The result is the N140 made a decent fist of 1080p QuickTime files which, while not playing back with complete smoothness, was still entirely watchable. Media playback is further enhanced by the N140 having 1.5W stereo speakers in the front corners of the chassis, rather than a mono unit tucked away in its bowels as per the N130. Another advantage the N140 enjoys over the N130 is it has the same Realtek HD Audio Manager software complete with SRS surround sound effects as the N120. The sound output is impressive and fine for movies but, unsurprisingly, a bit thin for music.
A well-equipped, good all-rounder
In battery tests, the N140 lasted for 4 hours 38 minutes. That's 13 minutes less than the N110 managed with an identical capacity battery pack, but still translates into an easy six hours of average use on a full charge. The actual best we managed was 6 hours 35 minutes with the screen brightness at 65 per cent and the Wi-Fi radio on, but if you turned the wick all the way down, eight hours might not be out of the question.
At the moment the N130 can be picked up for around £250 compared to the N140's £315. Is £65 worth it for a more modern OS, larger battery and more roomy hard drive? On balance, probably. If Samsung took the plunge and shipped the N130 with a Linux OS for around two hundred quid, then that would be a harder question to answer. Perhaps more importantly – if the prices we found on several major retailer web-sites are anything to go by – the N140 isn't noticeably more expensive than the old NC10 and that makes it a bit of a bargain, at least for a Samsung.
At last Samsung have just gone ahead and replaced the NC10 with something better, rather than try to cook up yet another endless variation on the theme. The N140 takes all the good bits of the NC10 but adds a larger HDD, a bigger battery and a more modern operating system and some other bits and bobs like draft-n Wi-Fi and stereo speakers and then squeezes them all into a slightly smaller and lighter package but without much of an increase in price. That's a bit of a result if you ask us. ®
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But is it worth an upgrade?
I own an NC10 and adore it but it does struggle with playing movies at times and the sound from that mono speaker is pretty weedy, but that aside it does everything I could ask it to do and everything I would realistically expect from a netbook.
All these Samsung models, is it actually worth upgrading to any of them if you already have a perfect good NC10?
My point was more on the lines of "if they can't produce something better almost a year later, why isn't the price falling"... It seems to be the opposite, actually?
... with the positive comments about the NC10 and what you can make it capable of with the right software codecs. I've even used it to crunch through a couple of hundred thousand records in a complex Access query and to be honest, it surprised me that it didn't fall on it's ass right away let alone actually complete the job. Slowly, but it did it.
Really made me evaluate exactly what I'm paying for with high end PC's/laptops and what I'm convincing myself i'm using them for. Christ it survived two drops onto a hard surface off of a dinning table with a scratch!
I do agree that Samsung missed a trick not levering more resolution and a 3G slot into this update. Especially as they aren't spec'ing under the XP restrictions and clearly profits have come first with this machine.
But, when my (well, my wife's now, who am I kidding?!), NC10 goes pop the latest Samsung equivalent will be the first thing I'll go for. Be it this or something in five years.
Love my NC10...
...which by the way runs Win7 with similar performance to XP, even with all the Aero bells and whistles turned on, so not sure why the N140 seems to struggle.
Tempted by the better battery life, but baffled as to the webcam downgrade, and it's a shame the nice blue power button on the hinge end is gone. Think I'll be waiting for Samsung to produce a true NC10 replacement...
Its a fair cop guv. The NC10 does indeed have two 1w stereo speakers rather than one, though the extra power and larger, forward facing speaker grilles of the N140 do still give it an edge in the sound stakes. The N130 definitely only has the the one speaker.
@ J3 - that is why the Eee 1000HE got 90% and an Editor's Choice award.