Introducing the Samsung N210

While Samsung has been a strong retail presence in the states for time immemorial, it may be surprising to note that they only made their push into retail computing within the last year or so. Samsung computers were big in the rest of the world (obviously huge in Korea), but out here there had been nary a peep from them.

Then the floodgates quietly opened, and Samsung dipped their toe into the highly competitive waters of the American mainstream notebook market. One of their entries is a Best Buy exclusive netbook that we review here today, the N210. The N210 may be on its way out; it's since been consigned to Best Buy's "outlet store" online and its retail presence is limited. What we have on hand is a factory refurb'ed model; I had purchased it for personal use and the way I figured it was that sure, I could get a brand new one for a little more, but odds were good I'd pop open the casing and void the warranty anyhow, so why pay an extra $30 for months of warranty I'll never see?

The specifications are commonplace given Atom-powered netbooks:

Samsung N210 Specifications
Processor Intel Atom N450
(1.66GHz + SMT, 45nm, 512KB L2, 533FSB, 5.5W)
Chipset Intel NM10
Memory 1x1024MB DDR2-667
Graphics Intel Integrated GMA 3150
Display 10.1" LED Matte 16:9 WSVGA (1024x600)
Hard Drive(s) 2.5" 250GB 5400RPM
Optical Drive N/A
Networking 10/100 Fast Ethernet
Atheros 802.11bgn WiFi
Audio HD Audio (2 speakers headphone and mic jacks)
Battery 6-cell, 11.1V, 4400mAh, 48Whr
Front Side SD reader
Power switch
Left Side AC power jack
RJ-45 ethernet jack
Exhaust vent
USB 2.0
Mic jack
Headphone jack
Right Side 2x USB 2.0
VGA port
Kensington lock
Back Side Battery
Operating System Windows 7 Starter
Dimensions 10.5" x 7.4" x 1.2" (WxDxH)
Weight 2.8 lbs (with 6-cell battery)
Extras Webcam
Warranty 1-year standard warranty
Pricing $329

As you can see, there isn't a whole lot of action in the N210 that isn't common to modern netbooks at large. There's the anemic Intel Atom N450 processor and the requisite 1GB of DDR2, but at least Samsung was kind enough to outfit the N210 with a 250GB drive.

Going with 10/100 ethernet instead of gigabit is disappointing but not a game-breaker; the Atom is so slow and the 5400RPM hard drive does nothing to remedy that, so it's not a huge loss. Not having bluetooth is a major loss, though. When the N210 was making the review rounds, bluetooth was an option being touted for it. Yet finding a bluetooth-enabled unit in our neck of the woods is an onerous task at best.

But since netbooks are by and large the same these days, does Samsung at least bring any secret sauce to the table?

Inside and Outside the Samsung N210
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  • synaesthetic - Thursday, July 29, 2010 - link

    Too bad people don't actually use netbooks the way they were originally intended.

    srsly guys, they're not full-power laptops, they shouldn't have Windows 7 on them...
  • Lolimaster - Tuesday, August 3, 2010 - link

    Instead of a culv the best option out ther are the Athlon II / Turion II Neo ultrapotables/"netbooks". As well as any culv in cpu performance with the huge advantage of the Ati hd4200 IGP.

    Whoever buys an atom really buy out of ignorance. And then comply in topics like these about the slow feeling.
  • freeman70 - Sunday, August 8, 2010 - link

    After selling my netbook and buying a Dual Core CULV SU2300 ACER 1410 with Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit, I have never looked back. The 11.6 inch ultra-portable laptop isn't noticeably larger or heavier. However, the difference in performance was immediately apparent. The current atom processors are too slow for anything other than the basics. They are only suitable for those who absolutely need long battery life. If you enjoy waiting for multiple web pages to load or slow USB 2.0 throughput, then go out and buy one now. If not, wait to see what kind of performance the new dual core N series atom CPUs will provide.

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