Buying a netbook is a tricky proposition. By nature, netbooks are fraught with tradeoffs and shortcomings in order to offset low price points and portability. Samsung’s 10-inch NF310 netbook gets a whole lot right without suffering from too many drawbacks.
While most 10-inch netbooks sport cramped 1024×600 resolution screens, the NF310 has a 1366×768 HD resolution screen that makes it easier to surf web pages and navigate program windows. The computer also features advanced power management that minimizes battery trickle while in standby and allows the machine to wake up in less than three seconds.
And perhaps most importantly, the keyboard and trackpad are both great. The keys are well-sized and spread out, and the trackpad is big and responsive enough to use instead of a mouse—something not commonly found on most 10-inch netbooks. (More on Time.com: Dell Outs ‘Inspiron Duo’ Tablet/Netbook Hybrid)
Samsung rates the maximum battery life at almost 9.5 hours; I found real-world usage to skirt eight hours if I really put my mind to it, and a solid six hours is possible without too much effort.
The big battery adds a fair amount of girth to the NF310, which is the one major strike against the machine. It weighs about three pounds and measures almost an inch and a half thick at its thickest point, when a lot of 10-inchers can be had at under 2.5 pounds. It’s a pretty worthwhile tradeoff, though, as you get day-long battery life and a dual-core 1.5GHz processor.
From a hardware standpoint there are a lot of higher-end netbook components stuffed into the NF310, which makes for a great overall experience at a surprisingly affordable $400 price point. If you’re looking for a 10-inch netbook that performs well but doesn’t cost an arm and a leg, this one’s the best deal going right now.
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