Samsung N120 review

£357
Price when reviewed

Once upon a time Samsung’s netbook line-up was gloriously simple. With just the NC10 and NC20 to choose from, it was a welcome departure from the never-ending sprawl of Asus’ Eee PC range.

Samsung N120 review

Now, however, Samsung has decided to complicate matters. Indeed, looking at the N120’s specifications won’t help you work out how it differs from the other members of Samsung’s N-series.

It shares the same Intel N270 processor, 1GB of memory, 160GB hard disk and 5,900mAh battery as the N110. You have to look at it closely before you see any variation. It’s slightly bigger, not quite as pretty and, due to the increased size, a little more creaky than its more compact siblings.

While the N110 is a rather stylish affair, the N120 marks a halfway house between it and the previous NC generation. There’s no glossy lid or funky red strips here; instead, the N120 is finished top-to-tail in a plain-looking matte off-white.

It’s a little wider and heavier, too, weighing in at 1.29kg and with an extra 13mm added to its waist. But while it might occupy a little more room in a bag, Samsung has made good use of the extra space by shoehorning in the keyboard from the larger NC20 and building in speakers either side of the 10.2in display.

The keyboard is just as brilliant as the NC20’s too. We’d like to see the Start key move back to the left side of the Spacebar, but given the overall quality and feel, it isn’t a major issue.

The N120 does little wrong. Just short of ten hours of light use battery life is more than ample, and the bright, glossy display is free from any serious problems. It’s greatest flaw, though, is that both the NC10 and N110 are better, cheaper all-rounders.

Warranty

Warranty 1yr collect and return

Physical specifications

Dimensions 273 x 189 x 38mm (WDH)
Weight 1.290kg
Travelling weight 1.6kg

Processor and memory

Processor Intel Atom N270
RAM capacity 1.00GB
Memory type DDR2
SODIMM sockets free 0
SODIMM sockets total 1

Screen and video

Screen size 10.1in
Resolution screen horizontal 1,024
Resolution screen vertical 600
Resolution 1024 x 600
Graphics chipset Intel GMA 950
VGA (D-SUB) outputs 1
HDMI outputs 0
S-Video outputs 0
DVI-I outputs 0
DVI-D outputs 0
DisplayPort outputs 0

Drives

Capacity 160GB
Hard disk usable capacity 149GB
Spindle speed 5,400RPM
Internal disk interface SATA
Optical disc technology N/A
Optical drive N/A
Battery capacity 5,900mAh
Replacement battery price ex VAT £106
Replacement battery price inc VAT £122

Networking

Wired adapter speed 100Mbits/sec
802.11a support no
802.11b support yes
802.11g support yes
802.11 draft-n support no
Integrated 3G adapter no
Bluetooth support yes

Other Features

Wireless hardware on/off switch no
Wireless key-combination switch yes
Modem no
ExpressCard34 slots 0
ExpressCard54 slots 0
PC Card slots 0
USB ports (downstream) 3
PS/2 mouse port no
9-pin serial ports 0
Parallel ports 0
Optical S/PDIF audio output ports 0
Electrical S/PDIF audio ports 0
3.5mm audio jacks 2
SD card reader yes
Memory Stick reader no
MMC (multimedia card) reader yes
Smart Media reader no
Compact Flash reader no
xD-card reader no
Pointing device type Touchpad
Integrated microphone? yes
Integrated webcam? yes
Camera megapixel rating 1.3mp
TPM no
Fingerprint reader no
Smartcard reader no

Battery and performance tests

Battery life, light use 9hr 59min
Overall application benchmark score 0.42

Operating system and software

Operating system Windows XP Home
OS family Windows XP
Software supplied Samsung Recovery Solution III

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