May 16, 2011
- Attractive design
- Comfortable keyboard
- Above average battery life
- Mediocre performance
- Narrow mouse button
The Samsung NC110-A01 is a netbook that's extremely portable, has a really attractive design and a nice keyboard. It also has a decent set of ports and long battery life, but it lacks in performance.
The Samsung NC110-A01 comes in two different colors: black and blue. Our review unit was black and it has a glossy lid that shows lots of fingerprints and smudges, but the include has a sleek-looking matte finish. In total, it measures 10.4 x 1.37 x 7.4-inches (whd) and weighs about 2.75-pounds, which is about average for netbooks and as a result, it's extremely portable. On the bottom, there is a rather large "bump" for the battery, which tilts the whole computer forward.
The 10.1-inch WSVGA LED-backlit display has a native resolution of 1024 x 600-pixels, which is exactly what the previous Samsung NC10 netbook had. We did notice that the viewing angles with this netbook were not as wide as we would've wanted to see, which limits more than one person comfortably using the computer. The screen did have good color depth and also had good levels of brightness.
The island-style keyboard was very comfortable and easy to use. The keys were all adequately spaced and allowed for even the speediest of typists to use it. The touchpad is also adequately sized and has multitouch capabilities. However, the single bar button under the touchpad is rather thin, so that posed an issues at times. The touchpad has a little chrome accent around the edges, which helps its visual appeal.
In terms of connectivity, the Samsung NC110-A01 has a VGA output, two USB 2.0 ports and headphone/microphone jacks on the right side. The left side has another USB 2.0 port and an Ethernet jack. One of the USB ports is the convenient sleep & charge port, which lets you charge a USB device while the computer is off or asleep. On the front face, there is an SD card reader and when a card is inserted, it sits flush with the front of the computer so it doesn't awkwardly stick out.
Internal specifications include an Intel Atom N455 (1.66GHz) single-core CPU, 1GB of RAM, a 250GB hard drive and Intel GMA 3150 integrated graphics. There's also 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth wireless connectivity. Samsung includes Microsoft Windows 7 Starter Edition as the operating system.
With the as-is configuration, performance is not as good as we would've hoped to see from this type of netbook. The single-core Atom processor isn't helped any by the mediocre 1GB of RAM, so we strongly recommend upgrading it to the maximum supported 2GB.
When using the computer for basic computing tasks, like having one or two tabs open in Mozilla Firefox and Microsoft Word open at the same time, the Samsung NC110-A01 worked just fine. However when more tabs were opened, we could definitely feel the computer slowing down dramatically. Graphics performance was decent, but only for watching online streaming video. Gaming is definitely out of the question because the graphics are integrated instead of discrete.
Battery life, on the other hand, was a different story in a positive way. We were able to get just over 7 hours of battery life, which is above the average for most other similar netbooks.