I got my hands on a Samsung NC10 this week. Call it a birthday present to myself. I’ve read so much about this Netbook that I’ve been refraining myself from purchasing one for a while. But I gave in when I had some disposable birthday cash. Just after ordering, I placed another order for a 2Gb memory DIMM. I think 1Gb isn’t realistic for anything anymore, even a Netbook running XP.
The first thing i did when I got my hands on the unit, was pop in the memory upgrade. There’s a nice access panel specifically for you to do this, it’s even labeled ‘Memory’, so it wasn’t a problem.
The next thing I did was boot to my newly created Windows PE 3 USB stick and install Windows 7. All the hardware was detected during the installation, but some operated better with a driver update. I was happy for example to just update the Graphics, Audio Drivers and Touchpad driver. Of the Samsung suite of tools, the only tool I installed was the Easy Display Manager. This tool reactivated some of the function keys and the ability to adjust the screen brightness. I would have liked to use the Easy Battery Manager tool, but I wasn’t happy with the way it worked with Windows 7. So I opted not to use it. The only feature I miss is the auto dim of the screen when you move from AC power to battery.
Windows 7 runs brilliantly on the device, in every area. A much more modern looking OS compared to the ageing XP. I tried Windows 7 on the NC10 with just 1Gb of memory, and it makes no difference to the OS itself. The difference becomes obvious when you start running memory hungry apps like a couple of Office 2007 apps at the same time.
With web browsing only, the average battery life I got on the three cell battery was just over two hours with WiFi on and the screen brightness at its lowest. This worried me, as I was expecting to get 3+ from this. Concerned, I restored XP as shipped and was surprised to only get 2.5 hours under the same circumstances. I’m not sure if it’s the combination of XP and sharing the power load over 6 cells that gives the NC10 it’s 8 hour battery life, but was quite disappointed with just 2.5 hours.
Not liking XP and an extra twenty minutes not being a deal breaker for me. I reinstalled Windows 7. Now, knowing I was happy with the OS, I started playing with the other applications I would use. I’ve got a set of applications that I use regularly, but was aware that some of them weren’t really suited to the confines of a 1024 by 600 resolution display. I’ll blog about some more experiences over the coming day’s but I’ll end by saying that Windows 7 is certainly a Netbook OS worth considering with only the sacrifice of a little battery life.