Komplett.ie Netbook Roundup

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Hey there all, in the spirit of getting all of the relevant Back to School stuff together for people looking to buy specific scholarly equipment, this piece was meant to go up last week, when those heading back to college would have found it most useful. Of course, I was sick during last week, but hopefully this will still be of use to some students caught in netbook limbo.

Basically, we hear an awful lot of questions from week to week about what netbook will be the best for someone who wants X or Y, and the fact is that for most users, there’s relatively little in the difference between most netbooks. You’ll find that they, for the most part, boast similar processors (the 1.6GHz Intel Atom), similar amount of RAM and HDD space, but beyond that there are differences, so hopefully we can illuminate anyone looking to pick up a new netbook in this piece.

Samsung NC10:

Samsung’s NC10 has been enduringly popular in a way that very few machines can be. It’s price has remained reasonable for the hardware and the combination of a solid, good-looking build and it being a reliable device.

Samsung's NC10 remains the quintessential netbook :)

Samsung's NC10 remains the quintessential netbook 🙂

The NC10 fits the stereotypical netbook ideal, with a 10.2” display. It boasts an Intel Atom N270 1.6GHz processor, 1GB of RAM a 160GB hard drive and its own Bluetooth adaptor, which makes it easier to have your various mobile devices chattering to one another without involving a tangle of messy cabling.

For us the NC10 pretty much epitomises what a netbook should be. It’s relatively tough, reliable, boasts solid battery life, a built-in webcam and has won an absolute raft of awards for the combination. It’s not too heavy, weighing in at 1.3KG. Almost as a parting thought, it boasts a 3-in-1 card reader, for those who like to take straight from the camera and upload on the go 🙂

For those concerned about the keyboard (which will be most of the note-taking student population), it’s worth pointing out that our country manager managed to get a little over 90,000 words out of his NC10 in a month. With that wealth of experience behind him, he informs us that the keyboard is very fine indeed.

The Samsung NC10 is €345 and you can check out more specifications and pictures on our product page for it.

Asus EEE 1005HA:

By contrast with the NC10, Asus’ EEE 1005HE is all curved lines and glossy finish. The aesthetics and the price are the two biggest differences between the NC10 and the EEE, but it’s worth going over the spec again, if only for the sake of form.

The EEE is sleeker and curvier than the NC10, personal preference there.

The EEE is sleeker and curvier than the NC10, personal preference there.

Like the NC10, the EEE boasts a 1.6GHz Atom N270, 160GB HDD and 1GB of RAM. It too has its own webcam, but no Bluetooth. The card reader is also 2-in-1 as opposed to 3-in-1. If the lack of Bluetooth or the change in card reader is enough to sway you then the NC10 is probably a better buy. Otherwise, it’s worth noting that the weight is similar at 1.4KG.

If you can stomach the lack of Bluetooth, it’s worth noting that the EEE is significantly cheaper than the NC10, weighing in at just €285.

It may just be me, but I guess I should also say that the EEE also looks a lot sleeker than the NC10, though that’s always going to be a question of personal preference rather than an absolute.

If you’d like to see more of the EEE 1005HA-M then you should check out our product page for it. You can find a full list of its specifications and some more shots of the EEE from different angles to give an impression of how well the device looks.

Acer Aspire One D250-BTk:

Acer is a name you don’t tend to hear in too many people’s best-of netbook lists, as it’s been eclipsed by the NC10 in some ways. That said, the Aspire One is a gorgeous machine in its own right, and despite being cheaper than Samsung’s NC10 it does boast some advantages over both the NC10 and the EEE.

The Aspire One is an elegant little machine :)

The Aspire One is an elegant little machine 🙂

The Aspire One is significantly lighter than both the EEE and the NC10, weighing in at just 1.11KG and boasting a similarly sized 10.1” display. It too boasts 1GB of RAM and a 160GB hard drive, but the processor is a little different. It’s an Intel Atom clocked at 1.6GHz too, but this is the Atom N280, which will give it a little extra push.

As with the other two netbooks, the differences will come down to what you think is important, here it’s very much a question of whether or not you value the small performance boost you’ll see from the N280 processor over the N270 and if you value the lower weight.

The Aspire One is €335, putting it in between the NC10 and the EEE pricewise. You can check out its product page for the full specifications.

The MSi Wind weighs in at just 1KG

The MSi Wind weighs in at just 1KG

If you’re interested in something even more lightweight but in the same vein as the Aspire One then you should check out the MSi Wind, it’s a gorgeous machine, very similar to the Aspire One in many ways (including the N280 processor) but it only weighs 1KG.

The MSi Wind is €319 and you can read more about it here.

Samsung N510:

As a general rule, netbooks tend to top out in the ten-inch range or so. I’ve long said that there’s a lot to be gained by adding an extra inch to that and giving yourself a little extra on-screen real estate to play with without compromising your portability as much as you might think.

The N510 is the first of a new generation of Nvidia Ion powered netbooks, ideal for media and light gaming.

The N510 is the first of a new generation of Nvidia Ion powered netbooks, ideal for media and light gaming.

Samsung’s N510 pushes the size up to 11.6” and it’s a bump you’ll definitely notice if you’ve been using a ten-inch display for any length of time. As you’ll by now expect, it boasts a 1.6GHz Intel Atom n280 processor, a 160GB hard drive and 1GB of RAM. It’s also got Bluetooth, like it’s younger brothers.

The biggest difference here is the size, an 11.6 inch display is plenty of space for portable media, and the extra space means that nothing feels crowded down around the keyboard/trackpad area, a fine line that ten-inch netbooks can walk a little too closely.

Moreover, the N510 is among the first of the new generation of Nvidia ION-powered notebooks available, meaning that it boasts an Nvidia GeForce Go 9400M, which makes it a more media centric device than the netbooks we’ve discussed above.

As a result, the N510 is more expensive than the other netbooks we’ve talked about, weighing in at €469, but then, it’s also more versatile. As ever, this is going to boil down to just what you want to get out of your machine, but if you’re looking for an entertainment centred netbook, the N510 is a solid choice.

You can find the N510 here.

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3 Responses to “Komplett.ie Netbook Roundup”

  1. intars Says:

    n510 might be the next netbook i’ll buy

  2. netzwerk drucker Says:

    Do you think it is wise to get a Samsung NC10 or should I get an AsusEE?

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