Monday, October 05, 2009

Samsung. Simples.

Samsung N120 While I was mourning my Macbook, I got a lot of very useful feedback on possible replacements. The factor which swung my decision in the end were the (unsolicited) rave reviews that the Samsung N series got at ALT-C. A quick hunt around brought me to the Samsung N120 (10 inch screen, Intel Atom 1.6GHz, 1GB RAM, 160GB HDD, Windows XP Home). Size, weight, battery life, and most of all price, were very attractive. As I said in my previous post, if I was a road warrior who was going to use this as my main machine, I wouldn't consider anything other than a Mactop. But for the use this machine is going to get, I couldn't justify paying three times more for a Macbook, or four times more for a Macbook Pro (I got mine for under £300).

But since there is no Linux option for the Samsung N series, the big question question was - is Windows the dealbreaker? While I bitterly regret paying Microsloth any money at all, no, because I knew I could upgrade the machine to EasyPeasy if I found I couldn't take it any more.

The machine arrived last week, in a cute little carton which seemed to weigh next to nothing. With some trepidation, I fired it up. Within an hour, I'd installed Firefox (obviously), Chrome (brilliant - now my main browser on this machine), Flash, Adobe Air, Twhirl and all the endless XP updates. Without breaking a sweat. One question for Windows geeks: the N120 came with Macafee Internet Security - good enough or do I need to put Sophos on it?

Then came the big one. I plugged in my T-Mobile 3G dongle, did a 20 second wizard-driven install and it just worked...

On Friday, I took it down to FoTE09 - and was impressed. The battery life is perhaps not quite the advertised 10 hours in real world circumstances, but it is easily 2-3 times what I used to get out of my Macbook, and this machine is so much smaller and lighter. The keyboard is good, even with my fat fingers. Although Windoze is occasionally a pain, I may upgrade it to Windows 7 when I can get it for free via the Microsoft Campus Agreement. And until there's an Apple netbook, I may never look back.

My name is Alan Cann, and I am a Windows user.