Samsung NC110 review: Samsung NC110

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Like the vast majority of today's netbooks, the NC110 runs Microsoft's Windows 7 Starter operating system. Because of this, it has just 1GB of RAM, as Microsoft doesn't allow Starter to be sold on computers with any more memory than that. You can upgrade the RAM later if you want, but the NC110 only supports a maximum of 2GB. Adding an extra 1GB of memory is likely to improve performance considerably, especially when it comes to multitasking and switching between apps.

Up and Atom

The NC110 uses a dual-core Intel Atom N550, clocked at 1.5GHz. In the PCMark05 benchmark test, it managed to post a score of 1,607, which is not far off the score of Toshiba's NB520, which uses the same processor. Day-to-day tasks like surfing the Web and word processing are handled well, but, as with all netbooks, the NC110 can be very sluggish when trying to multitask.

When it comes to 3D graphics, the NC110 is as hopeless as all other Atom-equipped machines we've seen. The integrated graphics only managed a limp 148 in the 3DMark06 benchmark test, and it's not great at high-definition video decoding either. It'll handle standard-definition YouTube videos without any problems, but HD videos play at an unacceptably low frame rate. For video playback, Toshiba's N550D, which uses an AMD C-50 chip, is a much better option.

The netbook's battery life is good. In the extremely intensive Battery Eater Classic test, it managed to keep running for 4 hours and 52 minutes, which puts it up there with some of the best-performing models. You should get much longer battery life with normal usage.

Conclusion

Overall, the Samsung NC110 is a fine budget netbook, and a worthy successor to the original NC10. It may not excel at video playback, but it offers a really stylish design, decent performance for day-to-day tasks, and a good screen and keyboard.

Edited by Charles Kloet 

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