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Samsung N220 review

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It is been a while since I bought Samsung N220 netbook. So I would like to share my likes/dislikes about it with you.

1. CPU and RAM

I will not be wordy about specifications, since they can be easily found on the web. There are two models of N220. My model has Atom N450 1.66 GHz inside (the other model has Atom N470 CPU) and 1GB of RAM. It is said that Atom N450 consumes less power that its predecessor Atom N270. I didn't have an opportunity to compare them, I just believe in what the manufacturers say about them :). As for RAM, then it would have been great if they had put 2 GB of RAM in N220. But still 1GB is not a great issue.

2. Screen

10.1 inch LCD screen is OK for me and I feel comfortable looking at it. When it comes to watching movies I prefer using a laptop. When browsing the web I sometimes use Firefox's full-screen mode. In general the screen size is enough for what I do.

3. Keyboard

I like the keyboard type that N220 has. I think it is more convenient than a keyboard of Samsung R710. The only thing that confuses me is Home and End keys. They are combined with PgUp and PgDn keys correspondingly and are accessible via Fn key, what slows me down when I type.

4. Webcam

I don't use web camera very often. Just tried skype video calls couple of times and that's it.

5. Speakers and mic

Speakers and mic are generic. Speakers are not loud enough though. Anyway, in case I need sound I usually plug in my headphones. This way I hear what I need and don't disturb or annoy people around.

6. Windows

The netbook comes with Windows 7 Starter edition. Although I prefer *nix systems I keep Windows 7 and use it. The first reason for that is that I don't want to spend time replacing it with Linux or FreeBSD. The second reason is that it has Samsung optimized power consumption mode and I believe it is customized for Windows and works only there.

I prefer using portable apps. The ones that I need are (I guess no explanations are needed):

  • Firefox
  • Gnucash
  • OpenOffice
  • GVim
  • FreeCommander
  • Thunderbird
  • Sunbird
  • MPlayer

They also tried to make me use McAfee antivirus, but that didn't work. I removed it right after it asked me to buy its subscription.

7. Hyperspace

Some editions of these netbooks come with additional OS called Hyperspace made by Phoenix. I haven't figured out which models do have hyperspace installed and which don't. So, Hyperspace is a lightweight Linux. It is so lightweight that it has no terminal at all. It consumes less power" than Windows but at the same time is limited to a narrow range of applications which are:

  • Web - Hyperspace's browser based on Firefox and Skype client. Besides it has a set of widgets for Twitter posts, GMail, news feeds, weather, note taking and other.
  • Office - Hyperspace's applications for working with text documents, spreadsheets and presentation. MS Office formats are also supported.
  • Text editor - Looks like gedit. It should be said that Hyperspace has GTK UI, but it is still nice.
  • Multimedia player - Real player. I'm not able to use, because its trial period has expired and it asks me for activation.
  • File manager - Looks pretty much like Nautilus.
  • Misc applications - calculator, solitaire, sudoku, tetris, etc.

Although Hyperspace is very limited in terms of applications I use it very frequently, mostly for web browsing. And here are some of my complaints (though these complaints refer to Hyperspace rather than N220):

  • Hyperspace is proprietary, thus the updates are released with a delay and I'm restricted to these updates. I mean, I can't update browser which is, in fact, Firefox. Why do I need those updates? Hm, for example, as you all know Twitter has switched to OAuth protocol recently and as a result I can't use Hyperspace's twitter widget anymore. So I have to wait for that update now or use web interface for twitter. Another issue is that hyperspace.com is down (at least at the moment I'm writing this review, and it has been down for a couple of weeks already).
  • I can't install browser extensions. It is based on Firefox, but the addons are disabled. So my favorite extensions just miss the boat. Not clear why they did that.
  • I can't install applications. Maybe this limitation makes users use Windows? :)

8. Battery

The battery life is about 6 hours if on Hyperspace and about 4 hours when on Windows.

9. My impressions

N220 totally suits my needs, which are finance tracking, browsing the web and self management. Though I admit that the cold start of some applications takes some time. For example, Gnucash can take up to a minute on cold start. But I got used to it. When I start it I just don't stare at its splash-screen, but do something else.
So far, N220 has become my partner in everyday life. It is especially handy when I'm on business trip primarily due to its size and weight. Its performance is enough for my tasks and the battery life is rather decent.

UPDATE: And it is time for "great" news. I have contacted Phoenix's support in order to find out how it is going on with Hyperspace update. Here's the answer:

I am afraid we no longer support or sell Hyperspace.

It's a bomb :) Unfortunately

It's a bomb :)
Unfortunately my netbook without Hyperspace :(

Enda-chan

can I ask ?
where I can found the webcam of samsung n220??
I'm so confused.
thank you^^

Re: Enda-chan

You gotta be kidding )))) Right above the display.

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