Samsung N150 review

We see what the Samsung N150 netbook has to offer in this review.

The rest of the specification is disappointing even by netbook standards. One gigabyte of RAM is half of what we'd expect with the N150's rivals, and the 160GB hard disk is also on the stingy side. 802.11bgn wireless is included but, again, that's now commonplace at this price, and there's only a 10/100 wired connection, with no sign of Ethernet.

Windows 7 Starter edition is included, too, but this version of the OS comes with numerous restrictions. A host of usability benefits have been removed, with no multi-touch support, Mobility Centre, BitLocker encryption, network printing or Windows XP mode. Samsung's own applications go some way to redressing the balance but, compared to Windows' own default software, it's all very basic.

On the aesthetic front, Aero mode has been removed, and it's not possible to change the desktop wallpaper.

Unfortunately, the most exciting potential development the arrival of Long Term Evolution (LTE) hasn't yet occurred. While Samsung has promised that this 4G technology will be present in future incarnations of the N150, it's currently not included instead, there's a blocked-off gap beneath the battery where the module will be installed. Crucially, it robs the N150 of its potentially most exciting feature.

The N150 does, however, offer good value. It's available exclusively through the DSGi group of stores so PC World, Dixons and Currys for 237 exc VAT. It's worth searching around, though: the N120 is available for little more, and a host of superior netbooks can be had for similar prices.

It may be cheap but, aside from its decent keyboard and screen, there's little to appeal about the N150. The arrival of LTE could sway us but, with such stiff competition from a packed market, there's no reason to settle for this.

Verdict

The decent screen and keyboard mean that Samsung’s latest netbook gets off to a good start, but the experience soon sours thanks to average build quality and a disappointing specification.

Processor: Intel Atom N450 1.6GHz (512MB L2 cache, 400MHz GPU frequency)www Memory: 1GB DDR2 Graphics: Intel GMA 3150 Optical drive: N/A Hard disk: 160GB Samsung SpinPoint M5 HM160HI Display: 10.1in 1,024 x 600 LED-backlit Features: Speakers, webcam, Kensington lock, Connectivity: 802.11bgn, 10/100 Ethernet, Ports: VGA, 3 x USB, headphone, microphone socket, memory card slot (SD, Memory Stick) Dimensions: (W x D x H) 263mm x 188mm x 32mm Weight: 1.24kg Warranty: 1yr RTB OS: Windows 7 Starter Software: Samsung Battery Life Extender, Easy Display Manager, Easy Network Manager, Samsung Recovery Solution 4, Samsung Update Plus, CyberLink YouCam

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