Samsung N220 netbook
Samsung N220's netbook has built-in 3G connectivity.
- Good design and build quality, build-in 3G wireless broadband, comfortable keyboard, adequate performance
- Windows Desktop can be a little cramped, small touchpad, gets warm during prolonged use
We like the Samsung N220's built-in 3G wireless broadband capabilities, but its impressive design will also win its fair share of fans, as will its excellent battery life.
The Samsung N220 is a 10.1in netbook with built in 3G mobile broadband access; it's the successor to the Samsung NC10. Sold directly through Optus and bundled with a wireless broadband connection, the N220 is well built, offering a comfortable keyboard and adequate performance for a netbook.
Samsung N220: Design
The Samsung N220 features an unusual glossy sea green colour lid; we think it achieves a nice balance between work and play. The glossy finish will attract plenty of fingerprints, however.
Flipped open, the Samsung N220's design is impressive. Unlike many other netbooks, it doesn't look or feel tacky and it is built from sturdy feeling plastic. The screen exhibits minimal flex when pressed, and the hinges feel strong. A chrome strip runs around both the display and the base, and the netbook has sleek, curved edges. The screen has a matte finish, which minimises reflections, though the glossy strip around the display can be distracting when you're using the netbook under fluorescent lighting. The screen has average viewing angles, but it is bright and clear enough for most tasks; the standard 1024x600 resolution means the Desktop can be a little cramped.
The Samsung N220's keyboard is small, but there is space between keys and the layout is impressive. The keys have good travel, and, although the keyboard is slightly cramped, after a few hours of use we feel most people will become accustomed to the design. The N220's touchpad is quite small, though reasonable when you take into account the minimal space available for it. It's size does make it a little frustrating to use.
Weighing 1.32kg, the Samsung N220 is easy to carry around and thin enough to travel with you all day without being a burden. It’s a little top-heavy though (so it doesn't balance well on your lap with the screen open at an angle greater than 90 degrees). It also gets reasonably warm — though not hot — during constant use.
The Samsung N220's standard 6-cell battery is big enough to give the netbook a slight forward slant when resting flat on a table. It lasted an impressive 5hr 48min in our battery rundown test, in which we disable power management, enable Wi-Fi, maximise brightness and loop an Xvid-encoded video. The Samsung NC10 recorded just over four hours in our tests back in September 2009, so the N220's result exceeded our expectations and makes this netbook and ideal road warrior.
Samsung N220: Performance
The Samsung N220 is powered by a 1.66GHz Intel Atom N450 processor, 1GB of DDR2 RAM, a 250GB hard drive, and integrated Intel graphics. In our performance tests, the N220 recorded a time of 7min 2sec in the Blender 3D rendering test, which is a slower time than the Samsung N150 netbook. Its time of 7min 3sec in the iTunes MP3 encoding test is noteworthy though — it's up to a minute faster than similar netbooks on the market.
The Samsung N220 hasn't been designed to play games, and its low score of 153 in 3DMark06 reflects this. The native 1024x600 resolution of the screen isn’t high enough to display most games anyway — it can cope with basic, standard-definition movies, but is not suited to any HD content. A VGA webcam is located above the display, while audio from the built-in speakers is about average (there is little bass and distortion is evident at high volumes, but using a set of headphones produces reasonable audio).
Samsung N220: Connectivity
The Samsung N220 comes with three USB 2.0 ports, a VGA port, microphone and headphone jacks, 10/100 Ethernet, a Kensington lock slot, and an SD card slot. The USB port on the left side is a 'ChargeableUSB' port. This lets you recharge devices like mobile phones and MP3 players even while the N220 is turned off. The N220 also includes Bluetooth and 802.11n Wi-Fi, which can be turned on and off via a switch on the right side.
The N220's best feature is the built-in 3G wireless broadband, with a SIM card slot located under the battery. Samsung has partnered with Optus for the N220 in Australia, offering the netbook for free if you sign up to one of two 24-month contract plans — a $49.99 per month plan that includes 2GB of data and a $69.99 per month plan with 5GB of data. The netbook's 3G module is unlocked, meaning you can use your own SIM card if you wish. The Samsung N220 is sold exclusively through Optus and is not available without signing up to a contract. The Samsung N220 netbook includes Optus' wireless broadband software preinstalled, and getting online is a simple matter of launching the application and clicking connect.
Become a fan of PC World Australia on Facebook
Follow PC World Australia on Twitter: @PCWorldAu
Stay up to date with the latest news, reviews and features. Sign up to PC World’s newsletters
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Epson WorkForce ET-4550
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Lexar® Portable SSD
Acer Swift 7
Google Daydream VR headset
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
Huawei Mate 9
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Surface Pro 4
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Star Wars Death Star Bluetooth levitating rotating speaker review
- 2 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 3 Fetch TV Mighty review: Better than Foxtel
- 4 Fetch TV Mini review: Make your TV a smart TV
- 5 Panasonic Viera DX900U UHD 4K smart TV review
Latest News Articles
- Samsung's UHD Monitor covers 99.5 per cent of Adobe colour spectrum
- HP settles cases with inkjet cartridge vendors
- Study predicts PS3 will win the console war
- Samsung wave makes a splash at Mobile World Congress
- Sony finally back in the black (but not thanks to PlayStation)
PCW Evaluation Team
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
- Horizon Zero Dawn review
- How to quit Pokemon Go (or to start enjoying it again)
- Japan's pop culture, anime-friendly, J-Pop shrine, Kanda Myojin
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- TPFull Stack .NET DeveloperWA
- FTSolutions Software DeveloperVIC
- FT.net Developer (Front and Back end)QLD
- CCTechnical Consultant - ITSM/HP Service ManagerNSW
- FTInfrastructure Architect (Adelaide Based)VIC
- TPSCCM SpecialistVIC
- FTSalesforce Technical Consultant/Architect Global IT Company - SydneyNSW
- TPSenior Test AnalystQLD
- FT.Net DeveloperNSW
- FTSecurity Engineer - Permanent - IT Services - SydneyNSW
- FTSenior Software Engineer x 2 - Adelaide Based (PV, NV2 or NV1 required)WA
- CCSQL Database Administrator (DBA)NSW
- TPProduct Owner - Cloud SolutionsQLD
- FTConsultant Business AnalystQLD
- CCSenior Storage System Engineer -NetApp & TSMNSW
- FTPMO Coordinator-Permanent Opportunity-Education/Government Background EssentialNSW
- TPHRIS Business AnalystQLD
- FTSenior IT Business Analyst - Permanent OpportunityNSW
- FTITIL Service ManagerVIC
- CCTest Reporter - Gold CoastQLD
- TPSystem AdministratorVIC
- FTPMO Coordinator-Permanent Opportunity-Education/Government Background EssentialNSW
- TPSenior Network EngineerWA
- FTSenior Software Engineer x 2 - Adelaide Based (PV, NV2 or NV1 required)VIC
- CCSenior Technical Consultant - MicrosoftACT