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Samsung NB30 review: Samsung NB30

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The Good Toughened chassis; Shock-protected hard drive; Good battery life; Impressive keyboard.

The Bad Unappealing design.

The Bottom Line Its rugged exterior won't appeal to everyone, but the Samsung NB30 is a tough little netbook with a decent, 10.1-inch screen and sizeable keyboard.

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7.5 Overall

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The Samsung NB30 is basically a tougher version of the company's N310, which launched last year. To strengthen the netbook, Samsung has added a tougher shell and protected the hard drive against shocks. Thankfully, beefing up the hardware hasn't had the same effect on the cost, with the NB30 sporting a reasonable price tag of around £250.

Shell shock

The new shell isn't as armour-plated as you might expect. In fact, Samsung seems to have just added a wavy ridge pattern across the surface and a matte-black finish that's more resistant to scratches. The company has produced some good-looking netbooks in the past, but this one is much plainer due to its heavy-duty exterior.

The NB30 has a modest 10.1-inch screen and, although it's not all that slim, at 39mm thick, it'll still fit comfortably in your backpack. It also feels like it'll stand up to some abuse, which is important if you're going to be carting it around with you.

Sleep and charge

The NB30 has a fairly standard line-up of ports for a netbook. There are three USB ports, with two mounted on the right-hand side and another on the left. The one on the left is a sleep-and-charge port, so you can use it to charge peripherals like cameras and mobile phones even when the netbook is switched off. A VGA port enables you to hook the device up to an external monitor. Sadly, there's no HDMI socket. It does, however, have a front-mounted SD card reader, as well as an Ethernet jack, and 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity.

The Samsung NB30 is like the N310 on steroids, with extra durability, increased stamina and a shock-protected hard drive.

This netbook certainly doesn't break the mould when it comes to its processor. The NB30 is powered by an Intel Atom N450 CPU running at 1.66GHz. There's also 1GB of RAM on-board which is just enough to run the Windows 7 Starter operating system.

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