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Samsung N120 review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £330
inc VAT

Samsung's N120 is a great value netbook. It's the best one here for working on the move thanks to its large keyboard and long battery life.


10.1 in 1,024×600 display, 1.2kg, 1.6GHz Intel Atom N270, 1.00GB RAM, 160GB disk, Windows XP Home Edition

Samsung’s N120 triumphed in our recent netbook labs, and it’s still one of the best netbooks.

It’s also the only netbook we’ve seen with 2.1 speakers. None of the netbooks here has good enough speakers for enjoying music for hours on end, but the N120’s speakers sound better than most. Despite the ‘subwoofer’ built into the N120’s underside, bass is still weak.

Battery life is a highlight, though. It lasted nearly eight-and-a-half hours in our light-usage test. This makes the N120 ideal if you regularly need to work without mains power. The long battery life is only possible with a chunky battery. It makes the N120 a little bulky, but it props the keyboard at an angle that can make typing more comfortable. What’s more, at 1.2kg, the N120 is no heavier than its rivals.

The keyboard is pleasant to type on thanks to its large keys. Only the tab, cursor and right shift keys are smaller than we’d expect. The slightly odd layout may trip up frequent users of keyboard shortcuts, as the Windows key is located to the right of the space bar instead of the left. In its usual place is a Fn key that doubles as a contextual menu key. The touchpad is accurate and reasonably large. The buttons have the same pivoting design as Asus’ Eee PC 1005HA, but feel more responsive.

Although the screen isn’t particularly bright – some colours look a little washed out – it’s still easy on the eye. It also tilts back quite far, making it easy to use in small spaces. The matte black case feels sturdy and is also available in white, if you prefer. The SD card is located on the front just to the right of the touchpad, while the ports are all located on the side, instead of on the back as with some netbooks, so they’re easy to reach.

If there’s one gripe, it’s the absence of Draft-N WiFi (there’s 802.11a/b/g instead), but overall, Samsung’s N120 is an excellent netbook thanks to its long battery life and comfortable keyboard. Best of all, it’s reasonably priced. If you just want a netbook for browsing the web and won’t be typing long documents, you could save a few pounds by opting for Asus’ EeePC 1005 HA instead.

Basic Specifications

Rating *****
Processor Intel Atom N270
Processor clock speed 1.6GHz
Memory 1.00GB
Memory slots 1
Memory slots free 0
Maximum memory 2GB
Size 38x273x188mm
Weight 1.2kg
Sound Realtek High Definition Audio
Pointing device touchpad
Power consumption standby 1W
Power consumption idle 13W
Power consumption active 18W


Viewable size 10.1 in
Native resolution 1,024×600
Graphics Processor Intel GMA 950
Graphics/video ports VGA
Graphics Memory 128MB


Total storage capacity 160GB
Optical drive model none
Optical drive type N/A

Ports and Expansion

USB ports 3
Bluetooth yes
Wired network ports 1x 10/100
Wireless networking support 802.11a/b/g
PC Card slots none
Modem No
Supported memory cards SDHC, MMC
Other ports none


Carrying case Yes
Operating system Windows XP Home Edition
Operating system restore option restore partition, restore disc
Software included none
Optional extras none

Buying Information

Warranty one year collect and return
Price £330

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