Other specs are netbook-level: 320GB Sata hard drive, 10/100Mb/s Ethernet, three USB ports, one of which will power connected devices even when the laptop's off, and VGA. The Wi-Fi is 802.11n, but that's common on netbooks now, as is Bluetooth, though here it's version 3.0, ready for suitable peripherals - I haven't got any, have you? The SD card slot is SDXC-compatible which is good.
HDMI output included
But back to the CPU. Samsung has departed from the norm and chosen AMD's Athlon II Neo K125, a single-core part with 1MB of cache and a 1.7GHz clock speed.
You'll see from the PCMark Vantage numbers what impact this has on benchmark figures, but from a user's perspective, let me say it's a dog. There's nothing inherently wrong with the CPU, but if you've used a dual-core chip, or even an Atom with Intel's HyperThreading on board that makes it look and work a bit like a two-core processor, you will feel the lag.
If you're doing one thing, you'll be fine. But attempt to perform tasks in parallel and you'll quickly notice a lack of response. After a few moments, that window you opened or app you double-clicked upon will appear, but do you really want the wait?
Next page: Benchmark Results
"pouring over reviews online"
What precisely were you "pouring" over them, or don't I want to know?
Or for about the same price...
... you could get the Thinkpad X100e (model NTS5EUK), which has a dual-core AMD processor and comes with an internal 3G modem card, and has a quality keyboard and choice of pointing devices. It looks remarkably similar in layout to the Samsung. But you lose the HDMI port, and the battery life is worse (maybe 2-3 hours tops).
Massive Bezel, Tiny keyboard.
Either the massive bezel has made it bigger than it needs to be, or the keyboard is undersized. But whichever - this is an unoptimal setup and something like the Acer 1551, if it ever becomes available in the UK is a far better bet.
athlon ii neo
I wish you'd gotten a neo review out sooner! After much agonizing (and pouring over reviews online) I just bought an Acer Aspire One with the same processor as this samsung.
On windows it was a DOG, and booting was a chore. I only dealt with that for about five minutes before I slapped ubuntu on there. Normal ubuntu froze on boot, but xubuntu installed fine for me, and it's quite zippy. Booting probably takes around twenty seconds and applications start quickly enough, though you're right in that it's not very good at multitasking. I didn't really buy it for that, though, the most multitasking I'll be doing is listening to music while writing, so it's OK. The video card rocks, though, and can handle anything I throw at it (some fancy compiz effect, mainly, and the occasional game) without problems.
My main question, then, is how does this compare to a single core intel atom processor? That really seems more like the appropriate competitor than a dual core notebook processor.
I find your experience interesting. It is sad to find there are response issues at the level of the user interface.
I wonder could it be the bloat that Samsung loaded the machine with. Ie antivirus software (some as you know are real cpu hogs) and god knows what else.
I can't imagine that much of a slowdown due to a CPU issue solely. My 600 Mhz PIII (1 threaded!) with 512 megs of ram runs xp fine.
If I had that machine, I'd decruft it just to see if it made any difference.