Samsung NF310 A01 and the Acer Aspire AS5742G-7200
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In this laptop review, we will be looking at the Samsung NF310 A01 and the lightweight Acer Aspire AS5742G-7200.
The Samsung NF310 A01 is a 10.1-inch Netbook with a pleasing design, good features, and decent performance. The NF310 A01 is available for $399, and it comes with a one-year warranty on parts and labor.
The NF310 A01 comes with a 1.5GHz Intel Atom N550 dual core processor. The injection of a processor with two cores is a nice addition to a Netbook, especially for those users looking to do some multitasking. The NF310 A01 is still a Netbook, however, so its overall performance is nothing too impressive. You can perform casual tasks like web browsing, document editing, and the like, but do not expect much in terms of streaming video or even trying to play games on the device. It's meant for common tasks mostly, and not meant to replace a full-sized laptop. Additional multitasking power comes from 1GB of DDR3 SDRAM, which is pretty underwhelming.
Graphics on the Samsung NF310 A01 are supported by an Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 3150 card. You get 250GB of storage, which isn't bad for a Netbook. Strong battery life is essential to a Netbook, and the NF310 A01 does well in this regard. Its included six-cell battery offers well over four hours of battery life even when being put to the test and running various applications. This is a plus for those needing a computer with stamina while on the road. Unfortunately, Windows 7 Starter is the operating system that comes pre-installed. It works fine, but is not as chock full of features as other Windows 7 versions.
Netbooks put a premium on portability, so you will not find an integrated DVD drive here. You will have to purchase an external drive if you want to view DVDs. The NF310 A01 does have Bluetooth, allowing you to wirelessly connect to other compatible devices. It also has 802.11n Wi-Fi for when you want to connect to fast wireless networks. A card reader is onboard should you need to transfer data from other devices like digital cameras. For video chatting, you get an integrated webcam and microphone.
While the Samsung NF310 A01 is not the slimmest or most portable Netbook around, it is still easy to carry while traveling. The Netbook weighs 2.9 pounds and measures 10.8 inches wide by 7.4 inches deep by 1.2 inches thick. It has a titan silver color scheme that is a nice departure from the typical black found in other machines. The sides of the NF310 A01 look rather interesting, thanks to an odd curvature near the monitor hinge. The 10.1-inch display is surrounded by a very thick bezel that may not appeal to some users. It seems as if Samsung could have made the display even larger by taking away some of the bezel's real estate. The display itself offers good graphics via a 1,366 x 768 resolution. It also has a surface that combats glare well. Surprisingly, the Netbook's integrated speakers are quite loud.
Typing on the NF310 A01 is a joy thanks to its spacious, raised keyboard. The bit of elevation on the keyboard helps keep you comfortable as you type. The keys are flat and spaced nicely, taking away any cramping usually found on other Netbook keyboards. The touch pad is on the small side, but it is responsive and supports multi-touch gestures. Connectivity options are standard. There is no HDMI port, which is a definite letdown. The right side houses two USB 2.0 ports, the card reader, and an Ethernet port. The left side houses a VGA port, a third USB port, and microphone and headphone jacks.
The Samsung NF310 A01 is a nice little Netbook. Other than its design, however, it fails to stand out from the rest of the crowd. While it does have features most will look for, it is hard to recommend this Netbook over others that are competitively priced.
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