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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.

The NF210 is the first netbook we've seen with a SDXC memory card slot so one could plug in a 32GB SDXC memory card. Few digital cameras and video cameras currently use SDXC cards, but it's still a useful capability to have for the future. Another unusual connection technology built into the NF210 is Bluetooth 3.0 which is theoretically much faster than previous versions of the short range wireless technology, but few peripherals currently support it.

As with all new netbooks, the NF210 comes with Windows 7 Starter pre-installed on its 250GB hard disk. It's good enough for the basic tasks we'd expect a netbook to be used for, but it does have its limitations not present in other Windows versions. It doesn't have any of the more advanced, business features of Windows 7 Professional such as encryption or the Windows XP Virtualisation Mode. When a second display is connected to the VGA port you can only mirror the contents of the N230's 10.1in screen onto the external display, not show more windows. The resolution of the second display is also artificially limited to 1,440x1,050 pixels no matter what its actual resolution. These issues affect the usefulness of the NF210 for giving PowerPoint presentations.

Verdict

We wanted to like the Samsung NF210, if only because of its luxuriously sleek appearance and comfortable keyboard. Unfortunately, compared to a single core Atom netbook, the performance of its dual core Atom processor currently isn't much faster and its battery life is shorter too. If you can live with its plainer looks, Samsung's similarly priced single core N230 is a better buy for travelers thanks to its superior battery life.

Processor: Intel Atom N550, 1.5GHz Memory: 1GB 533MHz DDR3 RAM Graphics: Intel GMA 3150 Hard disk: 250GB hard disk Display: 10.1in 1,024 x 600 pixels, LED-backlit screen Features: 1.3 megapixel camera, microphone, stereo speakers Connectivity: 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, 10/100Mbit/s Ethernet, Bluetooth 3.0 Ports: 3 x USB2, VGA output, 3.5mm headphone and microphone audio sockets, SDXC memory card slot Dimensions: 276x185x40mm (WxDxH) Weight: 1.32kg Warranty: 1yr C&R warranty OS: Windows 7 Starter BENCHMARK SCORES Video 20 Image 18 Multiple apps 12 Overall 17 Battery, heavy usage 4h32m Battery, light usage 7h48m

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