A couple months back I got a Samsung NC10 Netbook. I had been on the fence for a long time, trying to decide among the an Eee PC from Asus, the MSI Wind, and the Samsung NC10. Right about the time I was going to finally do it, the ASUS Eee PC 1000HE was announced. I read a lot of reviews from folks who'd bought those netbooks and eventually settled on the NC10.

The main deciding factors, in order, were: keyboard layout, build quality, ease of upgrade (mine has 2GB RAM and a 320GB disk, twice the standard in both departments), and Linux support.

The MSI Wind was okay in most of those areas, but based on the many reviews I read, the NC10 was a little bit better across the board. So I ruled the MSI Wind out on that alone.

The Eee PC 1000HE had just been announced and would have required waiting a few more weeks. Plus, its keyboard had a few quirks--notably the right shift key being too small and offset. Keyboards are really important to me. It had the advantage of a claimed 9.5 hour battery life vs. the 7-8 claimed on the NC10.

However, I picked the NC10 and couldn't be happier. Running Windows XP, I routinely get 7 hours of battery life with Wifi on and the screen brightness set low (don't need it any higher most of the time). The wireless range is excellent, keyboard feels right, and it's surprisingly snappy.

Building a computer this small and light is really an exercise in design compromises and I thing Samsung nailed it perfectly. I've traveled with it a few times and used it all day at the MySQL Conference without having to worry about being near power outlets.

The 2GB RAM is more than enough for anything I'm likely to throw at the Atom processor and 320GB is enough space for all my music, pictures, and pretty much everything except my extensive video collection.

I use the NC10 a bit day to day. I think of it as a "couch computer" in addition to use in travel and at a conference. But I've also hooked it up to a HDTV to show off pictures to family and that worked just as well. I could easily see doing a day's worth of work on it with an external monitor and mouse.

A couple weeks ago, I grabbed the latest Ubuntu Netbook Remix (UNR) and booted the NC10 off a USB stick to see how it worked. Much to my surprise, it seems that everything worked well without any tweaking. I'll probably stick with XP for now, but it's good to see that Ubuntu would work for me too.

If I was looking to buy now, I'd look really hard at the Samsung NC10, ASUS Eee PC 1000HE, and the Samsung NC20 (the 12" model).

Posted by jzawodn at May 02, 2009 09:26 AM

Reader Comments
# Adrien said:

Hey !! I also got a NC10 a couple of months ago !! Naturally I also love it, I can do everything I want and is really really useful and... mobile !!! I take it everywhere I go !!

Even Oracle's running on it =D

on May 2, 2009 11:29 AM
# Joe Zawodny said:

I got the MSI Wind with 6-cell battery, BT and 802.11n. I use it primarily in the observatory and am quite happy with it. Also upped it to 2GB and 7200rpm 320GB HD. I like that I can overclock it with the push of a button. I do think the keyboard on the NC10 is better with the large punctuation keys and the relocated arrow keys, but I'm not a touch typist and can't see much in the dark observatory anyway. I observatory programs I run concurrently do use the available CPU and I/O bandwidth for time critical instrument control. No problems noted yet and am thinking about adding yet another concurrent task to the mix next time we get a clear night. I'm quite happy with these netbooks. They are a good idea and am not surprised that they are selling well.

on May 2, 2009 02:47 PM
# Chuck said:

Have been using a eee 1000 for several months with the Ubuntu Remix OS. 6 Cell battery lasts about 5 hours. 10 inch screen allows for 1024x600 screen. And I use the Littlefox theme for Firefox to make browsing a little more bearable. Netbooks rock!

on May 2, 2009 03:16 PM
# Duncan said:

Probably a good choice to go with the NC10. I got an eee1000 and am constantly aggravated by the size and location of the right shift key. I almost always end up hitting the "up arrow" key instead which is extremely annoying.

I also got a Dell Mini 9 and enjoy that much more than the eee1000.

on May 4, 2009 05:51 AM
# said:

I got a Acer Aspire One for travel, 1GB RAM and a SSD (Flash disk); it was only $239. The disk is a bit slow, but it's indestructible which is good for travel. Last week I replaced the stock Linpus with the new Ubuntu 9.04 netbook remix and everything works very nicely. It turns out to be surprisingly tolerable to do python development work on it, especially commuting on the train. I'd like more battery life, but at this price, I'll deal with it.

on May 5, 2009 06:04 AM
# Canvas Paintings said:

I have been meaning to get one of these really small notebooks, but I am worried that it may be too small. The smallest one I have had was the 12.1" screen Dell 700m which is not discontinued.

on May 5, 2009 04:33 PM
# Florida Retirement Living said:

I also wish to have one. Hopefully in my birthday next week, someone would give as a present birthday gift to me.
Paging my dear husband, can you hear me? Lol

on May 8, 2009 03:05 AM
# Monica said:

I have the NC10, purchased back in February, and I love it! Was just searching for a good chili recipe and found your web site and then the link to your NC10 blog. Enjoy!

on June 13, 2009 11:06 AM
# Samsung said:

Well The Samsung mobile phone company provides latest handsets for their user through which all the handset are low in price and every one can use it.

on June 16, 2009 01:43 AM
# JD said:

This clears my thoughts now. I'm going to buy a nc10, I'll be choosing netbook over a laptop because of my lightwork. I've seen several people in my place wasted their money because they opt to choose a laptop for internet browsing only.

on June 18, 2009 08:48 AM
# Tim said:

I have an NC10 and also agree that it is a great machine. Battery life is supurb and screen and keyboard are great. Is it now being phased out though? Perhaps in preference to the N310? ....and what of the NC10 3G?

on June 25, 2009 02:02 PM
# said:

I love my new Samsung NC10. It completely changed my opinion about netbooks. They aren't just handy gadgets! They rule!

on July 1, 2009 02:12 AM
# Katie said:

I recently got my NC10. I love it! It was easy to upgrade, and it's great for checking email, and portable writing. The keyboard was the real selling attribute for me; I use the left shift key.

on July 12, 2009 01:20 PM
# nusret said:

thanks for article very

on August 2, 2009 03:45 PM
# GuillaumeB said:

I got a NC10 as well and played with UNR and ubuntu 9.04. My main problem was that the screen was way too dark even when setting the brightness at the highest level.
It's pretty easy to hackintosh the NC10 as well

But then i'm back on XP cause Samsung has developed a very good battery manager for Windows.

on August 29, 2009 07:31 AM
# said:

I love these little net books. If you get one get a case for it, not just a regular case but one designed to fit the netbook securely, they're made to go with you so let them ride in style!

on October 12, 2009 05:02 PM
# Neil Satterly said:

The NC10 is great but it DOES NOT work with the Samsung SE-S084 DVD writer player. I was getting messages about needing to upgrading Nero to hear the audio but now it won't even play teh video. Messages say that I need another video driver. Wish I knew about this before buying.

on June 12, 2010 07:51 PM
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