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Samsung N130 review: Samsung N130

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Typical Price: £229.00
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The Good Good screen;. Impressive keyboard;. Low price tag.

The Bad Matte black finish looks a little flat;. No HDMI or Bluetooth.

The Bottom Line Excellent battery life and superb usability sets the 10.1-inch Samsung N130 apart from its netbook rivals.

Visit manufacturer site for details.

8.3 Overall

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When it comes to the N130, Samsung isn't trying to dazzle you with fancy extras. Instead, it's looking to get the basic netbook ingredients right, while keeping the price down to an affordable level. Our model was supplied by Laptops Direct, where you can buy it for a shade under £230.

Just round the corner

The N130's design is quite reminiscent of Samsung's older N310 thanks to its very rounded corners and tapered edges. However, it lacks the N310's funky rubberised finish, making do with a pretty standard matte black paint job. Unfortunately, this makes it looks a tad plasticky and means the design falls flat. Nevertheless, the netbook feels quite solid, especially as there's very little flex in either the lid or the keyboard. Its petite dimensions and lightweight body make it ideal for computing on the move.

Its matte black paint job and rounded corners don't look as funky as the rubberised finish of the N310.

The 10.1-inch screen is obviously quite small, but its resolution of 1,024x600 pixels is fairly good for a display of this size. Samsung has decided against using a glossy finish, so instead you get a matte display that's much better at reducing glare. As a result, the screen is a great deal easier to read when you're using it outdoors under direct sunlight, or indoors with bright lights overhead. The LED backlighting helps the screen look bright and, although colours aren't quite as in-your-face as some glossy displays, they do look very natural. The viewing angles are rather wide, which comes in handy if you want to share a movie with a friend while travelling. As with most netbooks, the N130 has a webcam perched above the screen and a built-in microphone, so you can use it to make video calls with software such as Skype.

Key to a good netbook

Samsung was one of the first companies to create a decent netbook-sized keyboard, and it's obviously put its experience to good use here. Despite the small size of the chassis, the keyboard has reasonably large keys and the layout doesn't feel too cramped. The tapered keys have a fast and responsive action, so with some practice you can quickly reach a normal typing speed. The trackpad is a little on the small side, but it does support multi-touch. This means you can use multi-touch gestures, such as pinch-to-zoom and swivel, for zooming or rotating pictures in Windows Photo Gallery and other applications.

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