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Samsung NS310 review: Samsung NS310

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The Good Portable size; decent screen.

The Bad Distinctly average performance; poor battery life; garish colour won't appeal to all.

The Bottom Line The 10.1-inch Samsung NS310 netbook offers average performance for a fairly high price. The garish blue case will also make some people want to stab out their eyeballs.

Visit manufacturer site for details.

5.5 Overall

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Samsung's shockingly blue NS310 is about as bright and garish as a netbook could possibly be. With a 10.1-inch screen, it's also a good size if you spend plenty of time computing on the go, but you won't get much power from this machine. Packing a 1.5GHz, dual-core Intel Atom N550 processor and 1GB of RAM, the NS310 can be yours for a not inconsiderable £330.


The first thing you'll notice about the NS310 is its garish blue shell. It's the sort of colour you'd normally see on a souped-up Ford Fiesta with neon lights on its underside. Still, if you like gadgets that look like big, blue pebbles, you might like the NS310.

Samsung NS310 back
That smell is your eyeballs burning.

The netbook's appearance divided opinion among the CNET UK team, with some put off by the blue colour, and others admiring the sporty look. We couldn't come to a unanimous decision, so we asked you on our official Facebook page. You generally liked the bright colour but were less keen on the massive Samsung logo emblazoned on top. We can't argue with that. It's hardly subtle branding.

If the blue's too much for you, check out the attractive purple on Samsung's NC110netbook. It's colourful enough to be interesting, without being embarrassing. That netbook's also a smidgen lighter than the NS310, at about 1.2kg compared to 1.3kg, although you'll probably never notice the difference.

Thankfully, the garish lid colour hasn't made its way inside the NS310. Instead, there's just a whole lot of matte black plastic. The keys are of the isolated variety, which we usually prefer, but, in this case, Samsung has made them too small for accurate typing at speed. The left-hand shift key in particular has been made ludicrously tiny, which often resulted in us hitting its neighbour instead.

The trackpad is of an average size for a netbook. It has a pleasant coating that's easy to slide your finger across. It doesn't support multi-touch gestures, though, so you'll have to scroll through documents the old-fashioned way. The buttons beneath it are joined in the middle and easy to click. That's great news if you want to hurtle round the Intertubes, wildly clicking on as many images of cats as you could ever want

Samsung NS310 trackpad
The trackpad's fine in most respects, but it doesn't support multi-touch gestures.

As a 10.1-inch netbook, this chap is very small and bag-friendly. It's light too, so it's great for chucking into a small rucksack and heading out across town. You could pull this netbook out in confined areas and still be able to bang out a quick email, arms tucked neatly in at your sides. 

Screen and connectivity

The 10.1-inch screen is bright and displays colours well. Its native resolution of 1,024x600 pixels isn't fantastic, but it's about standard on a netbook of this size. The low vertical resolution means plenty of scrolling up and down is required when browsing the Web, so make sure you've got your fingers fit and ready to manage that trackpad.

There's a pretty standard set of ports on the NS310, including three USB 2.0 ports, VGA out, an Ethernet jack, mic in and headphone out, and an SD card slot. We'd like to have seen an HDMI port too, so that you could hook the NS310 up to a TV, as a 10.1-inch screen will never deliver a truly cinematic experience.

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