Samsung Launches 'NC10' Netbook - InformationWeek

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Infrastructure // PC & Servers

Samsung Launches 'NC10' Netbook

As is the case with most "netbook" vendors, Samsung claims its system packages performance with style for road warriors who want a notebook that looks good.

Samsung's NC10 Netbook

Samsung's NC10 Netbook
(click for larger image)

Samsung Electronics on Friday launched its first mini-notebook, joining Asustek Computer, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, and others in trying to grab a slice of the growing market for ultraportable PCs for e-mail and Web browsing on the road.

The NC10, which weighs just under 3 pounds with a six-cell battery, sports a 10.2-inch LED screen with a resolution of 1,024-by-600 pixels and a standard-size keyboard. The system has an Intel Atom processor and 1 GB of memory and ships with Microsoft Windows XP Home. Buyers have the option of an 80-GB, 120-GB, or 160-GB hard disk drive.

As is the case with most "netbook" vendors, Samsung claims its system packages performance with style for road warriors who want a notebook that looks good. The NC10 comes in three colors: white, piano black, and metallic blue.

Other features include built-in Wi-Fi wireless support and an Ethernet LAN connection. Bluetooth wireless technology is available as an option. The system also has an integrated Webcam and three USB ports. Samsung claims eight hours of operation on a fully charged six-cell battery.

Samsung believes the full-size keyboard and long battery life will separate its product from those of competitors.

"We have been looking at the netbook market for some time to see where we could really add value for consumers," Dinesh Chand, product manager for notebooks at Samsung in the United Kingdom, said in a statement. "Through our extensive R&D network, we have gained a true insight into consumers' frustrations with these products, such as small keyboards and short battery life, which has been very valuable and has allowed us to develop a product we feel fits our customers' needs."

The NC10 is scheduled to be available globally in October. The expected selling price is up to about $600.

Samsung's latest product is pricier and a tad larger than most mini-notebooks. Many analysts define the category as sub-$500 lightweight PCs with screen sizes of 10 inches or less. Because of the computers' small keyboards, the devices are best suited as a second computer for e-mail and Web surfing on the road. They also are aimed at students looking for an inexpensive system.

The market for mini-notebooks is on track to reach shipments of 5.2 million units worldwide this year and 8 million units next year, according to market researcher Gartner. Manufacturers could ship as many as 50 million devices in 2012.

In entering the market, Samsung faces competition from Acer, Asustek, Dell, HP, Lenovo, and Micro-Star International.

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