The Samsung N230 is the latest 10.1-inch netbook offering from Samsung.
It builds on the success of their popular N210 / N220 netbooks, and has only been available for a very short while. My Samsung N210 review was very popular with over 65,000 views and 100 comments, and is currently my netbook of choice, so I have very high hopes for Samsung’s latest ultra sleek model.
When the Samsung N230 was first announced, on paper it didn’t sound anything too special, with most of its specifications remaining the same as in the previous N210 / N220 model, with the Same Intel Atom N450 processor. But when we first clapped eyes on the photos of the N230 it became clear that the N230 was indeed a special netbook.
Samsung has done more than just adding a brushed metal finish to the palm rest and changed the lid, the N230 has a whole new ultra slim chassis, which looks great, and feels very strong.Where to buy the Samsung N230:
Samsung N230 Specifications
- 10.1-Inch 1024 x 600 Display (Non Glossy / matte)
- Intel Atom N450 / 1.66 GHz CPU
- 250 GB SATA Hard Drive
- Intel GMA 3150 Graphics 128MB
- 1 GB DDR2 RAM – (Upgradeable to 2GB)
- 3 in 1 Card Reader (SD, SDHC,MMC)
- 0.3 Megapixel Webcam (High Sensitivity)
- Bluetooth v3.0 + HS
- 2.1 Speakers + Subwoofer (SRS 3D)
- 802.11b/g/n WiFi, Ethernet
- Multitouch Touchpad
- 3x USB 2.0
- 13.8 Hour Battery Life (6-cell) or 7 hours (3-cell)
- 0.85 x 10.4 x 7.2 inches, < 1 kg
- Windows 7 Starter Edition (32-Bit)
The Samsung N230 has similar specifications to the N210, but also adds Bluetooth V3.0 + HS support for 8x faster connectivity than Bluetooth 2.0, and a dedicated subwoofer, and longer battery life.
Please note that specifications can vary upon region. I an reviewing the UK version of the Samsung N230, which comes with the 14 hour 6-cell battery as standard, in the U.S it comes with either the 3-cell or the 6-cell, but I have yet to see it selling with the larger 6-cell battery.
Design & Build Quality
Samsung have always had a very good reputation for their netbooks design and build quality, and it was one of the most impressive aspects of the N210. From the first photos I saw of the N230 I was impressed by its sleek and professional design, and I must say, it looks even better in person.
For those of you who think most netbooks typically look cheap and plasticly, the Samsung N230 most certainly isn’t one of them. It looks and feels just like a mini notebook, without any hint of cheapness or tacky feel. It is also very light at less than 1kg and feels noticeable lighter to hold in one hand than the N210.
I’m a very big fan of its design, and feel it has a true professional look to it. Right from the brushed metal palm rest and chrome hinges to its matte interior, slim LCD bezel and borderless chiclet keyboard.
I feel like I want to talk a lot about the design, and this just goes to show how much I am impressed by its design. It is not just that the N230 is very slim, light and tough, but also its various finishes are equally as impressive. On the inside it has an all matte finish to the body, which matches the matte LCD. On the external lid it has a black glossy finish with a chrome “Samsung” logo, this also looks stylish, but does pick up a few finger print marks.
Ports / Layout
The front of the Samsung N230 has five status LEDs (showing power, WiFi, hard drive activity, etc), these small blue lights look good and are angled in a way so that they can be viewed when the netbook is in use, or with the display closed.
There is also a small microphone built into the front of the palm rest to the left of the trackpad. Next along is the 3 in 1 Card Reader (SD, SDHC, MMC), this has been improved over the N210, as the cards are now mostly flush, rather than half sticking out, this is ideal if you wish to keep a card in for constant usage.
Finally there is the power slider, which you simply slide to the right to turn the system on or off.
From side, you can see just how slim the netbook is, along with the chrome hinge feature. The left has the power input, Ethernet, air exhaust vent, 1x USB 2.0, and mic and headphone ports.
On the right side there are two more USB 2.0 ports, VGA output, and a Kensington lock.
The base of the netbook features a small port which can be accessed by one screw to upgrade the RAM. To upgrade the hard drive or other component,s you will have to further dismantle the netbook, but this is common.
Near to the front of the netbook you will see two small slits, these are two speakers. There is also a larger grill, this is either for ventilation or it is where the sub-woofer is located.
Simply put, the Samsung N230’s keyboard is excellent.
It is of a chiclet / island style which is easier to type on than a standard keyboard, and spans the full width of the netbook, giving you more room to type. It also has a great look with its boarderless design.
The keys are of a good size with decent spacing between them, which should mean less typing errors. The keys are also very quiet to use, and provide good solid feedback.
The excellent build quality is also shown here, as there is no sign of keyboard flex at all, even around the center keys. This is a common problem on many netbooks, so it’s great to see that the Samsung N230 does not suffer from this issue.
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