Space is definitely a very serious issue when you’re traveling and that’s where a netbook has a big advantage over a laptop. The Dell M101z netbook that came to our labs for a review saw some really nice scores for a netbook, but at the same time, the performance came at a price. Anyway, today we take a look at what Samsung’s NF210 has to offer and whether it’s enough to make for a good buy.
Design and Build Quality
The first thing to notice about the NF210 is its design. While the basic form factor is that of a netbook, Samsung has thrown in some well thought of curves, which definitely gives a neat look to it. The piece that came in for review had a powder blue colour and a glossy finish on the lid. Unlike the lid, the screen inside is a 10.1-inch LED backlit display which has a non-glossy finish.
Non glossy screen is easy to view
The keyboard has a Chiclet design which makes it pretty comfortable to type on. One slight qualm would be that the area below the keyboard was a little smaller than usual, but that might be because of the upper area being used as an opening for the speakers of the netbook. The trackpad also felt a little small in size and lacked some response as well.
Chiclet Keyboard is easy to type
The ports around the netbook are all well placed and designed so there’s nothing much to talk about from that perspective. On a whole, the design is catchy to the eyes and the build quality is really good for a netbook.
In terms of features, there’s nothing special that the NF210 can boast of. It has a dual-core Intel Atom N550 processor that clocks 1.5 GHz and a 1 GB DDR2 RAM. There’s 250 GB of storage space which is sufficient for a regular user.
The Bluetooth 3.0 and Wi-Fi 802.11 n capabilities means that the netbook has good connectivity options. The NF210 also boasts of a 3 W speakers which has its openings over the keyboard as mentioned earlier.
Ports are well placed
Unfortunately, the NF210 runs on Intel’s NM10 chipset which doesn’t include support for USB 3.0 ports. While it might not be a standard addition, but nowadays a USB 3.0 port can always come in handy.
With those kind of specifications, you might expect the NF210 to give scores ranging from below average to average. However, we were pleasantly surprised to see the netbook fare almost equally with other netbooks. In terms of scores, the NF210 comes quite close to Toshiba’s NB520 which had a 2 GB RAM. There was a minuscule two percent boost in the Cinebench R10 scores. Plus, compressing a file took two seconds lesser than the NB520. Have a look at the scores below.
The hard drive didn’t perform too well on our score cards though, transferring a single 4 GB file saw a very poor speed of 22.75 MB/s and for the assorted 4 GB file transfer test, it dropped to 16 MB/s.
The viewing angles of the screen was one really bad aspect of the netbook. Apart from opening the screen fully, the display is neither easy nor comfortable to view. Probably a better screen would add to the overall value of the netbook.
We liked the NF210’s 3W speakers which can play loud enough to be heard in the living room. While the bass is almost negligent, the mids are quite easy to pick and so are the highs.
Finally, the battery test saw the netbook run for 3 hours 50 minutes from a 6 cell Li-Ion Battery which is quite low if compared to the Aspire One D260, or the Acer Gateway LT23. Mostly, netbooks are expected to give a minimum of 4 hours and 30 minutes of running on a single charge.
Can't get enough of those curves
To summarize the performance, the scores recorded are not the best out there, but they are good enough to match standard netbook scores. However, it was the hard drive and the battery tests that performed below our expectations.
The NF210 is priced at Rs. 22,990 and the question is should you buy it? The NF210 recorded some decent scores, but netbooks are always expected to run for longer durations. Also, the hard drive was a little too slow. While the NF210’s curves and looks bowled us over, it performs very much like the Toshiba NB520. So, if you’re not too hell bent on looks, we suggest you rather go for the NB520 which costs about Rs. 1,500 lesser and will give you the same performance.