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Samsung NS310 netbook

There's life in the old dog yet

Samsung NS310

Review Will the tablet kill off the netbook? Probably not. Granted the netbook has never quite fulfilled its promise due to a combination of prices that went up with specifications that didn’t. Even so, I’ve yet to find a fondleslab that can truly replace my Windows 7/Ubuntu dual-booting Samsung N140.

Samsung NS310

Lap it up: Samsung's NS310

The latest netbook from Samsung doesn’t address any of the fundamental failings of the breed – at £350 it’s still too expensive and even with a dual-core Intel Atom CPU, it remains a bit gutless. However, it has on-board some interesting new features compared to its predecessor the N310.

The most obvious change is the addition of a backlight to the chiclet keyboard, so it now glows a rather attractive shade of blue in low light. My netbook is usually used of an evening in the subdued light of my lounge or in darkened press conferences, so this is a feature I heartily welcome.

The keyboard itself is rock solid and rather pleasant to type on and I’ve no complaints about the multi-touch trackpad or single-piece click bar – both work a treat. Next up is what Samsung is calling a SuperBright screen. Apparently, it luminesces to the tune of 300nit or candelas per square metre (cd/m2) which sounds bright. It looks bright too.

Samsung NS310

Lights up like an Xmas tree at night – the UK version has a proper Enter key

Turned it up to the maximum and the screen is significantly brighter than that of the N140. Sit in front of it for long enough and you will probably get a tan or become infertile. Sadly, there is nothing super about the rest of the screen’s specification. It's still only 10.1in corner-to-corner and makes do with a 1024 x 600 resolution.

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