Samsung N510 Nvidia Ion-based netbook
Decent HD performance in a mini-laptop at last?
Samsung has also done a good job of integrating the substantial six-cell battery pack into the design. Dell could learn a thing or two from Samsung in this respect.
The six-cell battery doesn't bloat this netbook...
In a reversion to its origin-of-species NC10, Samsung has fitted the N510 with a matte finish backlit display. As always, opinion will de divided on this issue - glossy screens are better for watching video while matte screens are less reflective. It's a case of six of one and half a dozen of the other.
Surface effect aside, the screen is fine bit of engineering looking every bit as bright, crisp and colourful as you could hope for. And it sure beats a 1024 x 600 display for room to manoeuvre.
...whichever way you look at it
Samsung hasn't re-written any rulebooks with the 510's keyboard and touchpad, both of which look and feel the same as those fitted to the N120. That's absolutely not a problem as we liked the N120's keyboard a lot. In fact, it's one of the best you will find on a netbook of any size or shape. One thing
Samsung does seem to have refined is the action of the one-piece touchpad button, which now has a superbly smooth and perfectly damped action. The touchpad doesn't do multi-touch, though.
Now to something more important: that integrated Nvidia graphics core has quite an impact on the N510's ability to render HD video. To get the full benefit of high definition video, you need a media player that can take advantage of GPU-accelerated video playback. Samsung includes just such a thing in the form of Cyberlink's Power DVD 8, but if you don't fancy that then Media Player Classic Home Cinema is another option with rather broader codec support.