VIA Nano Hits Netbooks in Samsung's NC20

Intel’s Atom processor rules the roost when it comes to netbooks. While AMD isn’t even trying to go head to head with Intel’s miserly CPU, VIA’s hoping to capture a piece of the pie with its Nano processor.

It appears that the VIA Nano will be making one of its first appearances inside the Samsung N20 – a netbook of notebook proportions. With a 12.1-inch (1280 x 800) screen, the N20 is beyond the commonly accepted 8.9- to 10-inch realm of nearly all other netbooks. In fact, Samsung says its product is a “full size netbook,” which makes us wonder what the smaller models are (sub-netbooks?). At least with the larger form factor, touch typists will get the full sized keyboard with a standard 18.5 mm key pitch.

Inside is the VIA Nano U2250 processor, running at 1.3 GHz to 1.6 GHz on an 800 MHz bus. It all sits on the VIA VX800 with 1 GB RAM, which is shared with the VIA VX800 Chrome9 HC3 DX9 3D engine for graphics. The rest of the hardware is more standard netbook fare with a 1.3 MP webcam, card reader, LAN, b/g Wi-Fi, and hard drive options of 80, 120 and 160 GB.

With the six-cell battery, the whole netbook weighs 1.5 kg (3.3 lbs).

As for the most important detail of all – price – that’s something Samsung has yet to reveal.

Marcus Yam
Marcus Yam served as Tom's Hardware News Director during 2008-2014. He entered tech media in the late 90s and fondly remembers the days when an overclocked Celeron 300A and Voodoo2 SLI comprised a gaming rig with the ultimate street cred.
  • hellwig
    Huh, good to see the Nano getting some love, as it is a superior performer to the Atom.

    Intel is worried that allowing the Atom into larger computers will cannibalize their Core2 market for laptops. But if people want affordable computing with a bigger chassis, things like the Nano (upcoming w/ Ion) or AMD's Yukon platform will eat into the Core2 market enough by themselves. Maybe Intel should just accept that its better to have Atom in the computer than nothing at all.
  • pug_s
    At least the screen is bigger. Samsung tend to sell their laptops at a higher price, I hope that won't be the case for this one.
  • tayb
    Someone please explain to me how this is classified as a netbook? 12.1" screen, full sized keyboard, and weighing in at 3.3 pounds screams notebook to me. Unless we are coining the term "netbook" to products that are underpowered, regardless of size, this is not a netbook.
  • The rest of the hardware is more standard netbook fare
    I doubt it has an Intel GMA 950 videocard...
  • raden_muaz
    i gue
    get that HP laptop with AMD Yukon and you get *more*.
  • falchard
    I know Intel Graphics are a joke, but are VIA graphics a joke? I have never used a VIA before.
  • cruiseoveride
    Nano stomps on Atom ass. Check the benchmarks.
  • faresdani
    But i already own an HP mini 2133, wich from a long time have the same specs, and the via c7m processor.
  • tpi2007
    cruiseoverideNano stomps on Atom ass. Check the benchmarks.
    You know what, I was just about to say Via still has a long way to go, because Intel will have 32nm Atoms and the new Chipset that has just come out will have better performance and power consumption, but I decided to go to Via's site to see the actual TDP of this Nano.

    I had read that it had a 25w TDP, which is equal to that of the new 45nm Mobile Core 2 Duos, but I just found out that is only for the most powerful porcessor, which isn't even designed for portable computers.

    The ones designed for Laptops top out at 8w for the model that will be used in the Samsung N20. Their slowest model at 1 Ghz has a max TDP of 5w.

    So, now what I would say is just these two things: I hope Via's Chipset is up to the task of competing with Intel's new chipset for the Atom, and that it somehow manages to transition the Nano to a 45nm process soon. When they do that the will have a winner. Until then I think they will be good competition to Intel, but in a slightly larger form factor, in a niche of its own (which isn't itself a bad thing, though baterry life will suffer a bit when the CPU is under load, because at idle, Via right now is on par with the Atom).

    I really wish Via pulls this one off in terms of market share. Competition is godd for us all.
  • Master Exon
    faresdaniBut i already own an HP mini 2133, wich from a long time have the same specs, and the via c7m processor.That's nice.