Performance aside, Samsung continues its trend of using matte displays as opposed to the eye-catching - and, of course, reflection-catching - versions found on most netbooks and laptops. While this 10.1in screen lacks the vibrancy of its glossy cousins, it’s no slouch in terms of brightness; crank this beauty up to full whack in a dark room and you’ll be reaching for your sunglasses. It also performs very well outside, even on bright, sunny days.
Well-spaced, responsive keys make for an excellent typing experience
Wireless in the form of 802.11n is provided courtesy of a Broadcom adapter, while Bluetooth 3.0 also makes its way onto the spec sheet. Samsung hasn’t managed to include any USB 3.0 ports, but the three USB 2.0 versions should keep most users happy. Storage is also well-catered for, with a 250GB drive spinning at 5400pm.
The N350 manages to run at a whisper most of the time, and I didn’t notice any uncomfortable hotspots during extended sessions. Like most netbooks, though, it’s not best suited to upgrades. As mentioned earlier, getting at the memory is no problem, but the wireless card and hard drive are well hidden – I tried removing all visible screws, but belly of the chassis wouldn’t budge.
Despite the N350’s terrific display, excellent keyboard and overall decent design, it’s simply too expensive. Sure, it’s nice to know you’ve got a dual-core processor beating away inside, but I get the feeling most people would prefer the price cut offered by single-core models. Furthermore, unless you’re running a benchmark you’re very unlikely to notice any boost in performance.
Then there’s the disappointment of the low-capacity battery. In my mind, the very nature of netbooks means decent battery life is a must. After all, why have a highly portable computer that can only manage a few hours away from a power socket? What’s more, Asus’ similarly-specced 1015PEM is on sale at roughly the same price yet lasts nearly two hours longer in the same test. The only consolation is that the N350’s small battery makes for a thin and light netbook.
Next page: Benchmark Tests
Any chance of firing it up with a bootable USB of the latest Ubuntu to see if it is fully functional out of the box, or whether we'd need to go and find any drivers for it?
Why have the netbook manufacturers deserted SSDs?
I would love something like this (better battery though) and would prefer just 20GB SSD than 250GB disk.
I don't want to carry around all that info/data/entertainment on a netbook - I have no need for it (it's just more to manage/lose)
I appreciate others might want more capacity, that's OK I've no problem with that :-)
Why are there no new(ish) netbooks which come without Windows and with an SSD?
Not enough demand for such?
Think i'll wait for an android tablet instead :-(
Make 'em cheaper
The Netbook was meant to represent the gateway to sub £200 computing (or at least net access) so to my mind any offering which can't come close to that price point is not a netbook, just an underpowered Laptop.
Seconded on battery life, the biggest problem with my Acer Aspire A110 is that battery life is a poor.
Having used an EeePC 1000 for a couple of years now I am certain that the most important feature in machines of this class is battery life. Processing power, memory etc. are more than adequate for typical netbook purposes. So the N350 is a mistake : for £350 I would expect significantly higher battery life, a higher res screen and a DVD drive. I wouldn't pay more than £200 for it as it stands.
Dual core good
Battery life - bad but not terrible
Hard drive instead of solid-state storage - lame.
Apart from the new processor, things really haven't progressed much since the eee901, nor have the prices dropped.
I don't care if you're in the "make 'em cheaper" or the "make 'em faster" camp, some real progress on either of those fronts would be good!