Samsung NF210 review

Samsung's first dual core Atom netbook looks luxurious, but we're not convinced it's the best buy for most people. Read our review to find out why.

Price
£263

Netbooks have been incredibly popular, in part due to their low price and incredibly long battery life. Both of these have been achieved, in part, due to the low-cost, low-power Intel Atom processors found in most netbooks. The Atoms haven't been very powerful though, but this has been an acceptable compromise given their cost and battery life benefits. Intel's new dual core Atom processor, the N550, is finally here but we're not convinced it makes for a better netbook.

Most netbooks to date have used single core Atom processors. Intel has released dual core versions before, but these have been noticeably more power-hungry versions aimed at desktop computers. The new dual core N550 chip is specifically designed for portable use and uses just a couple of watts more power than the single core Atom N450.

The Samsung NF210 is the first netbook we've seen to come equipped with the N550, but it didn't impress in either our applications performance or battery tests. It was only a few percentage points faster in our Windows application tests. This was the case even in our video encoding and multiple applications tests which should have benefited from the extra processor core. We suspect that performance would have been improved if there was more than 1GB of RAM fitted. Subjectively, it only feels a little snappier than a single core netbook when web browsing and word processing with anti-virus software running in the background.

Battery life was by no means short, but the NF210 didn't last as long as other netbooks we've seen, including Samsung's own N450-equipped N230. It lasted just under eight hours in our light usage battery test, where it was set to scroll through a series of web pages until the battery depletes. It lasted just over four and a half hours in our heavy usage test, where it ran an image editing task repeatedly until the battery ran out.

Featured Resources

Digital document processes in 2020: A spotlight on Western Europe

The shift from best practice to business necessity

Download now

Four security considerations for cloud migration

The good, the bad, and the ugly of cloud computing

Download now

VR leads the way in manufacturing

How VR is digitally transforming our world

Download now

Deeper than digital

Top-performing modern enterprises show why more perfect software is fundamental to success

Download now

Most Popular

The top 12 password-cracking techniques used by hackers
Security

The top 12 password-cracking techniques used by hackers

5 Oct 2020
The enemy of security is complexity
Sponsored

The enemy of security is complexity

9 Oct 2020
IBM and SAP expand partnership to support software on hybrid cloud
Cloud

IBM and SAP expand partnership to support software on hybrid cloud

21 Oct 2020