When I found out I was going to have to travel with work, my initial thought was ‘oh no, I’m going to have to lug a laptop around with me’. Now, I love laptops, I own a Macbook Black and work on a HP ProBook (albeit with external screens), but much as I love them, some (especially the HP) are more like mobile offices than mobile workstations. Most of the time, that’s great if you are driving between offices and have a nice comfy laptop bag to carry. But, if you are flying or training to your destination and need the minimum of luggage – these large format laptops soon loose their shine. Enter the Netbook.
When I found out I was to be supplied a Netbook, my next thought was ‘oh no, a pretend laptop’. (BTW – not all my thoughts start with ‘oh no’, although it might seem like that. :0) My perception of netbooks was a slow, cut down laptop with limited features and poor build quality – how else would they be able to get to a sub-£300 price point? Soon, I was to eat my words.
Enter the Samsung N145 Plus.
First Impressions. ‘That’s cool!’ Good start. The case is sturdy and doesn’t feel poorly put together. Flip open the lid and there are full-size buttons on the keyboard, trackpad and integrated camera all present. Indicatiors for power, connectivity and disk access (amongst others) glow blue on the front.
Specification. At first glimpse, the spec of a netbook might not impress an experienced laptop user or specification snob. Delve a litle deeper and you find that the combination of a latest generation Intel Atom processor, 1GB RAM standard (upgradable to max. 2GB for about £18 from Crucial UK) and Windows 7 Starter Edition combine well to power the little beastie. Port connectivity is ok and about standard for a netbook – wifi is standard (a, b and n are all available), but no bluetooth. LAN, 3 x USB and SD are all available, as is a VGA connection for external monitor access – should the built-in 10.1″ screen not be enough.
Performance. With the specification as listed above, I must say that the performance is more than acceptable. I have IE9, Firefox 6 and Office 2010 all installed and all run fine on this RAM / processor combo. The screen is well lit, supports good definition (1024 x 600) and is crisp even in strong sunlight. Battery performance is also very good – 9.7 hours promised (see Samsung specs – link below) actually delivers with reasonal amount of use about 7 hours. Still impressive battery figures!
Down Side? There is only 1 slight grumble I have, and this may well be unique to me. I am right-handed, but use IT left-handed. Because of this, the buttons and trackpad seem to be oddly-placed slightly left of centre in the case. Also, both the trackpad buttons are a little difficult to press, being recessed into the case to allow the screen to clip shut flush to the bottom case.
Overall. I’m impressed with this little netbook! It provides just the right combination of web performance and connectivity to achieve what’s needed for the business traveller, without having to lug heavy laptop and portable equipment around the country. If all you want is web access, wifi, the occasional Word document and OneNote access, you could do a lot worse than this netbook for the price point.
Nice one Samsung- 4.5 out of 5 stars!
Jeremy loves all things technology! Has been in IT for years, loves Macs (but doesn't preach to others about their virtues), loves virtualization (and does shout about it's virtues), and sometimes skis, bikes and directs amateur plays!