Samsung N120 netbook
Samsung's impressive N120 netbook marks the company's return to the Australian notebook market
- Design, excellent keyboard and track pad, good sound quality, battery life
- A little expensive, underside can get very warm during prolonged use, glossy display
Samsung's return to the notebook market after two years is a successful one, at least in the netbook category. The Samsung N120 is well built, has an outstanding keyboard and great battery life. It's a little expensive when you consider that some similar machines can be bought for a few hundred dollars less, but we have no problems recommending it if you are after a compact, comfortable and sturdy netbook.
Price$ 899.00 (AUD)
Best Deals (Selling at 1 store)
After a two-year hiatus, Samsung has officially jumped back into Australia’s notebook market. The N120 is one of two new Samsung netbooks. It features a 10.1in display, a 160GB hard disk drive and 1GB of RAM. It also has an excellent full-size keyboard.
The Samsung N120 netbook is certainly stylish, featuring a gloss white finish and a sturdy build. The large hinge feels well built, and the chrome hinges are a nice touch. Importantly for a netbook, the N120's display exhibits minimal flex when twisted and the chassis feels strong, making it ideal for transporting.
Despite the small form factor, Samsung claims the N120 notebook features an "ergonomic design", with optimised key spacing and a large touchpad. It's certainly hard to argue with this — except when it comes to the touchpad. The Samsung N120's keyboard is one of the most comfortable we've seen on a netbook. Keys are well spaced and in their correct positions, and they provide excellent tactile response. The keyboard does lack a backlight for using it in the dark, which would have been a nifty inclusion. The touchpad is actually quite small, but your finger glides effortlessly across it and the scroll bar on the right works effectively.
The Samsung N120 netbook runs Windows XP SP3 and our review unit was powered by a 1.6GHz Intel Atom N270 processor, a 160GB hard disk drive, 1GB of DDR2 RAM and integrated graphics — all standard netbook fare. Despite the conventional hard drive the Samsung N120 is a very quiet machine. The underside of the notebook does get a little hot during prolonged use, however.
The Samsung N120 includes a D-Sub port, three USB 2.0 ports, 10/100 Ethernet, headphone and microphone jacks, a 3-in-1 flash card reader that supports MMC, SD and SDHC cards, and a Kensington lock slot. The lack of a Gigabit Ethernet port is disappointing at this price point, though many other netbooks on the market suffer from the same fate. Bluetooth 2.0 and 802.11n Wi-Fi are both included.
In our iTunes test it took the Samsung N120 7min 53sec to encode 53min worth of WAV files to 192Kbps MP3s. This isn't a great result when compared to a more expensive, regular notebook, though it is quite good for a netbook and it is better than competing models such as the MSI Wind U120 and the ASUS Eee PC 1000HE.
The Samsung N120 has a 10in screen with a native resolution of 1024x600. The display itself is glossy and tends to reflect florescent light, though the white bezel surrounding the display isn't reflective at all.
A VGA webcam is housed above the display. Audio from the built-in speakers is excellent for a netbook — the Samsung N120 features a 2.1 sound system with 2 1.5W speakers either side of the display and a 1.5W subwoofer underneath. The unit does a very good job of reproducing music and movie audio compared to many competing netbooks.
Battery life is very impressive. In our battery test, where we loop a video file with the screen brightness at its highest setting, the N120's 6-cell battery lasted more than 4.5 hours; a great result. This test was conducted in high-performance mode, so you will get even better results by changing the Windows XP power settings.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Sony Xperia Z5 Premium review: Is the world ready for a 4K phone?
- 2 D-Link Taipan AC3200 Ultra tri-band modem-router review
- 3 Dell XPS 13 (2016) review: Making the very best Ultrabook
- 4 Microsoft Surface Book review: The verdict on Microsoft's first notebook
- 5 Telstra Wi-Fi 4GX Advanced III review: Testing the world's first 600Mbps wireless hotspot
Best Deals on PC World
Latest News Articles
- Acer's new Predator gaming systems are powerful beasts that will also run your VR headset
- Intel's tablet adventure looking more like its netbook disaster
- Apple updates MacBook with new processors, adds Rose Gold
- Hands on with NexDock, the laptop that isn't
- The Surface Pro 4 Type Cover gets fancy with premium Signature Edition
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
- CCSCCM - SCOM - AD Systems EngineerNSW
- FTTechnical Lead (Guidewire Policy Center)NSW
- CCDigital Project ManagerNSW
- FTSQL DeveloperNSW
- CCWeb AdministratorACT
- FTManager; Enterprise ArchitectureNSW
- CCAEM DeveloperVIC
- CCAnalyst Programmer (Lotus Notes/Networking) 160504/AP/781Asia
- CCBusiness Analyst - ICT SecurityNSW
- FTInfrastructure Project ManagerACT
- CCHealthcare Test SpecialistSA
- CCSystems TrainerVIC
- FTNV2 Defence Project Manager | Prince2 & PMBoK shop | Huge project pipelineACT
- CCBusiness Analyst - Digital/Financial ServicesNSW
- CCApplication Migration ArchitectACT
- CC.NET Developer (Application production Support)NSW
- CCIT Program Delivery Office Lead- Government BackgroundNSW
- CCContract Analyst Programmer (JAVA/Oracle/Unix) 160509/AP/395Asia
- FTVendor Manager / Team Lead - ITIL / ITSMVIC
- CCScrum MasterNSW
- CCSr. Iteration ManagerVIC
- CCSales Development Executive - Software SolutionsNSW
- CCAccount Manager - Software Solutions - Global IT CompanyNSW
- FTTechnical/Team Lead - .NetNSW
- CCSenior Analyst, Applications - GDWVIC