Saturday, April 23, 2011

Review of the Samsung Netbook Model N210

Samsung N210
I bought a Samsung N210 Netbook about a year ago and I love it. I’m an author on the move and really appreciate the very long battery life. I often sit in bed and type while my wife sleeps in beside me. In the dark, the lowest screen brightness setting is plenty bright. Even in daylight, I rarely use more than a 50% brightness setting.

I’m not a trackpad kind of guy so I immediately purchased a folding wireless mouse – which I love.

I’ve done slideshows on my big screen – the netbook plugged into the TV and the mouse on the couch. The system works great.

In all fairness to heavy Internet users, I do not use my netbook much online, but in the limited use it gets, the performance is acceptable. I’ve never seen a wireless laptop / netbook that could compare to the speed of a wired connection, so if I need to do big updates or downloads on my N210, I just plug it directly into my router.

The N210’s processor is a little slower than my Windows XP desktop with 4Gb RAM and a Pentium 4 processor. I recently upgraded my N210’s RAM to 2GB and that sped things up some. I installed Dragon Naturally Speaking 11 on the N210 and it works well, but it is a bit slow. MS Word and Dragon NS running together are real RAM hogs! The best way I’ve found to use Dragon is to record on my Sony IC Recorder, download the Mp3 file onto the N210 and then tell Dragon to transcribe the recording. The transcription process is silent and I can leave the computer to go do something else while it chugs away. The transcription is pretty accurate and I can then compare it to the recording and tweak any errors. The best part of recording my voice is that I can do it nearly anywhere and do not have to carry the computer – even though the computer is not very heavy. In this way, I get more out of my spontaneous thoughts.

Someone asked about how loud the N210’s keyboard is. In response, I visited the four keyboards in my house: my Samsung N210, my Sony Vaio Laptop and my two desktops. The desktop keyboards are two different models made by Microsoft.
What I found: the N210 had the quietest keyboard out of the four I compared. The N210′s keys have a very soft sound, not a distinct clicking, but not perfectly quiet either. As I mentioned earlier, I use the N210 beside my wife while she is sleeping and Diana doesn’t even hear the keyboard. (Diana is not a heavy sleeper.)

I always use a hard surface between the netbook and my lap, so the cooling fan (which I have never heard) isn’t restricted. I’ve been told that one of the fastest ways to wear out a computer is to let them get too hot inside. (My Pentium 4 desktop has lasted well over 5 years now probably because it has an extra cooling fan.)

In conclusion: I got my Samsung N210 to compose words, not to play games or surf the web. So far, the N210 is all I imagined my dream netbook should be. I definitely recommend it. I love the long battery life, the great look of the pure white case, the high resolution screen and the ease of it’s use. The keys are very comfortable to my touch. The only thing I don’t like is that the right ‘shift key’ is not quite in the right place and I had to teach my right pinky to reach out a bit further to activate it. (Good thing I can be taught!)

All in all? The Samsung N210 is fantastic and if I had to buy another netbook, I would get another N210. (And the red model would look very nice beside my white one!)

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