Samsung NC10 Battery Life Almost 8 Hours with SSD

A few weeks ago, we reviewed the Samsung NC10 and were just shocked by the amount of battery life it got. We were so surprised that we ran additional tests at different brightnesses just to see how each level affected the system’s endurance. We found that, at the comfortable level of 37.5-percent brightness (3 bars out of 8 on the NC10′s scale), we got an awesome 6:52, which is longer than any previous 10-inch netbook by over an hour and a half. We also found that at the minimum level of 12.5 percent brightness, we were able to achieve a whopping 7:34, and though not ideal, the screen was usable. Seeing how close we came to the magic 8-hour mark, we got greedy and decided to push the system to its limits by installing a the power-efficient Intel X25-M SSD and disabling the bluetooth radio, just to make sure we weren’t sucking any unneeded power. With the high-end Intel SSD installed, the bluetooth disabled, and the battery at 100 percent, we started our LAPTOP Battery Test and crossed our fingers. The test, which causes the notebook to continuously surf the Web until the battery dies, yielded a remarkable 7:55, just five minutes shy of 8 hours!

So what did we learn after all this?

  • The Samsung NC10 has impressive battery scores at a wide variety of brightnesses. And it only has a 6-cell battery too. Just imagine if there were a 9-cell upgrade, like the one we’ve seen on the MSI Wind.
  • If you want to spend an additional $600 on an Intel SSD, you can get another 21 minutes of battery life on your NC10. That’s approximately $28.57 per added minute of endurance.
  • Swapping out the NC10′s hard drive is easy if you know how to do it.
AUTHOR BIO
Avram Piltch
Avram Piltch
The official Geeks Geek, as his weekly column is titled, Avram Piltch has guided the editorial and production of Laptopmag.com since 2007. With his technical knowledge and passion for testing, Avram programmed several of LAPTOP's real-world benchmarks, including the LAPTOP Battery Test. He holds a master’s degree in English from NYU.
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  1. Vance Says:

    So what is it about the NC10 that gives it such longevity? LED screen? Underclocking? Any ideas?

  2. anon Says:

    “If you want to spend an additional $600 on an Intel SSD, you can get another 21 minutes of battery life on your NC10. That’s approximately $28.57 per added minute of endurance.”

    From your test, we don’t know how much of the 21 minutes was a result from the BT radio and how much from the drive swap.

    Basic experiment procedure…don’t change two variables at the same time…

  3. Will Says:

    So, I spend under $500 for a great netbook (already “pre-ordered” it at amazon) the add an additional $600 to get 21 minutes of battery life? Ummm…. I don’t think so. I’ll just buy another NC-10 for $500, get an additional 7 hours of time. What to do with the extra $100?

  4. Theron Says:

    The other item that may have an effect on battery life is upgrading the memory from 1Gb to 2GB.

    With a conventional hard drive this will minimise using the hard drive as virtual memory.

    I doubt it would have much impact on the SSD setup, however it might gain you the extra 8 minutes to get to 7 hrs with a conventional drive at 3/8′s brightness, certainly combined with disabling the bluetooth which shouldn’t be needed at the same time as Wi-Fi.

  5. ikkefc3 Says:

    I think they didn’t underclock. With my EEE pc on “high performance” mode and minimum usable brightness (10-20%?) I get around 7.30h battery life (EEE 901), so I think Asus has just some more power than 50 W/h.

  6. ikkefc3 Says:

    * what I forgot to add: Asus has 57 W/h battery, so some 14% more than my eeepc and a single ssd.

  7. ikkefc3 Says:

    grrr! I meant to say Samsung instead of Asus.

  8. Anonymous Says:

    “So what is it about the NC10 that gives it such longevity?”

    The battery of course. While the Eee PC 901/1000 (which easily last 5-6 hours) have pretty big batteries with 48 Wh, the NC10 does have even more capacity with 57 Wh, about 20% more.

  9. test Says:

    “So what is it about the NC10 that gives it such longevity?”

    The battery of course. While the Eee PC 901/1000 (which easily last 5-6 hours) have pretty big batteries with 48 Wh, the NC10 does have even more capacity with 57 Wh, about 20% more.

  10. john laptop Says:

    samsung battery is long life.

  11. mark Says:

    I’m glad at least one person pointed this out. You did not follow basic scientific procedure. While the statement about paying more than the actual thing costs to edge out a few extra minutes is either a mistake or is so absurd a premise as to render my comment irrelevant, the title of the article does indicate that it is the SSD drive that results in extra battery life, whereas the “test results” indicate it has more to do with the brightness setting. The title as well as the “results” (sans what I hope was a mistake) mean nothing because multiple variables were manipulated. Isolate one variable, starting with the one that doesn’t cost an extra 600 dollars, and redo the tests. Than, change the title to reflect the variable that has the greatest impact, not the greatest absurdity factor. Unchanged, the title is misleading and the “results” do not support the postulate the title wrongfully asserts.

  12. mark Says:

    I just looked this over once more. I stand corrected. It appears some semblance of science was ‘sorta’ employed after all. The problem here is two fold. First, the way the results are presented make it less than obvious that the same test was performed at the same brightness with a change in the hard drive. That said, you also turned off the blue tooth so you would still have to redo the last test with the BT turned on for it to fly. But the real problem is the incongruity of the title. Between the crazy closing statement and the incongruent title, it was only after the second reading that I have begun to suspect that tongue-in-cheek humor was the objective. It missed the mark. It probably sounded pretty good conceptually and probably garnered genuine laughter if delivered properly, but the joke got lost in translation, or should I say transcription, ha ha ha. See my point… You sold the idea so well that you bluffed us all into thinking that you were being serious. I think the title would have gotten everyone hear laughing if it came at the end of the report rather than as an introduction to it. It’s somewhat akin to saying the punch line, Jeopardy style, before telling the joke.

    Irrespective, everyone speaks up when they have something bad to say, yet are oddly silent when they have something positive to offer. While you really aught to change the title, I do appreciate the work you do. This is an informative website that will help me in making an informed decision. Keep up the good work.

  13. admin Says:

    Mark,

    Thanks for the feedback. Indeed, we can try with the bluetooth off and the regular 5,400 rpm drive and see how that works out. The goal was to get over 8 hours by some method and we did manage to do that. We strongly suspect that the SSD had something to do with the 8-hour endurance, because the Intel X25-M has shown in other tests we performed that it does consume a bit less power than a mechanical hard drive. Do we recommend that readers buy an SSD to get a few more minutes of life? No way. Not when an X25-M costs $600.

  14. Jersey Dave Says:

    Very interesting…I love this netbook! Maybe in a year’s time the SSD’s will be close to the price of a mechanical drive. I will surely pop one in the NC10 when that happens…Maybe there will be a new faster wireless technology by then that will allow me to download the entire New York Public Library via Wi-Fi in the time it takes to watch a stupid cat flush a toilet on YouTube.

  15. Mathew Says:

    The long life comes from the processor which used only 2W a high quality low power screen. the hard drive is the mini baby sata ones everything has been balanced and it still quite a powerful little lappy

  16. Hugo Says:

    Hi, I bought one of these last week and it’s really amazing. I’m getting around 7 hours of word processing, e-mail and occasional web surfing (mostly news sites). The keyboard is easy to get used to (it has separate PgUp and Pg Dn keys which is a big issue for me and almost no other small laptop has). The screen is excellent, even at 37.5% brightness. The mouse pad is a little bit small but eventually you’ll get used to it as well (or you can use a bluetooth mouse, as I do when I’m doing a lot of reviewing and cut&paste). My only complaint goes to the size of the right shift key. It should be slightly wider same size as left key – this one had to be slimmer of course). But I reckon this may be important for me only because I’m left handed. In the end of the day, if you’re on the move constantly and do not require multimedia, then the NC-10 is THE choice, even for business. For €300 it delivers much more than you are expecting.

  17. Steven Says:

    Very interesting article, ive only had my nc10 for a few weeks now and loving it.

    Do you know if the battery life would change if i installed a touch screen? I was thinking about installing one of these http://www.ultimate-netbook.co.uk/Samsung-NC10-Easy-Touch-Screen-Kit___560.htm

  18. Lii Guan Yiu Says:

    What? Samsung NC-10′s battery lasting for only 7.55 hours? You must have made a mistake. I’ve just bought mine and the battery lasted 9 hours, 7 minues and 25 seconds, as I timed it on my timer watch as I continuously used it to surf the web!

  19. Michelle Says:

    Battery experts agree that the life of battery depends on other factors than charge and discharge rates.

  20. bags Says:

    sumsung’s battery is worse than nokia’s .just my think

  21. Dream Says:

    I needing the samsung NC10 battery

  22. AP Says:

    # Dream Says:
    March 23rd, 2009 at 4:45 am

    I needing the samsung NC10 battery”

    So go out and buy one!

  23. jimmy switch Says:

    I am not very familiar in battery,how can i choose a notebook battery.

  24. Ywen Says:

    The 9 cell 7200mAh Blue/White/Black battery for Samsung NC10 are available here. The running time is about 7.5hours.
    http://www.gogo-power.com/Store/Search.aspx?sck=20269597&Page=1&Sort=1&key=Samsung%20NC10

  25. Dot Says:

    I have an NC10. and am very happy with it. Got it for $409 w/free shipping at Amazon.
    Perfect for people on the go.

    Anyone have any idea about the battery memory on this thing?
    Is it better to drain down before recharging to preserve life or is that on past generation laptop batteries?

  26. Opio Says:

    I started using my NC10 on 26 July 2009, but the much hyped battery life only takes 2 hours on normal screen setting!!! I have been running it at normal operation. Please let me know why???

  27. Opio Says:

    ….Oh, the battery capacity is 2200mAh. What is the normal out of box battery capacity???
    Thanks in advance.

  28. Steven Wicks Says:

    I bought an NC10 from Comet in the UK for £279 and thought it was a real dream of a price. Didn’t get told it had a really scrimpy battery though … has barely lasted two hours. Samsung have devalued their offering by selling it with such a poor charge time. machine however is really great and has a fast load up time and good response even compare dto my Sony Vaio VGN-FE21H work horse laptop. Intend taking the Samsung to Antarctica in the near future …. that’ll really test it.
    Shame on Comet UK for not advising me they were selling a good product (the best) with a lousy but essential element!

  29. jasoninertia Says:

    stephen , Im in the same boat mate , I bought the samsung from comet with the understanding that it had a long battery life , i only get two hours out of it , I have managed to squeeze more by pressing the speed step button down to silent mode and running the screen brightness to 3 bars , but this is not really good enough as running the processor at 700 is not what i need , I bought this as a replacement to my old toshiba , it looks like I should have just put up with the size of my old laptop .

  30. Fivish Says:

    So there are three batteries out there…the 3 cell, 6 cell and 9 cell. I have the 6 cell.

    When new, the battery lasted about four and a half hours flat out.

    Now that its seven months old its down to just four hours.

    If you turn off the WiFi, BT and wind the brighness down It will last a bit longer,
    but thats not how I use it!

    Even so, its a fabulous bit of kit which can be highly recommended.

  31. trtl Says:

    Right. Your article made me do it and install a SSD in my nc10 (purchased in dec 2008). With the 9 cell battery (afaik), this means a whopping 9 hour battery life. With WLAN switched on.

    I love my nc10 even more…

  32. Panda Says:

    So there are three batteries out there…the 3 cell, 6 cell and 9 cell. I have the 6 cell.

    When new, the battery lasted about four and a half hours flat out.

    Now that its seven months old its down to just four hours.

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