Samsung N220 Pine Trail Netbook

Complete|Mobile Systems
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Audio Recordings

  • Samsung N220 at 0.6m
    — idle (14~15 dBA)
    — during Xvid playback (16 dBA)
    — CPU load, CPU + GPU load (17~18 dBA)

Comparable System sound files:

  • Gateway EC1803h at 0.6m
    — fan off (18 dBA)
    — fan set to low (20 dBA)
    — idle (24 dBA)
    — during Xvid playback (26 dBA)
    — during x264 playback, CPU load, CPU + GPU load (29 dBA)

FINAL THOUGHTS

In the end Pine Trail delivers more or less what we expected in a netbook. The Samsung N220's battery lasted about 8.5 hours when surfing the web, slightly better than the Asus 1005HA. When playing Xvid video, it stayed alive for a tremendous 8 hours flat, 1.5 hours better than the 1005HA. It seems the more stress you put on it, the longer it lasts compared to the competition. The machine also runs fairly cool and is easily the quietest mobile PC we've ever tested, measuring only 14~15 dBA@0.6m when idle, and 17~18 dBA@0.6m at full load. Furthermore, the N220 is solidly constructed, which is rare for a netbook these days, and features an exemplary screen with a matte finish.

It is still a netbook though, so it suffers from all the problems about which netbook haters love to complain. It is of course small and light, being just over 1 inch thick and just under 3 pounds, but its keyboard and LCD are small too. The screen's resolution is low, and with no digital video output, nor hardware acceleration for high definition video, it is best suited for playing standard definition material. While Atom is energy efficient, its performance is anemic; the hardware is only suitable for basic tasks. The choice of operation system compounds this a bit as well — Windows 7 Starter is a bigger resource hog than XP.

The Samsung N220 retails for about US$400, which is high for a 10" netbook. They are considered commodities by many, so Samsung may have trouble getting takers at that price. Alternatives include the US$300 Asus Eee PC 1001P, which sports similar specifications with the exception of 802.11n. The US$320 Gateway LT21 series and Acer AO532h are comparable models as well, only lacking Bluetooth. If long battery life is not essential, US$400 can get you a much more capable 11.6" single core CULV system like the Acer Aspire AS1410 or the Gateway EC1805U, the US version of the Gateway EC1803h.

Our thanks to Samsung for N220 sample.

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Articles of Related Interest

Asus UL30A & Lenovo ThinkPad Edge 13 CULV Notebooks
Asus UL80Vt: A CULV Laptop with Hybrid Graphics
Gateway EC1803h: Netbook or Ultra-portable?
Asus Eee PC Seashell 1005HA netbook
Intel D510M0 Motherboard: Atom 2.0

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Discuss this article in the SPCR forums.



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