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n310/n510/t91 Help me make my mind up please!

partyweb

Distinguished Member
OK here goes. I have an ageing desktop PC (P3 600mH 40gb hdd) which can't breathe anymore as the hd is fuuuuull despite all my efforts. My boys both have nice 17' laptops each and I was planning on upgrading my desktop as this acts as the hub & printserver for the house.

Then I discovered netbooks.

Now I spend a lot of my time travelling/waiting in my car or watching telly (some of you regulars will no doubt be aware of my dvd cravings :D ) so it looks like a netbook might be a better alternative, ie; transfer all my photos, mp3s, and my huge email backlog to it to give my old pc the space it needs to work again.

So the main uses for my netbook will be emails ms word/publisher/excel for work on the move. Also to update my website, emails, websurfing at home via wifi. Also as a mobile jukebox for work (I'm also an entertainer). I also want to hookup an external dvd player for watching my movies when out. As bluray drives are cheap (£70) I may even start collecting them too. And a bonus then maybe to have a hdmi output however I would like to have some way of hooking up to normal tellys (scart/composite).

OK that sounds like I need a laptop but they are just too big to be practical for my lifestyle.

So I've got 4 netbooks in mind:

1) Samsung N310 (~£300)
This is the one that I am most tempted by as it's rubber exterior and small size makes it really practical/strong for me. However it has a shorter battery life than my other choices unless I wait for the Samsung Go to reach the UK (6 call battery).

2) Samsung N510 (~£390)
But for an extra £90 I can get an additional dedicated Nvidia graphics processor, bigger screen, better picture, and hdmi. But I lose the great exterior design and have something a bit more bulky.

3) Compaq (HP) Mini311 (~£315)
This is cheaper than the N510 with similar spec (Nvidia, HD picture, etc.) But apart from currently being cheaper it offers a much more sleek design and I've read one review of it with an expanded 3gb ram.

4) asus T91 (~£390)
Also to mix things up a bit I've just seen this one. It's tiny, but underpowered. However it has a touchscreen (a big plus with win7 on our doorstep!) Which would be very useful as I'm 'Mr Post-it' - forever scribbling handwritten quick notes on my ancient Palm organiser.

So, please somebody help me make up my mind.
 
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pughypro

Established Member
Hi there, have a look at the link below for some Samsung reviews, the 310 doesnt come out great although, like you, I do like the look.

Filter Results - TrustedReviews

There are so many netbooks out now with more being released every day, it is a minefield!!! :confused:

The Asus range are also good and have good battery life, which is important if you intend to be mobile with it.

I have 2 Samsung NC10's and they are great for me.

Just search for reviews before purchasing and work out your main priorities, whether it be performance, screen, battery etc. :smashin:
 

jameson_uk

Prominent Member
1) Samsung N310 (~£300)
This is the one that I am most tempted by as it's rubber exterior and small size makes it really practical/strong for me.
Was looking at this model myself; had a quick play in PCWorld and the keyboard was really nice but I ended up going for a Dell mini 10v after reading about the battery life. I don't think the battery is meant to be good.

As mentioned above the Dell 10v is available with a free internal 3G modem (normally £130) at the minute if that makes a difference.
 

partyweb

Distinguished Member
Hi there, have a look at the link below for some Samsung reviews, the 310 doesnt come out great although, like you, I do like the look.

Filter Results - TrustedReviews

Thanks for the link. I'd been told by different sales staff that the battery life was a lot better than the above reviews made out but I guess they were just going on the NC10's experience.

I'd be quite interested to know if the 'refreshed' version of the N310 is going to make it to the uk soon. As it features a 280 atom chip instead of the current 270 one, 2gb ram, and more importantly a 6 cell battery instead of 4.
 

Tequila Sunset

Prominent Member
im in the same position as you mate

and im waiting for the samsung n510 with windows 7:thumbsup:
 

partyweb

Distinguished Member
It seems the main reason the N310 gets bad reviews is due to the price. But all the reviewers are basing their reviews on the initial sub £400 price. I'd be interested to see what they say about it now it's lost 25% off it's price tag.

I also see the 6 cell version has hit the US now (called simply the 'Samsung Go') and gives nearly 8.5 hours use. Read here for a good 8 page review of it:
Review for Samsung N310 - laptopmag.com
I can see why the designer went initially with the 4 cell battery now as the larger one detracts from the look, jutting out underneath adding width and weight.
 
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Robiow

Established Member
just to throw a curveball into the mix...

what about the hp mini 311

another ion netbook, yet looking at youtube clips, appears to run call of duty 4 at a much higher fps


not to mention the £315 price tag!
 

pughypro

Established Member
It seems the main reason the N310 gets bad reviews is due to the price. But all the reviewers are basing their reviews on the initial sub £400 price. I'd be interested to see what they say about it now it's lost 25% off it's price tag.

I also see the 6 cell version has hit the US now (called simply the 'Samsung Go') and gives nearly 8.5 hours use. Read here for a good 8 page review of it:
Review for Samsung N310 - laptopmag.com
I can see why the designer went initially with the 4 cell battery now as the larger one detracts from the look, jutting out underneath adding width and weight.

Just read this review and this looks great to me, I loved the look of the N310 when it came out but would never have bought it with the four cell battery.

I'd be interested to see if it makes it over here or even if just the battery becomes available as that seems to be the only discernible difference.

Fingers crossed :D
 

Robiow

Established Member
The girlfriend bought the n310 a few days back and it arrived yesterday. As she does with anything technical, it was handed straight to me to 'set up', which consisted of the amazingly difficult task of putting in the users nam and giving the computer a name.

I was reminded of how just how good xp was, everything was simple and downloaded the HUP version of office 2007 which was a whole 9 spanking quid, and worked flawlessly.

Tiny netbook, big screen and with its textured and matt surround, felt surprisingly robust.

It whizzed through IE (although insisted on her using chrome) and was quiet to boot.

I said about the battery life, but to her it didn't matter. Realistically, she said she'd never use it somewhere were she couldn't get power, she only has a small commute once a week and doesn't plan on using it then anyway.



As for this whole debate about ion netbooks. I have been waiting and waiting for this to happen, bit will have to suck it a little longer. The Acer revo is a nettop than runs a 330 atom dual core and ion, and can play half life 2 on high, something current netbooks can't do. Also, vista and xp currently cripple what the netbook specs can be. When windows 7 is released hopefully hardware will change. I'm sick of seeing dozens of netbooks entirely the same, the highstreet is saturated with identical siblings, so I can see the reasoning behind my girlfriends purchase of something different.

Just for your information, I wrote this sat on the bog with my iPhone. Isn't technology fantastic.
 

partyweb

Distinguished Member
...Just for your information, I wrote this sat on the bog with my iPhone. Isn't technology fantastic.

I totally agree, I've not just been writing this thread, but doing my whole netbook research on my Google G1 phone as it's faster than my PC. :)
 

partyweb

Distinguished Member
toshiba nb200 - is nice too !
and good build quality. £320 from amazon

Thanks for the suggestion. However all the reviews I've read seem to have been written earlier this year when less competiton was out there to threaten it. Personally, compared to my other choices it just doesn't have any one thing to set it apart from the others.

Now...

just to throw a curveball into the mix...
what about the hp mini 311. another ion netbook, yet looking at youtube clips, appears to run call of duty 4 at a much higher fps. not to mention the £315 price tag!

Thanks Robiow for making my decision more difficult. I've just come off TR's website with it's glowing praise for this beast that has just knocked my Samsung 510 for six. This looks to offer the same as it but in a sleeker more 'curvy' design (am I the only one who doesn't like a gaping gap on the side of his netbook when closed?) and is possible to expand the ram to 3gb (please correct me if this is possible with the other model I'm considering). Oh, and it's £75.00 cheaper.

Hmmmm...

....more help needed now please. :D
 

partyweb

Distinguished Member
Hi all, thanks for your input so far. I had a reality check yesterday after talking with a PC World techguy. I'd been holding out buying a netbook until win7 was out but it seems most come with the useless starter edition. I mean, it can only run 3 applications simultaneously, doesn't even have a media player, and none of the new touted win7 user interface, what's the use in that. So that means I can instantly add £70 on to the price tag of an netbook I see so as to get the upgrade to the home edition. Also I can lose 10% of my hdd space straight away as the starter edition has the same size footprint as all the others, just that they're loked out waiting for me to pay for a key. Add onto this the price for my external dvd/bluray player and it's getting expensive now.

Oh, this brings me on to reality check 2, battery life, one of the key reasons for my netbook desire. Remember, I worked out my freetime was when I'm out and about. Well I was reminded that running that external drive watching a movie would rapidly eat my battery.

So now I'm back to square one to evaluate how good is technology and convergence. Do I get a simple netbook for workstuff (back to my 1st choice N310, running XP, for it's robustness) and buy myself a simple portable dvd player. Or do I wait a few MORE months to see what happens.

Or do I spend a little more and buy a Hp touchsmart Tx2. Hmmm ~£800 with full win7, 12" touchscreen laptop/tablet, dvd player, 4gb ram dedicated graphics card 500gb hdd, and more ?

Anyone got one of these?

Please help me make my mind up as I'm getting fed up doing most of my work on my G1 phone lol!!!
 

simond1

Standard Member
I would recommend you loook for something that isn't intel atom based as its the slowest processor released in years. Also forget blu ray as the screen will noy have the resolution of bluray any way spend the saved money and get something like a Samsung X120 its as small as a netbook and has around 8 hour battery life and comes with a proper processor and operating system. But doesn't leave much change from £500.
 

partyweb

Distinguished Member
Thanks for the input Simon, the X120 looks good and I'd now favour that over the N510 as it looks to offer more for a similar price in a similar size. I am though however leaning towards the hp touchscreen one more now. Saw an older version in Currys yesterday. It had the same spec but a 2.2Gh processor, slower dvd rewriter, and 3gb ram being the only main differences (had vista too but an offer to upgrade to full home w7 for £10 p&p) for only £699 which is very appealing. My only drawbacks are: 1) the flimsy look when it's closed or in tablet form, 2) the one in the store was very hot at the back, 3) the battery life is only a couple of hours.

I agree about your comment re bluray, however my reasons for including it in my decision making is so that I can use it as my sole bluray player for my house and hook it up ad-hoc to whatever telly I want. Also the only reasons for me to move to bluray (as I'm not sold on picture quality alone) are 1) increased content such as picture in picture, etc. And 2) the fact that dvd may soon become either obsolete or more expensive than bluray. So for these reasons it would be better to incorporate it here rather than buy dedicated players for each of my tellys.
 

bloberty

Standard Member
Hi Guys,

Where can you get the HP for £315? Dabs have it for £379 which is the same price as the Samsung N510.

Having sold my nc10 with the intention of upgrading to the n510 I am delaying a bit.

It seems the n510 with 2gb ram, Windows 7 etc is available in Australia now so it will sure come to the UK very soon.

I also found the Lenovo S12 which seems better value.

For £389 delivered you get:

System components
Intel ATOM Processor N270 Single Core ( 1.60GHz 533MHz 512KB ) - Slightly worse than n510
Genuine Windows 7 Home Premium 32 - Better
NVIDIA ION 256MB - Same
2 GB PC2-5300 DDR2 SDRAM 667MHz - Better
12.1 " WXGA TFT 1280x800 - Bigger
Industry Standard Touchpad
320GB 5400 - Twice as big
+6 Cell Lithium-Ion
Broadcom 11b/g Wi-Fi wireless
Bluetooth Version 2.1 + EDR

This is making my decision even harder!

I liked the NC10 so much I am partial towards the Samsung, though I suspect if they bring out a 2gb, Windows 7 version it is going to be quite a bit pricer.
 

partyweb

Distinguished Member
:hiya: OK so I finally took the plunge and bought..... a Samsung N310!!!

Yup, ultimately the deciding factor for me was the design (God, I sound like an iphone owner :devil:) and a slight price drop.

Comet are selling it for £297.99 now so I went into PCWorld and pricematched, added on a W7 home premium upgrade for £35 and Norton 360 + MSOffice for £80. The salesman even added 2 months premium insurance for free!!!

Yes there are more powerful netbook machines out there but for me the key point of one is portability. I wanted something to replace my old palm organiser that's more powerful than my phone, has a real keyboard but isn't too bulky to carry everywhere. Every other netbook I looked at failed in this respect. They all either cried out scratch me or might as well had a sticker on them saying geek alert. lol whereas the N310 would not look out of place next to the latest best seller hardback.

I've only had it for a day so far and 1st impressions are great. Had to spend an extra £59 for an external dvd drive (Went for the Samsung SE-S084C as it's the same dark blue colour as my N310) so that i could install W7 as even though I'd bought it instore there's no download option for it (unlike norton or office for that matter) - bloody stoopid Microsoft!!

Wifi is great, and picks up hotspots well. I must recommend PdaNet for all you G1 mobile phone users as this app tethers via usb to my netbook perfectly and gives me free broadband access when I can't find a strong hotspot. (Just remember not to run up too much downloads as T-mobile cap you at about 1Gb p/m and will cancel your contract it you exceed it, so I'm told).

Battery seems good too. I used it today in the car for an hour (with a tethered G1 that was also being charged while tethered. Bonus!!) and then left it closed on standby for the rest of the afternoon. There was still a good charge when I came back to it this evening.

Downside is the audio. Watched a few fullscreen hq youtube clips on max volume and I had to strain to hear it sometimes. However pq was excellent!!

W7 upgrade went easy. In PCWorld I was advised to perform an upgrade from XP rather than a clean install as I was warned I may have difficulty obtaining all the Samsung drivers but after backing up all the driver files I found the W7 installer won't let you upgrade from XP anyway, but forces you to do a clean install. 30 mins later and I had W7 up and running with full aero interface! (even though the upgrade advisor program said my hardware wasn't up to the job for aero!?!)

Anyway, I hope my experience helps some of you make up your mind and take the plunge. After all, you can wait and wait for the right netbook to come along only to find you've moved YOUR OWN goalposts.

:thumbsup: Finally a big thanks to you all on this forum for your input in helping me make up my mind. I visited sooo many forums and review sites over the last couple of months but it was AVF that helped me the most. Keep on contributing guys. :smashin:
 

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