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Samsung NS310 review

Barry de la Rosa
27 Jul 2011
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
350
inc VAT

A beautifully designed netbook, but battery life isn't great. The NC110 is a better choice for £70 less

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Specifications

10.1 in 1,024x600 display, 1.3kg, 1.5GHz Intel Atom N550, 1.00GB RAM, 320GB disk, Windows 7 Starter 32-bit

Despite the fact that tablets are gaining ground as alternatives to netbooks, Samsung is still releasing new models. The NS310 is a stunning example. It’s a clamshell design that’s incredibly thin, with beautifully rounded edges and a smart metallic paint job. Inside is the usual netbook specification: a dual-core Intel Atom N550 processor running at 1.5GHz, along with 1GB of RAM and a generous 320GB hard disk.

Samsung NS310 left ports

Although it’s a dual-core processor and also supports Hyper-Threading, the N550 still isn’t very fast, as an overall score of 13 demonstrates. It handles multiple applications better than earlier single-core Atoms, but with only 1GB of RAM you’ll soon run out of memory if you open too many browser tabs or documents. The integrated Intel GMA 3150 graphics chipset isn’t much better: it can play HD videos from YouTube, but struggled with HD shows on BBC's iPlayer; 3D games are out of the question.

Samsung NS310

Of course, it's almost a moot point as the 10.1in screen has a measly 1,024x600 resolution. This is barely enough room for a single application, and you may find some Windows dialogue boxes don’t fit into the available vertical space. The lack of vertical resolution is also frustrating for web browsing and document editing.

There's another problem, too. Although the NS310 slightly lighter than the NC110 it has a runt of a battery that lasted just four and a half hours in our light-use test - almost half as long as the NC110's. The NS310 is far more stylish, as long as you don’t find the large, capitalised Samsung logo too crass.

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