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Samsung N210 Plus Review

Last response: in Laptops & Notebooks
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October 8, 2010 5:38:34 AM

To start things off, I don’t like reviews that spend half their time talking about the specs. I can go look those up myself. So if you’re looking for the specs, a simple google will bring you all you need.

I bought the Samsung 210 Plus from Costco (Costco.com to be exact) for cheap, 275$. Being this cheap it took me away from Asus and the Ipad (I didn’t get the Ipad because it was too restrictive and it didn’t offer enough for the price). I have VERY few problems with my little n210. Most of those few reasons are because it’s a NETBOOK.

NETBOOK: A small low powered device that was built for portability and battery life. This is not a high powered gaming rig, or a high end PC. It is meant to be portable/small.

Reason for the definition is I’m tired of people whining about how netbooks are so SLOW. People give a netbook a 1/5 because they thought it would be doing what their quad core monster tower could do which makes it look to serious buyers that it’s a bad product, and it gets skipped. Netbooks weren’t born for the Ferrari races, so get over it :lol: . You buy a netbook to do things on the go, or so you can sit comfortably on the couch and still surf the web without a 100 Pound Weight on your lap. AND you don't want to spend Apple's 500+ price for the iPad. Don’t overestimate the Netbook or you WILL be disappointed :lol: .

Overview:

Pros:

-Fast boot (I timed it and I got to the desktop-usably- (Including typing a long(er) password) in 45 sec)
-Nice Screen
-GREAT Keyboard
-Small (In a good way)
-Decent Looks

Cons (Looks like more than the Pros, but the cons are nitpicking):

-Mine is White (I don’t love white, but its fine)
-Only 1GB of RAM, but hey I got it for 275 Bucks
-Medial Battery Life (I have the battery conditioned and it can do about 5-5.5 hours with heavy web sub surfing or about 4-4.5 with heavy video usage)
-Mine didn't ship with Hyperspace (A real bummer for me, but most people will agree with Samsung's Decision)

External Design:

Well it’s a fun little laptop. It’s not a head turner (As some critics like to say), but it does have a sense of style. The top of the lid is a textured plastic with a thin layer of transparent plastic over that. It adds a nice, modern touch. The clear plastic attracts fingerprints but you won't start to see the buildup of fingerprints for a few days, then you just wipe them off :) . The rest of the device is matte, including the screen (Yay you can see in the sun!). Another thing: People have been complaining that the power button isn't a button, but is indeed a slider. I don't care, and it has actually grown on me.


Build Quality:

Great! It feels solid without being overly heavy (2.8 Pounds). Minimal flexing at the screen and no flexing on the keyboard, it just feels great.

Display:
It’s not their high end display, but hey I spent less than <300$ on this thing, I wasn't expecting a super nice display. I am disappointed that the native resolution is only 1024x600, though you can raise it to HD resolutions, which is great, it doesn't look great unless you are watching a show in Fullscreen/HD. I knew this going in, but I didn't know how frustrating it could be. Buyer mistake, but it’s a small flaw to a good machine.

Blacks are not as deep as I would like, even from the netbook, and the color seems a little bland. The colors don't ‘Pop' as much as I would like them too. But I’m just nitpicking.

Also I'm used to my 55” and my 24” and even my laptop (An old piece of crap) is 14”. So moving down to a 10.1” was a little of a shock. But it didn’t take long before the 14” looked HUGE and the 24” looked HUGER :lol: .

Video Playback:

It plays (Ripped) full DVD quality videos with ease. I have yet to try HD (Give me a few).

Streaming:

This was what I got one of these for, I wanted something I could stream video to. I also like Netflix so I wanted something that would work with Netflix.

I’m going to say it now, FORGET HD (Streaming). I tried every combination of browser and flash player available. I could not get the Samsung n210 Plus to stream 720p or 1080p. This is a bummer, but when the screen isn’t even HD, I’m good without the ability. The Hulu site is miserly… I could get it to play 280p in fullscreen but not 360p and 480p wouldn’t even play in the window (People with quad core modern computers are having troubles too, so I’m not worried.). So I downloaded their player, the requirements are steep, but it can stream pretty well, just don’t be doing anything in the background. And keep it in the Balanced or High Performance Power Option, or the videos will start to lag.

UI:

Windows 7 Starter looks ugly, but it does work a bit better than Home Premium. After two hours of Starter I gave up and upgraded. I couldn’t stand it, it was too basic, lacking to many features, and I would prefer the Mac look before 7 without aero (I hate the Mac look :p ).

Limitations of Windows 7 Starter:
* Aero Glass, meaning you can only use the Windows Basic or other opaque themes. It also means you do not get Taskbar Previews or Aero Peek.
* Personalization features for changing desktop backgrounds, window colors, or sound schemes.
* The ability to switch between users without having to log off.
* 64 bit version
* Multi-monitor support.
* DVD playback.
* Windows Media Center for watching recorded TV or other media.
* Remote Media Streaming for streaming your music, videos, and recorded TV from your home computer.
* Domain support for business customers.
* XP Mode for those that want the ability to run older Windows XP programs on Windows 7.

With that in mind, it is just like Windows 7 in every other aspect. Response time feels faster in Home Premium for some reason, but lags just a little more than Starter when I timed it. I believe that this is to the ‘cool’ effects that 7 has. Overall response is snappy until I have 5-8 windows open (Or several Openoffice PowerPoints haha). An upgrade to 2GB of RAM should fix all those issues. Upgrade to Home Premium was easy, all I did was hit Buy a Key, enter my Credit Card info, and it gave me my key. I plugged it into Windows Anytime Upgrade and it did the rest in less than 10 minutes. And the Intel 3150 works perfectly with Aero.

Keyboard:

All I’m going to say is, it’s a joy to type on, the keys have a nice sound and feel to them and I got to my normal typing speed in no time. The keys are easy to push and have the right feel to them, and the chicklet island style keyboard has been designed perfectly. They are a little small, so it takes a few extra minutes to get used to that. Otherwise the only other problem is the keys are white so you need to make sure your fingers are clean before you start to type or you will see build up of grime in a few months.

Bloatware:

It comes with a TON of bloat ware, all easy to remove (If you know what to remove). I’ll have to see what I removed, but most of it is common sense stuff. The first time setup takes forever since it has to install all the bloat ware. From the time I switched the power slider to the time I saw the desktop must have been 25 minutes. Saying Norton is a hog is an understatement. They must have gotten worse over the years. Once removed, the machine goes WAY faster. I use MSE (Microsoft Security Essentials), and it don't have a firewall yet, I’m not sure if I want one yet. (Make sure to go to msconfig and uncheck all startup programs but the things you NEED such as Antivirus/Firewall).

General Performance:

When i was looking for netbooks, i saw a ton of reviews that netpicked about how the 50-100 points that each netbook changed. All (Most) netbooks have the same performance, and the Samsung will not disappoint. If you want real facts, then ill post some of my findings upon request :) .

Conclusion:

Great piece of equipment and as long as you keep your expectations to Word Processing and light(er) multimedia. There are some flaws but at the price I paid and my expectations, I am not disappointed.

More of the review is on its way, just give me a few days to compile the rest (And add on to the sections that are lacking)! :)  I also hope to post pictures (And a youtube vid) too!

More about : samsung n210 review

October 8, 2010 5:39:30 AM

Hope that reviews are allowed rofl :lol: .
October 10, 2010 3:01:56 PM

did your netbook come with Hyperspace (the advertised quick boot)? Mine doesn't seem to have it!
Related resources
October 11, 2010 8:39:04 PM

They removed it due to the slow boot time compared to windows (It was faster than windows but not fast enough. It was costing a bunch of money so Samsung axed it.). I was sad at the removal, looking forward to it, but oh well. Not to worry, i am working on the rest of the review! lol
a c 244 D Laptop
October 12, 2010 5:48:50 AM

Great review,thanks :) 
If you can,add some pics and test HD movie playback and see how it performs.
October 15, 2010 12:17:54 AM

I'm hoping to, but I'm really busy. Should have some time this weekend to work on it. I have the pics on the netbook :lol:  but i have yet to upload them. Ill try the HD playback, get more info up, and get the review to look just a bit better :lol: , it looks a little messy and I'm sure there are spelling and grammar issues :) . Hey I'm a perfectionist.

I promise i will have at least the bulk of it completed by the end of the weekend. :lol: 
October 15, 2010 9:02:30 PM

Once i get the pictures online, then ill link them to a review in the official section :) .
October 16, 2010 9:17:55 AM

Great review,thanks
If you can,add some pics ,It will be better
October 17, 2010 1:29:25 PM

I have a N210 (also white) and I concur with gidgidonihah's review. I bought mine at Best Buy for full price (sigh). It has the Hyperspace SSD OS which does boot faster than even a lean Windows install. However, the GUI, apps and Hyperspace's browser are very basic and so I would only use it if absolutely necessary. I installed Stardock to modify the theme (yeah, Starter sucks). I think the battery life is pretty decent for its size. Plays mid-res videos fine for hours but I can't get it to play HD at all (also, i agree that the blacks aren't black enough). I even got it to run RTCW-Enemy Territory (based on Quake II engine). Like he said, physically, it's well made and feels good. Also gets good Wifi reception. I'm happy with it for what it is.
October 17, 2010 7:48:15 PM

Im going to post a version of this review onto the 'offical' place :p . I'll add a direct link when im done. I just uploaded the pictures... :) 
October 17, 2010 7:49:37 PM

Oh haha i didnt know that link was a direct one :p .
October 17, 2010 7:53:25 PM

I am having severe diviculties getting the pictures on here. I will create a quick site for the pictures and post them there, then add a link to it :lol: . Haha don't make fun of the name... Had to improvise :lol: .
October 19, 2010 6:26:53 PM

I think that I figured out how to play an HD file on my N210. I was able to get VLC playing a 720p mkv file by setting the >prefs>inputs&codecs> "skip H.264 in-loop deblocking filter" to "all". No stuttering of video or lag with audio and picture looks great. That might work for other machines choking on HD as well.
a b Ô Samsung
a b D Laptop
October 20, 2010 7:47:13 AM

If you cannot find a place to store your pics, you can use something like imageshack. If you need help actually getting them on the forum, post the links up and I can set it up for you.
!