Hands-On with the VIA Nano-Powered Samsung NC20, Coming to U.S. in March
Last year Samsung unveiled its 10-inch NC10 netbook, which quickly became one of the most popular netbooks on the market. Samsung has released its bigger brother, the NC20, featuring a 12.1-inch screen. A Samsung rep just told us that the NC20 is coming to the U.S. starting on March 16, to be sold exclusively through Newegg.com. The NC20 will be black and come with a 5900-mAh battery. The U.S. price hasn’t been determined yet, but it’s listed on Amazon UK for £379.54 (about $478 U.S.). Arriving on our doorstep this morning, a few weeks ahead of its U.S. launch, was a Samsung NC20 from Korea with a slightly lower-capacity battery (5200 mAH). The NC20 is different from the netbooks of today in a few key ways. Not only does it push the netbook classification with a 12-inch display, but it is the first system to sport the new VIA Nano CPU. We are in the process of putting the notebook through testing for a full review, but here are our first impressions and a quick hands-on video of the not-quite-netbook.
The white chassis of the NC20 is almost identical to that of the original Nc10. Of course, the NC20 is wider, to accommodate its 12-inch display, and 0.6 pounds heavier, tipping the scales at 3.4 pounds. It is also 0.4 inches thicker than the Dell Inspiron Mini 12. The design of the chassis remains pleasantly minimalist.
The keyboard on the notebook is slightly larger than that of the NC10, and plenty spacious for touch typists. Thank heavens for the enlarged touchpad; gone is the vertically narrow touchpad on the NC10. However, the single-bar mouse button is, to our dismay, the same and not raised enough for our liking. The glossy, 1280 x 800-pixel resolution, 12-inch screen is easy on the eyes and holds more Windows than the standard 10-inch, 1024 x 600-pixel netbook display. It’s too early to make a performance call on the system, equipped with a 1.3-GHz VIA Nano U2250 processor and 1GB of RAM. However, we had no problems playing back a 720p high-definition clip in Windows Media Player 11 while surfing the Web in Internet Explorer. Stay tuned for a full review with more in-depth performance benchmarks.