Sit with sunlight directly behind you and you'll still see some reflected back in the screen, but it's much less pronounced and not so distracting. The downside, however, is that colours are a little muted compared to those you see on a glossy screen. The customary webcam - 1.3Mp in this case - sits above the display.
Style-wise, the NC10's a bit of a looker. The lid is finished off in glossy piano-black plastic and there's a shiny metallic silver stripe running down the sides and across the front of the machine. The downside of all these reflective surfaces is that greasy fingerprints soon spoil the sheen. If black isn't your thing, the NC10 is also available in blue and in white.
It's footprint stretches to 261 x 186mm and it's 40mm thick at the back when closed, tapering down to 30mm at the front. It weighs in at a travel-friendly 1.3kg.
As you'd expect from a machine this size and weight, it's powered by the now netbook-standard 1.6GHz Intel Atom N270 processor with 1GB of DDR 2 memory. While many manufacturers have opted for solid-state drives, Samsung has stuck with traditional spinning disks - it may make it more susceptible to bumps and bashes, but you do get a hefty 160GB of space to store your files.
Wireless data runs to 802.11b/g and Bluetooth - there's no 3G built in so you'll need to stay within Wi-Fi coverage or resort to dongles if you're out and about a lot and need to stay in constant internet contact.
The trackpad could be better...
The three USB ports are split between both sides of the machine - two to the left, one to the right - providing plenty of flexibility to position peripherals. The left-hand edge also houses the wired 10/100Mb/s Ethernet port and power connector, while over on right you'll find 3.5mm headphone and microphone sockets plus VGA. The front edge is home to the various blue status LEDs to the left, with an SD card slot situated over on the right.
Good but some small problems
I have one and like it, although I was never intending to use it just as a 'netbook'. I installed Office 2007 on it (via a USB stick), and it works okay. But editing large documents is a hassle with its slow processor, small screen, annoying touchpad and also because you have to use the Function key to get 'Home' or 'End', buttons I use a lot. I can think of better compromises they could have made with the keyboard (e.g. personally I rarely use the function keys) but I guess that's a matter of personal preference.
There's one other compromise they've made - the sound is terrible, whether you use the built-in or external speakers or headphones. Shame because it could double up as a great little music and video player.
I thought everyone used it with trackball mode? I guess some people just can't read manuals. I've used the multi-touch a few times, only downside is i'm clearly don't have the dexterity to zoom in/out smoothly.
Anybody know if I can get some gizmo to enable me to run it off the cigarette lighter socket in a car?
I've owned an NC10 since early December. Only three complaints, all livable. The first is the touchpad/clickers. Agreed, the pad is too small. I don't agree it could not have been made (even a little) bigger. Seems there could be another 10-20% they could've squeaked out. The left and right clickers should also have been designed as separate pieces. This issue, however, is solved with a wireless mouse; and the mini-dongled Logitech I bought is about perfect.
The second issue is build quality. It's really not bad at all, but, with a couple of very small changes, the NC10 would come off much better. The outside surface of the lid/screen could be tied down a bit better near the hinge side. It flexes when you pick it up leaving a less-than-solid impression. Mold another attach point, or two, and that's done. The next is the execution of the chrome around the side. Upon closer inspection, it looks cheap. It's more fit, than finish.
And, lastly, the edge where you place your wrists (while gleefully touch-typing) could be more rounded for a more modern look, as well as better comfort.
The NC10 is so good otherwise, these things actually rise to the level of an issue. Great battery life, great keyboard, excellent storage, speedy enough (specially with 2GB) and very accommodating to a lifestyle of mobility and travel. No regrets after over two months of daily use.
I've got myself one of those shortly after they became available in the UK and I've been dead chuffed. Battery life nothing short of amazing, screen is brilliant, keyboard is fantastic, and it's got enough oomph to play back full screen video.
I'd be happy to do web dev work on this machine for extended periods. In short, it's nothing short of amazing, especially for the price.
As for the trackpad (it's a Synaptic one) - yes it's small, but that's not a problem: switch it to "Trackball mode", and out of the sudden size doesn't matter anymore. Besides, why didn't the review mention that it supports multitouch gestures - I would have thought that it's an important feature... You can, for example, zoom web pages in Firefox and IE7 using the familiar "Mac-style" pinch gestures, and scroll using a circular gesture. I wish my full-blown laptop supported these...