Replacement for a Samsung Netbook

June 25, 2013

in News

So, the time has come to replace my trusty Samsung NC10. It’s done us proud for the last five years and I’m sure it will continue to be used from time to time, however I have just ordered a new portable PC to take me through the next five years.

Why did it need replacing? Here are my reasons:

  • The NC10 is starting to show its age, although, to be fair there’s nothing wrong that couldn’t be fixed by following the advice in this site’s forum (sticky keys, replacement battery, Windows refresh, etc).
  • I find I need to do more and more work away from my desktop PC. Unfortunately the NC10 just doesn’t have the raw processing power or screen size to run the applications I need for my professional work.
  • The tablet quickly became the living room based window into the Internet. If we need to look something up quickly, we reach for the ‘instant on’ tablet.
  • Five years seems a decent turn for an upgrade cycle, any new laptop is going to incorporate new technologies such as HDMI out, and the new USB, Bluetooth, WiFi standards.

The Netbook Alternatives

A large amount of research went into my search for a netbook replacement so I hope this information is a useful guide to anyone else in the same boat. This post covers the main device categories and looks at some of the leaders in the field.

With this in mind, if you are looking for a netbook replacement, here are the options to consider.

Ultrabooks

Ultrabook’s are the sexy new laptops that are both powerful and super portable. A winning combination with only one down side – the price!

I have actually purchased the new Haswell powered Sony Ultrabook, and I’ve naturally setup a Vaio Pro forum (please pop by and ask any questions you may have about this model!), but there are a number of flagship devices that really are dream machines.

Netbook owners will be attracted to their light weight, slim designs but unfortunately they are typically three times the cost, or more!

I justified the cost as I needed the combination of power and portability, this is a machine that I will be doing work on, it is there to help me make a living and I think this makes it a sensible investment. If I get five years of use out of it then that is clearly a great ROI!

The Ultrabooks to consider:

Sony Vaio Pro: This is the one I went for, the lightest Ultrabook available right now, great looking, great screen and great keyboard. Oh, and there’s a great forum too. Order from Sony UK (or Sony US).

Samsung Series 9: Well, we are still a Sammy site, so the Series 9, I belive now rebranded as ATIV has to get a mention too. When I bought the Samsung range had yet to be refreshed but now the new models are emerging they are definitely worth a look.

Aspire S7: The flagship laptop from Acer. Anyone looking for a top Ultrabook should have a look over the S7, fast, light and very slick.

Asus Zenbook: The Zenbook is the flagship Ultrabook from ASUS.

I include the Asus and Acer brands here as they seemed to be the best value for money. There are of course whole range of other Ultrabooks out there from the likes of Lenovo, Toshiba, and Dell but personally I found these to be more expensive whilst not really offering the same value for money.

And finally…

Mac Book Air: OK, it’s a Mac, but it is an excellent piece of kit. And priced to compete with the Intel Ultrabook brand.

Laptops

If an Ultrabook is a little extravagant for your tastes, there are still some great laptops out there that don’t quite make Intel’s Ultrabook standard and are consequently much more affordable.

My impression is that Ultrabooks and laptops offer similar performance and functionality, so I think buying a laptop doesn’t have to a compromise unless you need to push performance and portability that little bit further.

I would recommend investigating:

Asus VivoBook: Great looking device with decent specs. This is really the “value for money” leader right now and would have been my next choice if I didn’t have the budget for an Ultrabook. If you are a netbook owner looking for a new device at a low cost then this is the laptop that is currently turning heads.

Aspire S3: This is the “budget” version of the flagship S7, but don’t let that put you off. The S3 reuses many of the designs from the more expensive S7, and whilst it does have to compromise, this is a great choice for those not wanting to spend so much.

Samsung Series 5: The 5 series is the cheaper range pitched below the flagship 9 series. As always the budget range comes with reduced specs but these are still decent machines that will do the job.

Netbooks

There are still a few “netbook” branded machines around for sale around the £200 mark. Still an option if you need a traditional laptop style machine at the cheapest possible price.

Alternatively you can pick up second hand netbooks from a few years ago that are still fully functional for about £100.

Try Ebay

Tablets / Hybrids

If you are looking for a light weight portable for basic web surfing and day to day email checking etc then a tablet could still be your best bet for a replacement. They are affordable, fast, and easy to use. The latest version of Android is fantastic and competes easily with whatever Apple can rip off to stay in the game.

Nexus Tablets: The google branded tablets are the best value for money and offer a “pure” google Android experience. My preferred choice. The 10″ Nexus is even made by Samsung (althout the Asus Nexus 7 has been much more popular).

Samsung Galaxy Tab: We are a Sammy site, so I have to mention the Galaxy Tab range. The latest model puts Samsung back in the game so be sure to check it out.

iPad: Not to my taste, but clearly has a lot of positve points. Now available in standard and mini sizes!

There are also some great hybrid tablets coming out this year, it may be too early to see which designs are going to be the winners but either way, it’s great to watch the innovation.

Here are some hybrid tablet designs that I think are worth investigating further:

Samsung Ativ Book Q: An interesting concept from Samsung, this device is actually the first Windows / Android hybrid. We’ll have to wait and see if there is a demand for this combination. Not available at the time of writing, but you can find out more vaia the Samsung site.

Asus Transformer: The transformer pioneered the concept of hybrid tablets and the latest generation proves that Asus are still leading the way. The transformer can be thought of as a laptop with a detachable keyboard, once removed you are left with a tablet!

Vaio Duo: Sony proving that the mighty Japanese manufacturer is still well in the game. The Duo is a neat looking device:

Chromebook

A quick mention for Chromebooks, if you are fed up with Windows and want to try something else, the Google Chromebook offers a cloud based experience. The latest device available through the Google Play store is a decent enough machine and good value.

But is the world ready for Chrome? I think it is an interesting proposition and I can see it gaining traction in time. For now, I’m sticking to Windows.

The Future of the SammyNetbook Forums

A final note just to reassure current owners that this site will remain up for as long as I am around to keep it going. We have clearly built up a great deal of Samsung Netboko related info and it needs to stay online whilst people still may need it.

Are you still using your netbook? If not, what replaced it?

Leave a Comment

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

el mo July 26, 2013 at 7:09 pm

i’m still using my N110 thats about 4-5 years old now i guess. my N130 was my favorite in a nice blue and white color but it eventually had some mobo problems.

if i could buy the N130 again for the same price ($260 or so) i would do so today but about all i can find are refurb models in the $150-$200 range that are typically missing OS and other problems. i really don’t have any interest in paying an exorbitant price for “ultrabook” and not interest in all these new touchscreen nonsense either. wish someone would sell the good ol netbooks from 5 years ago with todays technology at a decent price.

guus March 10, 2014 at 9:15 pm

still use nc10 and looking at a asus t100 as a replacement
just replaced the fan. It still boots quickly and runs fine with 1 G memory for non complex tasks

Theo December 16, 2014 at 4:54 am

Bought an NC10 6 years ago as soon as it can out. Has been showing it’s age recently, the bettery life is down to 4 1/2 hrs and the fan developed an annoying scrathcing sound, the processor speed was showing it’s age and Windows XP support finished earlier this year. Could have upgraded the HD to an SSD but all in all felt it was time to upgrade.

Have just bought an Acer Aspire s3 -112P, 11.5 in 1366 by7 68, pentium N3540 quad core (no fan), 4Gn ram, 500Gb HD weighs 1.4Kg. Battery life was advertised as 7 hrs, but seems in real life to be in excess of 8 hrs (left a movie playing on a loop all night and it shut down close to 9hrs latter. Cost was £260, but this was the top of the line model they start from £200 which is pretty good.

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