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Via challenges the Intel Atom for Netbook supremacy in the Samsung NC20

The 12-inch Samsung NC20 holds its own in the first Netbook showdown between Via's new Nano CPU and Intel's popular Atom.

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Samsung's NC20 stands out from the crowd in two very important ways. First, it's one of only a handful of 12-inch Netbooks (the best-known example being Dell's Vista-addled Mini 12); secondly, it's the first laptop we've tested with Via's Nano CPU, intended as an alternative to Intel's popular Atom processor.

The Atom is found in virtually every other Netbook, so it's always good to see some competition, and the new Nano managed to fight Intel to a tie, beating it in some benchmarks and falling behind in others.

We're more concerned about the NC20's 12-inch size, which blurs the line between typical Netbooks (and we're even hesitant to use the term in reference to a 12-inch display) and more full-featured ultraportable laptops. The key to Netbook satisfaction is keeping one's expectations realistic, and with a larger screen and keyboard, the NC20 looks and feels more like a traditional laptop, but still struggles, as all Netbooks do, with multitasking and video streaming.

Read the full review of the Samsung NC20.