The 10.1in, 1024 x 600 screen is a good one. It’s bright and neutral, and in these days of irritating, glossy panels it’s refreshing to note a matte finish, which means you can comfortably work without being distracted by what’s going on behind you or the glare of reflected light.
A slight irritation is that it doesn’t open very far: only to around 100°, which felt too shallow on the desks I tried it on. Being able to tilt it back further would allow for more comfortable viewing.
The lids come in many colours
It's otherwise a comfortable laptop. The price might be bargain basement but there’s a solid feel to the base, which in turn makes the small chiclet keyboard pleasant for rattling out emails. The small keys take a little getting used to, but they’re raised prominently from the base and you’ll forget about them after a few hours.
Elsewhere, Samsung keeps life simple, which is fair enough on such a cheap machine. Gigabit Ethernet is eschewed in favour of a mere 10/100Mb/s port, while VGA gets the nod over an arguably more useful digital standards such as DVI, HDMI or DisplayPort. There’s a handy SD card slot in the front of the machine, but no hardware switch for turning wireless on and off.
It’s easy to see the NC110 as indicative of the netbook’s path over the next few years. The amount of power on tap has slowly increased, the price has gently declined, but neither is really moving fast enough, to say nothing of the dire lack of innovation.
The NC110’s battery is a definite high-point, and for those who simply want an all-day machine that will handle gentle tasks reasonably well, it’s a decent deal, particularly at its current street price of £280. But would it kill netbook designers to come up with something inspired? ®
More Netbook Reviews
Samsung NC110 matte-screen netbook
I welcome return to proper Matt screen. Like we had nearly 10 years ago. Shiny on a screen is stupid. For YEARS people researched how to make screens Matt.
I think Matte may refer to photographic and cinema Masking? Unless El Reg has relocated.
* Matte (filmmaking), film and video technology
* Matte painting, a process of creating sets used in film and video
* Matte box, a camera accessory for controlling lens glare
* Open matte, a filming technique that involves matting out the top and bottom of the film frame in the movie projector
Matt: In British English, of a surface: having a non-glossy finish
Matte: In American English, of a surface: having a non-glossy finish
Anyway a glossy screen gives headaches due to eye re-focusing automatically on any moving reflection. Alleviated by careful position of desk etc. A Matt screen may not look so pretty in showroom, but is less distracting and less tiring. I suspect the glossy screens came in because they are cheaper and look prettier. For a tablet a glossy screen also shows up fingerprints worse than Matt. Matt is superior in brightly lit environments and outdoors.
Anyone remember the high contrast ultra-matt Victor 9000 / Sirius1 screen (done by a very fine nylon matt black mesh probably) compared to Shiny Goldfish bowl screens on all other Monitors? It was nearly 15 years before CRT colour monitors caught up (can't use mesh as it's not fine enough and you get moire fringing with mask/slots)
Otherwise nothing special on this netbook?
I hope the Matt no-gloss screen sets a trend.
Can we go back to 1200 lines/pixels (or better) instead of 1080 or lower please for those of us that want to read PDFs and Word DOCs and DTP layout "page at a time". Maybe even option for 4:3 screen and not WS. Some people actually use Laptop for working, not watching Video.
1G RAM is plenty for a netbook with a decent OS. You didn't buy it to run 5 server images or play a high end game?
Maybe it's just me, but if there was an edge-to-edge 7" netbook, it would fit in a jacket pocket. Am I the only one who thinks that would be VERY convenient?
"...the price has gently declined..."
No it hasn't.
The range for a netbook has always been between £175 and £329. It hasn't changed a bit in two years or more.
Given you can get the Packard Bell DOT-SE-911 from John Lewis for £229, and as far as I can see it's the same spec, this is just a basic machine at a silly price.
I was honestly expecting a machine like this to be £150 by now. But no-one wants to sell machines that cheap - they'd rather price netbooks too high, then say "no-one wants them" - so they can concentrate on making bloody tablets that loads of people don't actually want.
Re. "...the price has gently declined..."
>making bloody tablets that loads of people don't actually want
But want to be seen with.
On the whole I agree with your post netbooks are in general overpriced, 250 should be the absolute top, 300+ is a no buy.
That was the first thought I had too.
Clearly we've been on the internets for too long.
Anyway, it annoys me that the author of the article says that netbooks arn't doing anything new and different whilst simultaneously not reviewing any netbooks that are.