to the remaining 118GB (to be used for all my documents). Overall this seemed to be the recommended course of action by the experts.
The screen is pretty huge for a netbook and measures 12.1 inches, with maximum resolution of 1280x800 pixels. Some find it a bit too reflective, I think it's mostly fine. I thought the smaller netbooks, though cheaper, simply had too small a screen, and I don't like having to do too much scrolling. With such a large screen and weighing in at 1.5kg, NC20 is larger and heavier than standard netbooks with 9 or 10in displays. It's almost in the laptop territory. The keyboard is also large and very easy to use (with Silver Nano antibacterial coating to boot!), and the touchpad very responsive with various customisable features.
The NC20 has a glossy finish on the outer lid, which may show up finger prints and dust, but that's not a problem for me. Lack of a CD / DVD drive may be an issue, particularly if you have programs you want to install from a disc, however an external USB drive can be purchased cheaply and used via one of the 3 USB ports.
The Lithium-ion 6-cell battery offers between 4 to 6 hours depending on your usage. This is brilliant compared to many older models that only used to give you 2 hours or less. Charging up for the first time using the AC adapter provided took about 90 minutes.
The NC20 is wi-fi enabled and has Bluetooth, Ethernet and VGA connections, as well as microphone and headphone inputs. The stereo speakers sound reasonably okay, if a little tinny, so I'd recommend using headphones or outside speakers for music etc. I generally don't use webcams so I haven't tried it yet and can't comment on it.
Software included: Samsung Magic Doctor, Samsung Update Plus, Easy Display Manager, Easy Battery Manager, Easy Network Manager, Easy SpeedUp Manager, Acrobat Reader, and McAfee trial.
I'm not a fan of McAfee (or any other paying anti-virus programs) so I have uninstalled it (the trial was out of date anyway!) and gone for a free Avast anti-virus, combined with some added anti-spyware. Samsung Update occasionally pops up and offers a driver update, then refuses to install it. So I'm ignoring it for now, as the machine is working like a dream so far (touch wood!).
You get the standard 1-year international collect & return warranty, and there is online and telephone support too. The fabric case that comes in the pack is a bit flimsy so would recommend getting a separate protective case, should you wish to take it on your travels.
I would also strongly recommend the www.sammynetbook.com website, if you have any questions or problems, people on there are very helpful.
Overall, if you're looking for a reliable netbook with excellent performance and screen size, you can't go wrong with this one.
Netbooks are becoming more & more popular at the moment, primarily because of their size making them ideal to carry with you on the move. Samsung's latest offering the NC20, is the successor to the highely popular NC10, so what added extras does this offer?
Well something you'll notice straight away is the larger 12 inch screen which is in fact the largest screen ever seen on a network & almost brings it into laptop terriority. It's shiny & glossy which means it can be difficult to see in intense sunlight.
Regardless of the screen size, the laptop still manages to be thin & lightweight making it ideal to carry with you. A virtually keyboard is also featured which is very handy.
Whereas the Samsung NC10 used a Intel mobile processor, this model using a Nano processor which Samsung say improves performance on the model. After using the NC10, I can definetly say there is a noticeable difference. Also supplied on board is a 160GB hard disc & 1GB RAM which is expandable to 2GB.
This is a great machine for surfing the web, updating your documents and doing your general everyday tasks. However like all other netbooks on the market, it isn't suituable for highly intensive tasks such as video processing.
If you're in the market for a lightweight netbook which looks the part, you can't go wrong with the Samsung NC20. It's available in a glossy black or white colour.
I'm writing away on this little netbook at this very moment, which is the newest model from Samsung following on from the very successful NC10.
Reasons for Purchase:
My main use of a computer tends to be for emailing and surfing the web. At £375 from Amazon this seemed expensive for a netbook - which this machine is- but I was hoping for a better build quality and for it to be quieter than a cheap notebook at about this figure. The VIA processor appealed as promising a long battery life and the 12.1" display looked to be good, the lack of a CD rom drive is not a problem for my use but might be something you want to consider.
A netbook is designed to be portable, lightweight with a good battery life; notebooks unless high-end generally being heavier, bigger and with greater power consumption.
The machine comes with 1 gig RAM but is upgradeable, though you will have to replace the RAM to do so, perhaps Samsung could have been a bit more generous here.
Actual Use of this Machine:
When the NC20 arrived I immediately thought it was a nice looking machine. The white plastic looks classy and is of good quality, and the keys were bigger than I was expecting. The shiny metal strip down the side looks nice and this is a light and very compact machine, weighing in at just 1.5kg so perfect for using on the go. The battery life should be 4-6 hours, I would say from my use this is the case.
Personally I like the glossy screen and find the resolution (1280 x800) very good. This machine comes pre-installed with XP and trial anti-virus software which I actually uninstalled and replaced with AVG Free. Other technical features, according to the manufacturer are "3 in 1 memory card reader, 3 built-in USB ports, and Bluetooth 2.0". It also has wireless LAN 54G and not the new wireless N-standards, for surfing the web this is more than adequate - no connection issues with my netgear router thus far.
I have yet to use the integrated 1.3MP digital motion camera, which is discretely located at the top of the screen. For my use on the web this netbook is fast to boot up and runs well.
The carry case that came with the machine is basic, of suede feel, but adequate.
Minor issues to consider:
Like I have already said the build quality of this machine has proved to be good - it is very quiet, and pleasant to use. It does not get too hot in use either.
I do have a couple of issues with the keyboard. As this is compact the shift key on the right hand side has been made a small size, whilst the left hand one is a normal sized. This seems a little left-handed biased to me, if you are used to another keyboard you find yourself hitting "\" every time you want to use shift at first, and this is annoying.
The arrow keys also don't seem to be of very good build quality compared to the rest of the keyboard, when you press them they just seem a bit like something you would find on a child's toy - not very impressive.
The touch pad for the mouse supports mulit-touch gestures - I found these baffling and annoying in the extreme, if you are not used to them you find touching the pad will see you zooming, going back pages whilst browsing and generally got me confused. I disabled those features, which you may or may not want to do, apart from this issue the touch pad is sensitive enough and scrolling is good.
I have found that the white keyboard has not discoloured so far in use - it apparently had an anti-bacterial coating, I can't really tell if this is effective or not.
Overall for use as a surfing tool this is a great looking and well running machine. I am able to type with it fairly comfortably, could run basic office applications through it if I wished, and I much prefer it to my previous machine, an acer laptop.
I would recommend this machine despite the minor issues I have with the keyboard, I like the look of the white machine. It is expensive for a netbook but far nicer than a laptop in this ball park which may have features you won't use. It is built well and overall Samsung have done a good job in producing a light weight and attractive machine.