Samsung N130 Preview

Today we will talk about Samsung’s new netbook (Samsung N130), and will find out what makes it so popular. The main advantages of our “guest” are a low price (about $350) and long-lasting functioning. If you trust the advert, this model can run without being charged for 8 hours. At that, the Samsung N130 has a 10.1" diagonal screen and works on an Intel Atom N270 base with a frequency of 1,60 Hz. And most importantly – Samsung N130 new netbook has a set of necessary technical and program products to provide its durability and security.

Design and features

By tradition we start our preview with the netbook’s exterior. It’s a middle-sized book. Its proportions are classical for a 10-inch device which the Samsung N130 netbook is: 263.8 x 185.5 x 28.5 mm and 1,26 kilos. So, the design if new Samsung N130 is classical for a netbook.

The body of the Samsung N130 netbook we got for the test was white. Or, to be correct, it is made of white plastic which appears to be pearl at closer examination. This material is good for use, because it has no marks after transportation. The model will also be available in black.

The plastic of the tested Samsung N130 seems to be durable as we haven’t noticed any problems with it during a two-week test. We should also state the high quality of the netbook’s assembly – no gaps or defects can be seen, everything is made properly. So let’s concentrate on the structural components of the model with a short comment on its ergonomics. The opening angle isn’t big compared to the Asus EEE 900. But in comparison with the Lenovo S10-2 model, the angle is the same and gives 120 degrees. This angle is perfect if you have the netbook on the table or on your lap. But if you are a fan of watching movies in bed this model won’t be the best choice.

The body’s halves are not completely bound but are fixed by a connective joint. So to open the book one needs to make an effort. To make the opening better, the designers placed a button in the middle of the Samsung N130 top which one can press to open it.

Now let’s examine the inner covering of the Samsung’s new model. The inner side of the lid is mostly taken up by display, though it was possible to use a better matrix here. The 10.1" WSVGA matrix (1024х600 dots) with LED-illumination is dull, which makes the display more pleasant for use. Some people prefer glossy screens, but in our opinion the dull screen is better as it has no flares and thus simplifies the perception. The image grade can be defined as a standard one, though the brightness is high – so it’s better not to use illumination at maximum. The observation angles are good and even better in comparison with some other netbook models.

Directly over the Samsung N130 display is a simple Web-cam. It is weak in comparison to the majority of netbooks: it has only 0.3 megapixels while the simplest models are supplied with a 1.3 megapixels Web-cam. For a better abutment, the new brand model has four catchers built in the netbook's lid. Thanks to that adaption, the gap between the closed halves is minimal. Below the catchers, there are fastening screws which provide reliability of the fastening in the top half of Samsung N130 body. Furthermore, there are 6 more catchers built in the netbook: two on the top, two on the bottom and one at the each side.

Now is the very time to have a look at the keyboard. Samsung N130 has a standard laptop keyboard with 83 keys set in rows at 17.7 mm intervals. The gap is of usual size, while keys such as Esc, F1-F12, Print Screen, Insert and Delete are miniaturized in comparison to other keys. The block of pointers was moved into the right part of the netbook’s bottom, surrounded by the Page Up and Page Down keys. These keys are diminished as well, so one needs some time to get used to their new size in order not to miss them. As for the other keys, they are of normal size and run softly enough. The keyboard isn’t illuminated. This can’t be considered as the Samsung N130 disadvantage as all up-to-date netbooks lack this device. The screen is bright enough even for work in the darkness. We must admit that examination of the keyboard and the inner part of the Samsung N130 netbook was the main object of our test. We should also say that we were pleased by the test’s results as the Samsung N130 model proved its reliability and handiness. Nevertheless, let’s continue our test and find out more about the model’s features.

A normal-sized touch-pad is built in on the same level as the keyboard and is easy to control. Right below the touch-pad, one can see keys which are not divided, though they work separately. So, touch-pad is supplied with a so-called multi-touch feature, which simplifies operating the programs. For example, one can easily change the size of the internet pages using two fingers.

On the underside of the Samsung N130 netbook, one can see the vents, the card-reader inlet with a cork in it and the start button, which is weird. On the one hand, it’s handy to have the start button at the bottom, but on the other hand the Samsung N130 netbook can be switched on accidentally – while carrying it in a bag, for example (by the way, the netbook didn’t have one in the set). The card-reader reads SD, SDHC and MMC cards.

Operating system and extras

The operating system and extras The Samsung N130 netbook has the original version of Windows XP Home Edition, which is amazing for the model’s price. The set doesn’t have a CD with OS, but includes DVDs with extra software. Let’s be honest – it wasn’t the greatest idea, because the netbook doesn’t have a DVD disk-drive. So this will turn into a new complication.

Netbook Samsung N130 front view

Now let’s talk about the model’s output, software and extras. First of all we should mention the convenience of the F2 - F12 keys, which, when combined with the Fn key, provide the following functions:

- The charge time information
- The screen mode switching
- Regulation of illumination
- Discreet mode
- Samsung Magic Doctor
- Processor’s mode (silent mode, normal mode, speed mode)
- WiFi
- Touch Pad’s Turning off
- Num Lock
- Scroll Lock

Besides, the function key – the one with the blue markings – can be used for changing the built-in volume, display highlighting and for typing the numbers. The Pause/Break key is combined with the Insert key and can be activated by pressing “Fn”. We must say that at first this operation won’t be very quick like the typical Punto Switcher, because one has to change the shortcut constantly.

As for the Internet browser, one will be prompted to update Internet Explorer whilst using the netbook for the first time.

During the test we installed Windows 7 Release Candidate on our Samsung N130 and the netbook coped with the software upgrade greatly, considering the fact the official site of the manufacturer has all the drivers for the software (as well as for Windows XP Home).

Installed software includes a number of demo programs and an annual licence for Microsoft Office® for home and study 2007. It is very important as it makes programs’ upgrading easier. The license should be activated – there is a special item in the program which tells how to do that. Free licence is surely a netbook’s advantage and makes the model even more attractive for customers.

AnyPC Client - this extra provides your access to the netbook from without.
CyberLink YouCam - the entertaining extra with the built-in WEB-cam.
FailSafe - the safe for the important information.
Samsung Magic Doctor - the appendix for system diagnostics and restoration.
McAfee Virus Scan - a little-known antivirus.
Adobe Acrobat Reader – an appendix for reading PDF-files.
Samsung Widgets - widgets on the main screen with the most popular services.
Easy Network Manager – a network master.
Easy Resolution Manager – a program for changing the extension from 1024х600 to 1024х768. For someone it can be useful.

Network and communications

Samsung N130 set of communication possibilities is rather poor and presented only by a network card 10/100 LAN (RJ45) and WiFi (802,11b/g/n *). Those who think this set isn’t good enough shouldn’t consider the Samsung N130 model’s purchase at all. As for the others we should say that the brand model has WiMAX which is not strongly developed at the moment. “Bluetooth” users most likely won’t be interested in the Samsung N130 model.

Netbook Samsung N130 background view

Processor

The heart of the Samsung N130 is an Intel Atom N270 processor with frequency of 1,6 GHz. The operative memory has 1Gb (DDR2) – it is a SODIMM slot with the extension enable. A hard disk (a hard disk, instead of the SSD-store) is a 160Gb S-ATA. We tested the netbook with the help of a well-known CPU-Z program.

Samsung N130 has a video adapter – an integrated video card which vigorously twists DvD-rips.
The Samsung N130's set is very primitive: in an ordinary-looking cardboard box you will find the netbook, the charger and the DVD-disk with the software, the operating manual and the guarantee coupon. As you see the set is not very rich though it makes the netbook’s prise so low and gives you choice to choose the accessories yourself.

Resume

So, now is the time to resume everything that we have learnt about the brand netbook model. To tell the truth, we liked Samsung N130: the device has standard performance attributes and lacks Bluetooth and WiMAX (which isn’t so wide-spread), but it works really well, has fine software and display (which is good enough for this type of netbook). The model has a distinctive excellence: you don’t need to search and download any softwares as everything has already been installed. As we already mentioned, the netbook provides you 8 hours of work (or 5-6 hours if the advert wasn’t exact), which is great for this type of computer. So, for a low price you can get a bright, safe, durable and helpful netbook for your studies and entertainment.
Thanks our sponsors for giving Samsung N130 to testing desk.
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Date 2010.03.03
Category Netbook / Samsung
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