Samsung N230 review

Stunning mobility and great to use – a perfect choice for the frequent traveller

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It's hard to see where the netbook market is going to head next. Currently performance is stuck in the low-end as high powered processors eat up too much battery life and can't be fitted into a netbook's small chassis, and it's difficult to see where greater battery life and portability will come from.

As a result the netbook market is stuck in a strange kind of limbo where manufacturers are content to refine and work on a formula that's been around for the last two years or so, and the N230 is the end result of that distillation process.

We liked

There's a lot to like about the Samsung N230. First and foremost it gets the basics done very well, and portability is excellent. The 1.2kg chassis is no trouble to carry around, while the netbook is well built enough to survive the rigours of life on the road. There's also the excellent 628-minute battery life keeping you productive for hours on end.

Usability is just as important, and fortunately this is an incredibly intuitive netbook to use. The screen is fantastic, as is the keyboard, and there are no design quirks at all to ruin the experience.

We disliked

In an ideal world we'd like more performance to play with. Experiencing lag when you're trying to open up a couple of spreadsheets while listening to music, for example, is irritating, but it's not something you can pin on the N230 specifically – all netbooks suffer the same.

The shiny black lid looks smart until you've touched it, at which point smudges and smears ruin the pristine effect, while the large six cell battery ruins the natural lines of the N230's chassis.

Verdict

All-in-all the N230 is a great little netbook. Samsung hasn't gone about reinventing the wheel here, but it gets the basics or portability and usability right, which is ultimately all you can really ask from a netbook.

The shiny lid and large battery aren't a big deal, and certainly shouldn't effect your decision when it comes to buying a netbook.

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Tech Specs

Product TypeNetbook
Hard Drive Capacity250 GB
Processor ManufacturerIntel
Graphics Controller ManufacturerIntel
Graphics Controller ModelGMA3150
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
Optical Drive TypeNo
Graphics Memory AccessibilityShared
WebcamYes
Backlight TechnologyLED
Product FamilyN
Processor ModelN450
Operating SystemWindows 7 Starter
Brand NameSamsung
Processor Speed1.66 GHz
Processor TypeAtom
Screen Size25.7 cm (10.1")
Number of Cells6-cell
Screen Resolution1024 x 600
Standard Memory1 GB
Weight (Approximate)1.18 kg
Cache512 KB
Processor CoreSingle-core (1 Core)
64-bit ProcessingYes
Chipset ManufacturerIntel
Chipset ModelNM10
Number of Total Memory Slots1
Display Screen TypeActive Matrix TFT Colour LCD
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11n
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 3.0
Ethernet TechnologyFast Ethernet
Total Number of USB Ports3
Height34 mm
Width264 mm
Depth188 mm
Screen ModeWSVGA
Memory TechnologyDDR2 SDRAM
Product SeriesN
ManufacturerSamsung
Product ModelN230
Product NameN230 Netbook
Pointing Device TypeTouchPad
Aspect Ratio128:75
Manufacturer Part NumberNP-N230-JA02UK
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.samsung.com/uk/
Marketing Information

Lightweight, stylish netbooks for easy surfing and entertainment. Unrivaled design and a host of advanced features make the Samsung N-Series netbooks a class of their own. Choose from a range of stylish models that'll have you looking good wherever you go. No matter which Samsung N-Series mini notebook catches your eye, you're ensured style beyond comparison and cutting-edge engineering that only Samsung can deliver.

Package Contents
  • N230-11 Netbook
  • Standard Battery
  • AC Adapter