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Samsung NC20 - 12in Ultraportable Review

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tejas 29th June 2009, 11:00 Quote
What I really can't wait for is Via Nano + Nvidia Ion. Now that would be worth getting!
Cerberus90 29th June 2009, 11:10 Quote
I've found on my NC10 that the zoom thing on the trackpad sometimes seems to zoom by itself, but then I usually realise that my finger on my other hand was just resting on the trackpad, or another finger on my right hand has just tiouched the trackpad.

Looks good, If they offered tradeups, for NC10 owners to get a discount on the NC20 then I might get one. But I don't really use my NC10 enough to warrant buying a new one. :D, browsing the internet in lectures isn't really a good enough reason, :D
Dave_M 29th June 2009, 11:57 Quote
What about the fan's habbits? Is it loud? Can it be turned off? Does it ramp up under load?
Skiddywinks 29th June 2009, 14:04 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Page 2
One of the NC10's biggest drawbacks was the size of its trackpad - the NC20 addresses this with a much larger touchable area... The buttons are also spaced much more widely too, which makes them much less fiddly and sturdier. It's a much more positive experience than the NC20's, that's for sure.

Shouldn't that be "much more positive experience than the NC10's..."?
aedwards 29th June 2009, 14:10 Quote
I used my NC-20 outside for the first time over the weekend. I expected the glossy screen to be totally unusable, but with the brightness turned right up it was a bit dark but OK. I think I'd have been scuppered if the sun had been out, though. I'd still prefer a matte screen, but the glossy screen has not been as big a problem as I'd expected.

I agree about the stupid track-pad, I'm *this close* to turning the zoom/scroll stuff off altogether on mine. The problem is that the track-pad is flush with the wrist-rest, so it's too easy for another finger to touch the pad, which triggers the zoom.

About the fan, I've not noticed any noise at all, but I don't exactly work the machine very hard.

No problems with the battery life from my point of view. I've taken it on days out without the PSU and not run out of juice yet. BatteryBar reckons just under 5 hours, that's with WiFi on and the screen at about 1/3 brightness.

You can't use the Ion chipset with the Nano CPU can you? The Ion is for the Atom CPU.
Sifter3000 29th June 2009, 14:32 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skiddywinks
Quote:
Originally Posted by Page 2
One of the NC10's biggest drawbacks was the size of its trackpad - the NC20 addresses this with a much larger touchable area... The buttons are also spaced much more widely too, which makes them much less fiddly and sturdier. It's a much more positive experience than the NC20's, that's for sure.

Shouldn't that be "much more positive experience than the NC10's..."?

Fixed, ta :)
ProDigit 29th June 2009, 14:44 Quote
THis is where I already have an issue with:
While the Atom netbooks display 720p video's perfectly fine, the article mentions that the responsiveness of the in order VIA chip is better than the Atomprocessor.
This is wrong in my mind.
One of the reasons the Atom worked so well is that it was more responsive than out of order processors due to it's HT capability!
The atom shows small commands like opening many windows like smaller programs, web browsers , etc.. better than my AMD Athlon XP 2600+!
That's why I switched!
Though, the XP2600 could handle single threaded applications better that required more intensive CPU processing power.

This is what you see also in the benches, singlethreaded applications appear to function better on the VIA chip than on the Atom. Multithreaded applications are faster on the Atom which supports HT technology.
This would have been a good laptop, if it rather had 2 smaller VIA CPU cores, rather than 1 larger one; for system's responsiveness. Ofcourse dual cores / hyper threading capable cpu's perform slightly worse on singlethreaded applications, though that may change in Windows 7.

As you mention in the conclusion, the (hardly noticable) performance gain of the NC20 goes together with a decrease in battery life of almost 40%!
I think that's not worth it!

Also matte screens can hardly or can not be used outside. Glossy screens or reflective surface screens can, because it allows sunrays to penetrate the outter layer all the way to the core of the LCD screen, allowing for better outside environment display contrast. In some cases in sunlight the backlight can be shut down completely, as a reflective screen can be used there where a matte one can't.

So the reflective screen is less a matter of 'wants', but to make this laptop available for a larger audience (ie those wanting to use it outside without wasting too much battery on boosting the screen brightness to the max in sunlight).
Besides shiny/glossy screens also allow better contrast ratio's when watching movies.
Images appear sharper and colors more vivid.
So I find there are more benefits to a shiny screen than drawbacks.
Usually the drawbacks are (or is) a reflection on a screen that can easily be avoided by tilting the screen upward or down a bit.
Jipa 29th June 2009, 15:21 Quote
Oh cmon give me a dual core ion-netbook already. I just got my IBM X31 sold, and want a genuine upgrade from it. A single core Atom/VIA just doesn't seem like a real upgrade coming from Centrino 1,6 GHz... Also the man who came up with the XP-limitations for netbooks, as well as the people that followed those, deserve to be shot in the dawn.

Yes, I DO have an issue with the current trend :( I don't care if the screen size has gone from 7 to 12 inches, when the stuff that matters is more or less the same. And still no DVI? Maybe I'll just buy another used IBM...
ParaHelix.org 29th June 2009, 16:04 Quote
Is it just me, or is the entire point of a *net*book that it just isn't meant to be able to handle huge CPU loads and graphics programs.
Jipa 29th June 2009, 16:12 Quote
It's just you.

Sure the price sets certain limitations, but I'd expect them to evolve pretty quickly as the fight at the 300-500 € price range is pretty fierce. Fierce as in right now all manufacturers make different shaped plastic books with the same internals...
fathazza 29th June 2009, 17:08 Quote
nice review, ive been tempted by one for ages, just wish it was a bit cheaper. Think i might wait for some lenovo s12 reviews before i do tho...

btw, a tilde is ~ and is in its normal place...
Cupboard 29th June 2009, 21:15 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by ProDigit
THis is where I already have an issue with:
While the Atom netbooks display 720p video's perfectly fine, the article mentions that the responsiveness of the in order VIA chip is better than the Atomprocessor.
This is wrong in my mind.
One of the reasons the Atom worked so well is that it was more responsive than out of order processors due to it's HT capability!
The atom shows small commands like opening many windows like smaller programs, web browsers , etc.. better than my AMD Athlon XP 2600+!
That's why I switched!
Though, the XP2600 could handle single threaded applications better that required more intensive CPU processing power.

This is what you see also in the benches, singlethreaded applications appear to function better on the VIA chip than on the Atom. Multithreaded applications are faster on the Atom which supports HT technology.
This would have been a good laptop, if it rather had 2 smaller VIA CPU cores, rather than 1 larger one; for system's responsiveness. Ofcourse dual cores / hyper threading capable cpu's perform slightly worse on singlethreaded applications, though that may change in Windows 7.

As you mention in the conclusion, the (hardly noticable) performance gain of the NC20 goes together with a decrease in battery life of almost 40%!
I think that's not worth it!

Also matte screens can hardly or can not be used outside. Glossy screens or reflective surface screens can, because it allows sunrays to penetrate the outter layer all the way to the core of the LCD screen, allowing for better outside environment display contrast. In some cases in sunlight the backlight can be shut down completely, as a reflective screen can be used there where a matte one can't.

So the reflective screen is less a matter of 'wants', but to make this laptop available for a larger audience (ie those wanting to use it outside without wasting too much battery on boosting the screen brightness to the max in sunlight).
Besides shiny/glossy screens also allow better contrast ratio's when watching movies.
Images appear sharper and colors more vivid.
So I find there are more benefits to a shiny screen than drawbacks.
Usually the drawbacks are (or is) a reflection on a screen that can easily be avoided by tilting the screen upward or down a bit.


1)generally Atoms have some trouble with 720P footage... Acer wouldn't feel the need for this if it were fine!

2) not going to say much about OoOE but I can't help feeling you are wrong :)

3)I should think most of the battery life drops are due to the bigger screen rather than the more power-hungry processor. The Nano uses more under load but can be under load for a shorter amount of time than the Atom, and the power consumption of the Atom is dwarfed by that of its chipset.

4) I strongly disagree with your comment amount glossy screens being better outside. I had a matte-screened laptop for ages before I got my current one and it was miles better in the sun, I have to have my current one at maximum brightness if I am anywhere bright. The problem is completely the opposite of what you describe - with a glossy screen the sunlight reflects off it and, unless you have got the brightness up on the laptop, completely overpowers it so you can't see anything. The kind of screen that uses the sun to help are transreflective and I have only seen them on PDAs and phones.

I do agree that glossy screens can improve contrast but I find myself annoyed far more by seeing myself in my screen than a lack of contrast in most circumstances.

A lot of things have been said about the keyboard - it seems to be a little Samsung annoyance having the ` and Windows keys in the wrong places - they are on my Q45 too. Just to add insult to bad key placement, the CTRL and Fn/menu keys are the wrong way round too! What is the 1 called anyway?
Dave_M 29th June 2009, 22:07 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jipa
Oh cmon give me a dual core ion-netbook already.

It's close. http://techreport.com/discussions.x/17138

What do you want dual core for anyway? sounds like you should just get a proper laptop and be done with it.
Dave_M 29th June 2009, 22:11 Quote
By the way that Ion Netbook better have a digital display output. It's pretty hard to tell from the picture but I only see VGA. Bah!
perplekks45 30th June 2009, 00:03 Quote
IT'S NOT A NETBOOK!
Netbooks are <= 10in!

Nice ultraportable but still not powerful enough and/or a bit too powerhungry, depending on what you're going to use it for.
robaal 1st July 2009, 18:26 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave_M
By the way that Ion Netbook better have a digital display output. It's pretty hard to tell from the picture but I only see VGA. Bah!

I'm pretty sure the label on top of the port next to the USB says HDMI.
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