MRP: Rs 15,990
Street Price: Rs 13,270 (Letsbuy.com)
Samsung's netbooks are pretty popular among people bidding goodbye to their bulky laptops. They are also known for being cost-effective, and netbooks from the N148 Plus series are just that. Despite being a low-cost product, the company claims that these devices are sturdy, highly portable, and energy efficient.
Design And Build Quality
The retail package contains the netbook and a power brick (and a pair of cheap earphones if you can wrangle them out of the dealer). This average-looking device measures 188 mm (l) x 264 mm (w) x 34.7 mm (d) and weighs in at 1.24 kg. Out of the seven available colours, the one we tested was black, which looks decent. It features a sporty red stripe along three sides of the bottom half. The lid is made of glossy plastic and is a real fingerprint magnet.
The matte plastic bottom guards the netbook's internals, and is affixed to the chassis with numerous screws. This makes the device less upgrade-friendly.
The netbook has a sturdy hinge, but does not allow the screen to be reclined beyond 75 degrees (approx). The onboard keyboard is run-of-the-mill, and isn't ideal for frequent typists. The keys provide good feedback, but feel tightly packed. I understand the space restriction due to the small chassis, but ASUS
has managed to include better keyboards in a similar form factor. On the bright side, the trackpad is pretty accurate and the mouse buttons click well.
Here are a few shots from different angles:
Despite the plastic construction, the device has a sturdy feel to it. Unlike most netbooks, this one doesn't make groaning sounds when pressed. Hence, the overall build quality is good for its price tag.
Display And Sound
The N148 sports a 10.1" LED-lit screen with pixel dimensions of 1024x600. Although the screen offers good brightness levels, the colours aren't impressive.
The two tiny 1.5 Watt speakers sound ok, and are reasonably loud. However, you are better off using earphones. On the bright side, the sound output through the 3.5 mm jack is very good.
The device runs on an Intel Atom N455
CPU clocked at 1.66 GHz, coupled with 1 GB of RAM. Other specs include a 250 GB (5200 rpm) hard drive, WI-Fi, Bluetooth 3.0, and a webcam.
The device ships with DOS
, so I installed Windows 7 Ultimate
using a bootable pen drive. I found the netbook good for basic browsing and light multimedia, but not more than that. Coming to multitasking, you can browse the web while listening to music. However, if you open even one more application such as MS Word
, the system slows down to the extent that you can notice considerable sluggishness while performing simple tasks such as switching tabs in a browser. An additional gigabyte of RAM might make the experience less painful, but it can't hide the shortcomings of Intel's Atom CPU. You can enjoy 720p movies on this device, but don't expect it to handle anything above that. Playing Quake III Arena
is as far as gaming goes on this product, but isn't Quake III still one of the best games around?
All in all, the N148's sluggishness will frustrate today's impatient users. Although netbooks aren't speedy, I've seen many Atom-based netbooks performing better than this one. Here are the results of the synthetic benchmarks:
Windows 7 Experience Index.
PCMark 7 score.
Battery life is one of the most important factors for netbooks. Thankfully, the N148's 6-cell, 4400 mAh battery performs quite well. With brightness set to 50%, the battery managed to power the device for more than 9 hours under moderate use. With heavy use though, the time reduced to 6 hours and 15 minutes.
We also ran the Battery Eater
benchmarks for accurate readings, and the results are given below:
Samsung is offering the N148 Plus series at the price of an affordable smartphone. This makes it a great choice for budget buyers. Moreover, the device offers good build quality and impressive battery life. On the other hand, Atom's performance is a real downer. The keyboard is not good either.
If you want something to take care of basic computing needs on the go, and provide enough juice to last throughout your flight from Mumbai to Hong Kong, you should consider this netbook. However, I highly recommend a RAM upgrade to the maximum allowed 2 GB at the time of purchase.Features:
3/5Design And Build Quality:
2.5/5Value For Money: