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Samsung NC20

>> Saturday, April 4, 2009

Samsung 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.

Our test unit was an imported Korean version of Samsung NC20, but when it's available in the U.S., we expect it to sell for between $500 and $600, based on prices in other markets and current exchange rates. We'll update this review when we get our hands on the American version of Samsung NC20.

As most 12 inch laptops are high end ultraportables built around expensive ultralow voltage processors, you may be expecting a slim, highly designed system along the lines of Lenovo's U110 and Toshiba's Portege R600. But at about a third of the price, you instead get a thicker, heavier system with a plastic chassis that looks and feels like a grown up version of Samsung NC10.

The no frills chassis contains a reasonably comfortable keyboard with slightly tapered keys and a shortened space bar. The large touch pad is a big improvement over the ones we've seen on smaller 10 inch Netbooks, but the single wide rocker switch that takes the place of left and right mouse buttons feels cheap. There are no media control or quick launch buttons, which, while we wouldn't expect them on a Netbook, are common on more traditional 12 inch laptops.

The 12.1 inch wide screen LCD display offers a 1,280x800 native resolution, which is the same as you'd typically find on a 13 or 15 inch laptop. That lets you view more of a Web page than the 1.024x600 resolution we've seen on most 10 inch Netbooks. Even though it's the right resolution for watching 720p HD video, the system showed typical Netbook style stuttering when trying to stream HD content. Via's integrated graphics chip also includes an app called Screen Toys for monitor management, screen rotation, and other option tweaks.

3 comments:

Anonymous April 4, 2009 at 10:04 AM  

If changing the chipset from VX800 to VX855 will improve the stuttering while playing HD movie?

Anonymous April 4, 2009 at 10:10 AM  

If VX855 improves HD stuttering, why not NC20 changed to it after VIA had demostrated it? This chipset change would take much time or money?

James April 8, 2009 at 9:25 PM  

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