The Samsung N310 divides opinion. Some think it’s cutesy and colourful, others have slated its curved shell as looking like a Fisher Price netbook. Us? We’re quite taken with it. Samsung’s employed award winning designer Nato Fukasawa to smooth its edges and make it more friendly, and inside it’s not too shabby either.
Flick open the Samsung N310 and you’ll see there’s a neat Jekyll and Hyde effect. Colourful on the outside, black and business-like inside. The 10.1-inch screen has a frameless border and looks the business, even if it’s a bit reflective in direct sunlight.
The native resolution is 1024 x 600 pixels but a neat bit of Samsung software clicks it into 1024 x 768 pixels whenever you like, so it’ll show movies in proper 16:9 aspect ratio.
As soon as you start tapping away on the keyboard, it’s obvious Samsung’s given it a lot of attention too. Keys are tapped through the body itself, giving a reassuring sense of rigidity and strength, and it’s almost full-size – a blessing for those with sausage fingers.
Under the hood is Windows XP running on an Atom N270 processor and with 1GB of memory. The latter is easily upgradable to 2GB, and a 160GB hard drive means there’s plenty of space inside too. However, those specs are nothing too showy, and given the laptop’s higher than usual price tag, we’d expected to find a little more bang for our buck.
But don’t be mislead. Samsung has compensated for the lack of raw grunt with a few extra niceties chucked in. The Samsung N310 includes 802.11n wireless LAN for speedy cable-free connections around the house. There’s also Bluetooth and the welcome additions of three USB sockets, VGA output for an external monitor and an ethernet connection.
Overall, the Samsung N310 is a netbook that’s hard to fault. There’s a lot here to lust after, even if it comes at an above average price.
Samsung has made a serious effort to make the N310 look, and feel, a bit special, a bit different. If you’re after a colourful computer that’ll stand up to the majority of tasks on the move, it’s a solid bet.