A traditional strength of Samsung netbooks has always been the capacity of the standard batteries and the six-cell, 5900mAh unit stuffed up the N510's derrière proved to be no exception.
The fact the screen is matte with please many buyers
Subject to the traditional Register Hardware pummelling - running a standard definition video at full screen using VLC media player with the brightness and volume turned up to 11 and the Wi-Fi radio switched on - the N510 managed 212 minutes.
That's a fair bit less than you will get from an NC10 with a 5200mAh battery, and a lot less than from an N120, which has the same battery as the N510. But both those machines don't have the Nvidia chippery to drive.
During more realistic day-to-day use, we found it easy enough to get five hours of runtime from a charge. Switch the Wi-Fi radio off, turn the screen brightness down a bit and use the Samsung control panel to snick the CPU into power-saving mode and you can push that number over the six-hour mark without any excessive compromises in performance.
While the N510 ran silent and cool even when the chip was working its socks off, the same cannot be said for the 2.1A charger brick which while small and light takes a fair old while to recharge the battery and gets very hot indeed during the process.
Samsung's netbooks have never been what you would call cheap, but for £380 we think the N510 is significantly better value than the firm's previous netbook efforts. The price isn't noticeably higher than the likes of the N120, but for your money you get a far more capable GPU; a larger, higher resolution screen; 802.11n; and an HDMI port, and those are not features to be sniffed at. ®
More Netbook Reviews...
Why should I watch a 1080p movie on a screen that natively supports only 720p?
Glossy screens FTW
OK, under some circumstances, reflections on glossy screens can be annoying*. However the colour saturation on the glossy screens I have used tends to be much better and that matters to me, particularly for viewing photographs.
I opted for the glossy screen on my MacBook Pro and I'm glad I did. It's the best laptop screen I have ever used.
The ideal situation would be for manufacturers to offer a choice as Apple does. Neither is better, it just depends what you use them for.
* I live in Yorkshire and the sun only shines for a few days each year so it is rarely a problem up here.
Solid performer, no surprises
I bought a N510 to replace my "ageing" but useful little NC10. I wanted ThinkPad build quality, matte screen, solid keyboard and - yes - XP. You can tell I'm over 25. The N510 does not disappoint. The LED screen is bright and pin sharp with significantly more real estate than its predecessor, plus a long haul battery with minimal weight penalty.
Business apps performance is fine and it's nice to be able to plug it into a big telly via HDMI and stream iPlayer.
The only downside was having to spend the first hour removing bloatware. Blimey, I'd hoped those days were over. Other than that, well done Samsung. 9/10.
"It's worth noting that the Ion LE chip only supports DirectX 9, so if you decide to upgrade from XP to Windows 7, you aren't going to see any improvement in graphics performance."
Why would DX11 support improve performance ? DX11 gives you extra effects in games and I doubt the 9400m & Atom are going to be running many DX11 effect in full res games.
Sim card slot?
When are they going to bring out a netbook with a decent screen, decent gfx, decent battery and a build in sim card slot? I'm sure if i put a dongle into one of these it'll snap off within days...