Samsung NF310 A01

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Last year the netbook segment exploded and one of the many models that flooded the market is this Samsung NF310 A01 that comes in a sleek, gray-silver exterior which is made entirely out of plastic. Looking at its sides we notice a very attractive wave design, featuring high curved risers on either side of the keyboard which work as protective lips against the dust as well.

When it came out, this model carried a retail price of $399 and features a dual core Intel Atom N550 processor clocked at 1.50 GHz and 1GB of DDR3 RAM at 1,024 MHz. In the storage area it has been fitted with a 250GB hard drive spinning at 5,400 rpm while for graphics it boasts an integrated Intel GMA 3150. The netbook measures 10.8 x 7.4 x 1.2 inches and tips the scales at 2.9 pounds (3.5 pounds if we add the AC adapter).

Samsung NF310 A01 (Source: www8.pcmag.com)

Samsung NF310 A01 (Source: www8.pcmag.com)

Opening the netbook reveals a raised, large, island-style keyboard that is suitable for those who do a lot of typing, because there is plenty of space between the keys. Both the volume and brightness controls are operated through function-key combinations as there are no dedicated buttons. The matte touch pad has a silvery finish and manages to provide good traction. Beneath it are the two large buttons which are very easy to find.

The 10.1-inch display of the Samsung NF310 A01 has a native resolution of 1,366 x 768 pixels which is better than most netbooks of this size. Pictures and text look extremely sharp on this antiglare matte screen but the viewing angles are rather disappointing.

The stereo speakers installed in this model are surprisingly good for such an affordable netbook, managing to be a lot louder than average. The built-in webcam can take pictures at a maximum resolution of 640 x 480 pixels. Regarding ports and connectivity, the netbook features VGA out, headphone and microphone jacks, three USB 2.0 ports, an SD card reader, Bluetooth, Ethernet and 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi.

Samsung NF310 A01 (Source: www5.pcmag.com)

Samsung NF310 A01 (Source: www5.pcmag.com)

The hardware configuration of the netbook isn’t powerful enough for smooth streaming-video playback. Even though the file stores locally play nice, the full-screen videos on Netflix and Hulu have the tendency to be choppy so it would be advisable to look elsewhere if you want a portable home video device.

One of the strong points of this Samsung NF310 A01 would have to be its great battery life which allows the netbook to run for more than 4 hours with the standard 6-cell lithium-ion pack during a video playback draining test. Even though the battery is better than that of the HP Mini 5103, it still is one hour shorter than the one of the Asus Eee Pc 1015PEM.