And there's more...

Like many of the other netbook manufacturers, Samsung has included a 1.3 megapixel webcam, as well as a built-in microphone. Both work well and are good enough to use for basic video chatting, but don't expect miracles from either.

What we found strange was that the microphone is not right next to the webcam - instead, it is just above the Insert key, next to the right hand hinge. This isn't a bad position for it because it's not going to be obscured there, but it's slightly out of the way if you're looking (and talking) in the general direction of the webcam.

And while we're on that topic, it's worth talking briefly about the stereo speakers. They are located on the underside of the chassis next to the rubber feet in the front left and right corners and are smaller than a five pence piece.

To be frank, they’re not exactly brilliant, but they are usable for the most basic of tasks - they lack depth and are tinny, but they make a reasonable amount of noise and should be more than sufficient to capture the agony in yet-another-faceplant-video on YouTube. If you want to use them for anything more than that, you've either got unusually low standards or you should seek medical advice.

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The LED-backlit screen is another ingredient that gives the NC10 an edge over its competitors, which doesn't come as much of a surprise considering Samsung's LCD panel manufacturing pedigree. Unlike many other netbooks, the NC10's display delivers a vibrant and punchy palette of colours - they are a long way from perfect, but didn't come across as dull and uninspired like so many of the competitors.

The brightness in particular was impressive and the black levels weren't too bad either. Dark scenes in videos weren't just a mush of black mess and you can actually make out some of the detail in the darker areas - this is an area where virtually all of the NC10's competitors fall down. What's more, viewing angles seem to be all right, although it's clear that the screen wasn't designed to cater for groups wanting to collectively laugh at the latest Internet idiot.

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Click to enlarge

If there was a part of the package where we could accuse Samsung of cutting corners, it would definitely be the slip case which is frankly more of a fabric pouch than anything else. There's no sign of any velcro or even a popper to secure the NC10 inside the pouch, which makes its inclusion little more than a token effort. But I guess it's better than including nothing at all and we're glad that Samsung decided to skimp on this part of the package and not on the NC10 itself.

After all, you don't buy a netbook--or a notebook for that matter--because it comes with a fancy pouch and providing you've got a laptop bag with a padded compartment, your NC10 will be well protected on its travels.
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October 14 2021 | 15:04