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Samsung N230 review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £326
inc VAT

A smart, thin netbook with an outstanding battery life, but the dull screen lets the side down, and there are other, better netbooks that cost less.


10.1 in 1,024×600 display, 1.2kg, 1.66GHz Intel Atom N450, 1.00GB RAM, 250GB disk, Windows 7 Starter 32-bit

As netbooks go, the new Samsung N230 doesn’t look like anything special. It follows the template laid down by Microsoft for a netbook running Windows 7 Starter Edition, with only 1GB of RAM and, like other netbooks, it doesn’t have an optical drive or fancy new technologies such as eSATA, FireWire or USB 3.0. What it does have though is a stunning battery life of almost 11 hours.

To achieve this, Samsung has fitted a 6-cell battery that bulges from the underside of the case, adding 10mm to what would otherwise be a svelte 23mm case – there’s unfortunately no option for a 3-cell battery that’ll sit flush with the base. This has the advantage of propping the case up at an angle, making it easier to type on the chiclet keyboard.

Samsung N230

The keys are small, but have a springy action and enough feedback to make touch-typing comfortable. The layout is pleasingly standard, with a large left Shift key, a double-height Enter key and the Control key correctly placed in the bottom-left corner. Below the keyboard is a small but wide touchpad which we found responsive. It supports multi-touch gestures, but its buttons are set flush with the case, so your thumb often hits the edge of the case instead.

We didn’t expect much from its benchmark results, and its score of 16 overall is fairly representative of netbooks. The Intel Atom N450 is a single-core processor, but supports Intel’s Hyper-Threading technology which creates a virtual second core. Even so, the N230 is only suitable for light work such as web browsing, email and word processing. Even basic photo editing will be frustratingly slow, and video encoding is out of the question.

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Basic Specifications

Rating ***
Processor Intel Atom N450
Processor clock speed 1.66GHz
Memory 1.00GB
Memory slots 1
Memory slots free 0
Maximum memory 2GB
Size 34x264x188mm
Weight 1.2kg
Sound Realtek HD Audio
Pointing device touchpad


Viewable size 10.1 in
Native resolution 1,024×600
Graphics Processor Intel GMA 3150
Graphics/video ports VGA
Graphics Memory 64MB


Total storage capacity 250GB
Optical drive model N/A
Optical drive type N/A

Ports and Expansion

USB ports 3
Bluetooth yes
Wired network ports 1x 10/100
Wireless networking support 802.11b/g/n
PC Card slots none
Modem No
Supported memory cards SD, MMC
Other ports minijack audio output, minijack microphone input


Carrying case No
Operating system Windows 7 Starter 32-bit
Operating system restore option backup and recovery software
Software included none
Optional extras none

Buying Information

Warranty one year RTB
Price £326

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