Archives for: November 2010

November 6th, 2010

Samsung N-150 Netbook Review

Permalink 10:40:10 am, by AnonymousOpinion Email, 858 words, 698 views   English (US)
Categories: Reviews

For a long time I said that I would never want a netbook.

I was wrong.

My hard drive on my desktop is pretty well backed up with a notebook hard drive and external enclosure I put together on the cheap. It's been sort of wonky lately. And I've had to fix enough PCs for family and friends from boot sector viruses and browser redirects that I feel like I need a back up.
I've been using my work laptop around the house on the VPN with no trouble and I enjoy he portability. However, it is the work laptop. I don't want to do anything remotely fun or personal on it.

So, in September with all the back to school sales, I investigated the matter.

I talked to a friend at a work, who had taken his personal netbook on a work trip to China and loved it because he could use it to keep in touch at home. He was nice enough to print out the most recent Consumer Reports and advised me to stay away from Toshiba (he had once purchased a computer where it never worked properly and swore off the brand all together.)

The laptop he had was a Samsung GO N310-13GO and he recommended that I add the extra gig of RAM immediately.

I bought the best Samsung netbook on the list, Samsung N150 at CompUSA for $269 with a $10 off coupon then picked up a stick of RAM on Amazon.

The extra RAM is worth it.

Portability - yes I can fit this in a purse that is wide enough. Luckily, purses larger than diaper bags are in and something smaller is still okay. If you have a hobo bag - you might lose it in there at under 3 pounds.

Yes, if I bundle up, I can surf the web outside on my beautiful deck in view of my lovely still-blooming gerber daisies, knockout roses, and lavender plants. Seriously considering a chilly last-hurrah grill fest out there.

Most coffee shops now have wi-fi and in some places Comcast has wifi if you log in with your username/password. Borders and B&N are also free. One unanticipated use for this was in hospitals, waiting rooms, and the rehabilitation center/nursing home Gran was in. Shock Trauma in Baltimore and AI Dupont have free wifi (a friend works there).

Google Talk and Google Video work great on this. The mic is about a quarter of an inch to the touchpad, so no surfing and chatting at the same time. My mom said my voice quality using Google voice was better than on my cell, which is an LG Cosmos.

Kindle software is a plus, and if ever I purchase the actual device, I'll still have my library as long as the DRM monsters don't steal my books back like 1984.

The battery of the netbook charges very quickly.

The LED screen can be punched up to VERY VERY BRIGHT.

Also some googled advice has come in handy.

I'm using Chrome exclusively and it's been super fast. Although for coffee shop surfing I am considering switching to Firefox specifically for an extension called HTTPS Everywhere, as I don't want my passwords stolen. I generally don't use the chat feature in Facebook, so no worries there.

I think the battery life is maybe an hour less than advertised, and I'm putting my screen brightness at a minimum. Rarely will you have to use the full charge, though.

I have small hands to the keyboard is not an issue. What is at issue is that the touchpad is quite sensitive and WAY too close to the space bar. I can happily be typing away and suddenly find myself with a sentence five pages ago.

Ergonomically if you have neck stiffness, this will not help you in the slightest. In my opinion, the screen does not tilt back far enough to keep your from slouching too much. Not only do I have small hands, but my height is mostly in my torso. But I doubt everyone is like that.

If you like bluetooth, this does not have it, but a teeny adapter is ridiculously cheap from a Chinese distributor.

A tip if you are considering purchasing this:

There is a trick to getting Netflix and Hulu to play nice and not like a poorly dubbed Godzilla movie. Function + F8 is an accelerator! I need to figure out how to set Hulu and Silverlight to default to that higher speed, but that fixes any jerky out of sync video/audio with those programs. I had to read plenty of forums to figure that one out.

The conclusion that I've come to is that what I've purchased is preferable to the iPad by far for this one reason. I NEED a keyboard. This laptop is not as dense as an iPad, and doesn't smudge up like an iPad,and can do more practical things.

Granted, for $100 more I could have bought a full-blown laptop with better specs than my desktop, but for the portability I willingly paid a price.

Hope this review helps someone if you're considering it.

Anonymous Opinion's Politics

“Opinions should be formed with great caution – and changed with greater” – Josh Billings

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