Digitalnerds blog is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. we never accept free products from manufacturers.Learn more.
2010 was the year when most of the laptop manufacturers launched a rich variety of netbooks. One fine example is this NB30 from Samsung which has a “scratch-resistant” matte black finish that gives this mini laptop a smooth look. Even though it has a plastic construction, the NB30 looks very well built, with only a few signs of flex. The design of this model reminds us of the NP-N210 also from Samsung, but also borrows a few styling cues from the Go N310.
When it came out it had a retail price of $379 and for this money it comes with an Intel Atom N450 processor running at 1.60 GHz along with 1GB of DDR2 RAM clocked at 800 MHz. In the storage department it packs a 160GB HDD spinning at 5,400 rpm while for graphics it adopts an integrated Intel GMA 3150. This netbook measures 10.4 x 7.4 x 1.0 inches and it tips the scales at 2.7 pounds (3.3 pounds with the AC adapter).
Samsung has equipped this netbook with a splash-resistant keyboard that has a flat design. The keys are almost full size and they run edge-to-edge across the width of the netbook. The good news is that the important keys, including here Shift and Return, come in a full-size configuration, while the arrow keys are a little bit small but these are set in their own zone located on the bottom right. The medium-sized touchpad manages to be quite responsive while the mouse buttons located below are somewhat narrow and flush with the rest of the palm rest.
The Samsung NB30 comes with a 10.1-inch widescreen matte LCD display that has a native resolution of 1,024 x 600 pixels, which is not as good as other mini laptops that can be ordered with a 1,366 x 768-pixel resolution display. Icons and text look sharp, but this resolution is not suitable for browsing through a long document or surfing big websites. The incorporated stereo speakers are decent for YouTube videos and other basic audio, but the volume is somewhat low while the clarity could have been better.
The bundled webcam comes along with the Cyberlink YouCam software that has several shapshot, recording and video chat features. The resolution and the colors of the webcam are decent, but you should know that the videos seem to be somewhat blurry and jumpy.
Regarding connectivity, this mini laptop from Samsung comes with VGA out, headphone + microphone jacks, an SD card reader, three USB 2.0 ports, 802.11n Wi-Fi and Ethernet. Its 6-cell lithium-ion battery will last for a little over four hours during a video playback drain test, which means that in normal conditions you should get about five hours.