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Samsung NS310 review

Unimpressive battery life tarnishes a real looker of a netbook

Our Verdict

Product features

  • Screen Resolution : 1024 x 600
  • Processor Core : Dual-core (2 Core)

View full specification

For

  • Stylish design
  • Good screen
  • Portability

Against

  • Battery life
  • Performance

Although the Samsung NS310 is better looking than its sibling, the NC110, the build quality and usability aren't quite as good.

When looking at netbooks we rate battery life as one of the most important features and, unfortunately, the NS310 isn't up to scratch here, either. These niggles are a shame because the machine itself looks fantastic.

However we'd have to recommend giving this handsome devil a swerve in favour of the plainer NC110. From the outside, the clamshell-like design is a real head-turner. The bright colour scheme also looks fantastic. Our review unit was a rich azure blue, but if that's not to your taste the NS310 is also available in other striking colours.

Opening up the netbook reveals a completely black interior with a thick bezel around the screen. Because of the curving design, there's less room for the isolation-style keyboard to stretch out. Typing feels a bit constricted, and this isn't helped by a lack of space for your wrists, perched between the chassis and thin air.

The keys themselves are nicely-sized and weighted although there's very little travel when typing. The touchpad is large, responsive and occupies a central position, but there's no textured surface to differentiate it from the palm rest.

Wide viewing angle

The 10-inch screen is bright and offers you a wide viewing angle – although the large bezel is very noticeable. However, while the screen on the NS310 is perfectly acceptable for watching movies or browsing the web, you'll be hard pushed to do so on the move, thanks to the puny battery life.

We managed to get only 120 minutes from this netbook, while the NC110 managed 259 minutes from the same test. You could make the battery last longer by adjusting some of the settings, but it's still a feeble result for a netbook – a device that's meant to be portable.

It's not as if the NS310 is asking much from the battery in terms of performance, either. The 1GB memory and Intel Atom N550 processor is identical to what we've seen on other netbooks and ran Windows 7 Starter without a hitch.

As with all netbooks, graphics aren't in the equation and running complex programs like Premier Pro or Dreamweaver won't be possible.

TechRadar Labs

tech labs

Battery Eater '05: 120 minutes
Cinebench: 1460
3DMark 2006: 131

As a netbook, the NS310 doesn't have an optical drive. If you want to install programs, you'll have to rely on the internet, a USB key or buying an external DVD drive. However, you will find three USB ports for peripherals as well as a VGA port for connecting to an external monitor and an SD card slot for expanding on the 120GB of internal storage.

Even though the NS310 is a decent looking netbook, it can't compete against the NC110 in terms of performance. The lower battery life is a deal-breaker and we would recommend avoiding this netbook in favour of its brother.

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Tech Specs

Product TypeNetbook
Green CompliantYes
Hard Drive Capacity250 GB
Processor ManufacturerIntel
Graphics Controller ManufacturerIntel
Graphics Controller ModelGMA 3150
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
Optical Drive TypeNo
Graphics Memory AccessibilityShared
WebcamYes
Backlight TechnologyLED
Product FamilyNS
Operating System Architecture32-bit
Keyboard BacklightYes
Processor ModelN550
Operating SystemWindows 7 Starter
Brand NameSamsung
Processor Speed1.50 GHz
Processor TypeAtom
Screen Size25.7 cm (10.1")
Number of Cells3-cell
Screen Resolution1024 x 600
Standard Memory1 GB
Weight (Approximate)1.06 kg
Cache1 MB
Processor CoreDual-core (2 Core)
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityWEEE
64-bit ProcessingYes
Chipset ManufacturerIntel
Chipset ModelNM10 Express
Number of Total Memory Slots1
Display Screen TypeActive Matrix TFT Colour LCD
Display Screen TechnologySuperBright
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11b/g/n
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 3.0
Ethernet TechnologyFast Ethernet
Total Number of USB Ports3
Height25 mm
Width266 mm
Depth186 mm
Screen ModeWSVGA
Memory TechnologyDDR3 SDRAM
Product SeriesNS
ManufacturerSamsung
Product ModelNS310
Product NameNS310 Netbook
Aspect Ratio128:75
Manufacturer Part NumberNP-NS310-A02UK
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.samsung.com/uk/
Marketing Information

Is it an ultra mobile computer - or a high fashion accessory? With an exclusive designer look and power packed performance the Samsung netbook NS310 is both! Its smooth and elegantly rounded casing makes a real impact with a choice of vivid blue and red wine high gloss finishes that simply demand attention. The premium finish continues on the inside, where a flat window display seamlessly delivers an enhanced viewing experience - especially as its 300nit brightness is 50% brighter than conventional displays and provides crisp images and exceptional color clarity when viewing movies or pictures. It also sports a powerful Intel Atom N550 (Dual Core) Processor and genuine Windows 7 Starter. Add in a range of features designed to simplify life on the move, like effortless wireless connectivity to any available network and it really is possible to look good anywhere!

Package Contents
  • NS310 Netbook
  • Standard Battery
  • AC Adapter
Limited Warranty1 Year