Last year, in anticipation of my Euro Trip, I bought the Samsung NC10-14GW notebook and was excited enough about it to write a semi glowing review. This year I decided to upgrade to the new Samsung NC20-21BK, feeling emboldened by the Obama administration, brimming with Hope and Change over the state of the economy ……juuuuust yanking ya, I think before this clown is done with the presidency we are going to be living in tents using abacuses.
Anyhoo, I bought the NC20. Upon receiving the unit, before powering it up for the first time, I upgraded the memory to the 2gb of phresh DDR2 800 uberness. Immediately, the weight of the NC20 surprised me, the old NC10-14GW weighs in at 2.90 lb and the new NC20 at 3.30lb (and yes, I actually put them on the scale). The screen size upgrade is a Big Deal! How much would YOU pay for extra 2 inches?! The 1280×800 12.1” screen totally rules over the old 1024×600 10.2” and its very bright and very sharp. While the new Nano U2250 processor is fast enough to run all the business apps like M$ Office 2007, and the VIA Chrome9 HC3 IGP graphics are pimpin enough to run legacy games, you will not be running Crysis.
The keyboard is a bit of a disappointment, the NC10 had the 93% keyboard, the NC20 keyboard is not appreciatively bigger, with about half an inch more of unused plastic on each side. Also, the tilde/apostrophe key has been mysteriously migrated left of the spacebar (WTF) displacing the Alt key one to the left, so there is an adjustment needed when you pinch the old Alt-F4 . Once the unit was decrappified of the McAfee Security Center, there was no other bloatware in sight. The speakers sound is not spectacular, but damn good for a netbook, and since I use my headphones most of the time, this is a non-issue. I am not a fan of the black glossy finish of the NC20 – after minor amount of handling with clean dry hands this thing looked like it was profanely groped by greasy baboons. The bitchin matte white finish of the NC10-14GW was not available, so the old Ford Model T Black was the only color option. Huge props for the extra long battery life, makes competition sad and inadequate, I like! Let’s see what else, oh yeah it’s the SAME EXACT THICKNESS as the NC10, I got them side by side right now, and it’s the SAME! Last year I paid $479 for the NC10, last week I paid $509.99 for the NC20-21BK and it came with a free Samsung External Burner – a pretty good deal. To make a short story long, freaking Samsung continues to deliver the sexxay, thanks!