10 Reasons To Buy The Samsung NC20

If you’re trying to convince yourself the Samsung NC20′s the right laptop, here’s a decent start! 10 reasons we think the NC20 is a great buy.


1. The Bigger Screen

The NC20 packs in a lovely glossy 12.1″ display, with a relatively big 1280 x 800 resolution. Samsung lead the world with the quality of their screens and, in this case, they have made no exception. This is a slick LED panel with vibrant colours.

BUT… should we really be celebrating a BIGGER netbook screen? We think yes: While most netbooks come in at 10″ and below, the NC20′s 12.1″ screen means you actually have enough space to play around with photos, put together a spreadsheet, or play games at a decent resolution.

It DOES takes extra space in your bag, and some will prefer to stick with the smaller screen of the older Samsung NC10. But if you want something to do anything other than surf the web or watch movies, a couple of extra inches goes a long way. If you’re worried about size, the actual dimensions of the NC20 are 292mm x 217mm x 31mm.

2. The Weight

When was the last time you saw a 12″ laptop at 1.5kg? There are some Toshiba Portégé models that match that, but they cost at least twice as much. The NC20 may take up a couple of extra inches over a 9″ or 10″ netbook, but it doesn’t add any extra pounds.

3. The Battery

OK, so the battery lasts less than the NC10 battery did, but: 5.7 hours! That’s almost as long as an iphone battery! (well, maybe not, but it’s great anyway). The NC20′s closest equivalent is the Dell Mini 12, which ‘boasts’ a measly 3 hours.

On the NC20: Yes, the screen might be bigger, but No this doesn’t mean the stunningly good battery life of the NC10 has been thrown out of the window. Early tests show the NC20 gives 5.7 hours battery life in average conditions (average brightness with a web browser running, a document open, and wi-fi running).

4. Microsoft XP Home

It sounds silly to be happy about a 7-year old operating system, but we’re REALLY glad Samsung decided to stick with XP after its success in the NC10.

Vista just doesn’t work in a netbook. HP gave it a try with some of their Mini-notes.

Ubuntu & other Linux operating systems are great in terms of speed and simplicity – but they lack the compatibility and “office friendly” standards of a Microsoft OS.

XP is tried and tested, performs well even with low memory, and is compatible with the vast majority of software on planet earth.

5. The Processor

Yay! When we heard that Samsung were moving away from the Intel dynasty, we were slightly worried. However, when we heard this was a shift UP to the mighty VIA Nano U2250 we LITERALLY croaked with delight in the manner of an 18th century dickensian chambermaid.

The Nano cruises where the old Intel Atom may have stumbled. It sits in the fast lane, cackling as its older half-cousin trundles along checking its mirrors. Lower heat consumption, faster performance and greater efficiency all help push up the battery life too.

6. The Storage Space

Do you remember we mentioned the Dell Mini 12 earlier? The Dell is about as close in spec as you get to the NC20. It’s a ‘direct competitor’. Yet the top of the range Dell offers only an 80GB hard drive while the Samsung plumps that up to a nice juicy 160GB.

A few years ago, you’d be lucky to get a 40GB hard drive in a laptop. Today you get 160 without compromising on weight or price. And, because this is a Samsung drive.

7. The Build Quality

We loved the quality of the NC10. Have you held one? They feel like an upmarket restaurant: So smooth you almost don’t notice how good the service is; so solid and satisfying you know you’ll return for more.

Well the Samsung NC20 is even better. There are lots of beautiful little touches: The hinges are now flush with the casing. The power button has switched to a lovely solid metal. The microphone & headphone slots have now been tucked alongside the monitor output, so they no longer get caught up in your mouse cable.

8. Perfect for the home or office

The NC20 is primarily designed for mobile use. BUT it works just as well at home or in the office.

Samsung have cleverly included exactly 3 USB slots, an Ethernet port and a VGA output. There’s little need for all of this while you’re on the train, or out and about. But when you’re at home or in the office this is perfect.

Plug in an external drive, a network cable, a mouse, keyboard and an external monitor and you have no need at all for a desktop.

9. The Boatload of Extras

  • A. An SD card reader lets you stick your photos straight into the machine, or acts as extra storage.
  • B. Built-in bluetooth is great – especially nice if you use a bluetooth mouse. This is bluetooth 2.0 too – meaning it’s around 4 times faster than bog-standard bluetooth.
  • C. The webcam is only 1.3-megapixels, but the quality is fantastic. Perfect for skype and other videoconferencing tools.

10. The Groupies

Any more reasons to buy the NC20? Or even not to buy the NC20? Let us know in the comments!

If you're looking to buy the Samsung NC20, you may want to look at our Recommended Samsung NC20 Suppliers Page.


  1. jack chang Said,

    February 20, 2009 @ 10:01 pm

    It’s great! I love to use a good product using CPU different from intel.

    Yet, I hope to have a bigger one, full-featured, say 13 or 14-inch. Do you have any plan to do that using Via Nano?

  2. Sven Said,

    February 21, 2009 @ 1:38 am

    This seems like a great buy!
    But I prefer the black model instead of the white.
    The white model seems to be launched in Europe but the black isn’t yet. Also the screen is glossy but I’d prefer a matt screen when working in sunlight conditions.
    Missing is also 3G WWAN or at least an expresscard slot so one could ad an expresscard. But I guess that would increase the price. But a 3G USB dongle is not very practical when you travel.

  3. Jez - Samsung NC20 Community Said,

    February 25, 2009 @ 9:28 am

    The black NC10 came out a few weeks after the white one too. It will be along soon – don’t worry :)! After thinking the NC20 wasn’t all that exciting I have come to actually think it is a nice looking machine. If I didn’t already have my NC10 I would be finding the choice hard! Is it worth trading off the extra size for the extra space? I think it might be :)

  4. Andover IT Said,

    March 1, 2009 @ 2:52 pm

    Looks a great machine! Been looking at the NC10 but looks like the NC20 might be the one to go for.

  5. Gigi Said,

    March 2, 2009 @ 1:50 am

    The 1.3 GHz processor seems a bit slow no? Can we upgrade it? As in do we get a choice like we do with many other laptops? At least this one is better than the Dell Mini 12, because that one is completely un-upgradable.

  6. Gigi Said,

    March 2, 2009 @ 2:16 am

    oh and also, will we get a choice to upgrade the RAM like in the NC10? because 1 Gb of RAM these days isn’t much.

  7. overexposure Said,

    March 11, 2009 @ 2:14 am

    Anyone found the black nc20 to buy yet in the UK. Physically, i mean. Not ‘preorder’??

  8. PhilJo Said,

    March 18, 2009 @ 8:22 am

    I really have to disagree with 4. I have been a Linux user for over 10 years and I just prefer it. Do Samsung refund the XP license cost if I don’t wish to use Windows?

  9. TC4 Said,

    March 28, 2009 @ 4:12 am

    Great reasons to buy the NC20! :)

    However, I’m not looking forward with the fingerprint magnet chassis and glossy screen on my black NC20.

    I wished Samsung did a black matte chassis and a matte screen instead of a glossy one.

    I’m still pleased with my order though!

  10. carlos Said,

    April 21, 2009 @ 12:02 pm

    where can i buy it in chicago? i really love it, please tell me where can i get this baby!

  11. Roman Said,

    April 30, 2009 @ 1:35 am

    I also bought it and I am pretty happy with that. Of course the next coming Lenovo S20 will beat Samsung in performance and costs the same, but I can not wait any more. Bluetooth is really strong, it catches my Headset even in the other room – never happened mith my Dell Vostro 1400. My respect to Samsung.

  12. Andre Micallef Said,

    May 2, 2009 @ 2:49 am

    Just bought the NC20 from Selfridges in Birmingham for £419. The build quality is fantaastic and I suggest the following: Make sure you upgrade the RAM to 2GB. The performance increase is remarkable. I also suggest installing all the updates and I can confirm that Explorer 8 and Office 2007 SP2 run perfectly on the machine. The NC10 is a great netbook but the value for money you get for an extra £90 by going for the NC20 is a must! Another great feature of the NC20 is how silent it is and last but not least, the super compact size of the power supply.
    Well done Samsung

  13. Neil Said,

    May 8, 2009 @ 5:05 am

    I have had an NC20 for a couple of weeks. The glossy screen (as mentioned above) it a real deal breaker. It makes using the machine too difficult in almost any environment.

    My machine has a fault where it turns itself on after a time. Samsung told me this could lead to an explosion! Doh! Got to get it back to them as soon as I can.

  14. RaKa Said,

    May 22, 2009 @ 3:36 pm

    The reason I will not be buying this: it can’t display Aero in Vista, so in Windows 7 it will be a problem.

  15. VickO Said,

    June 9, 2009 @ 7:41 am

    I find the reasons for not making Linux versions available, bogus. Openoffice, while it may not support Microsoft’s ‘latest’ proprietary format, does read/write office 2000 files. I have been using it for presentations for ~5 years with no regrets. Why pay $80 for WinXP, if you can get a leaner, more efficient OS for free? If you’re paying >$500 for basically a `toy’ computer, saving on the OS might go a long way. MSI evidently did not find the reasons for ditching Linux compelling — I have a Wind that runs on Linux. I hope Samsung considers Linux, this will expand their user base and help them in the long run (although it might tick off the junk dealer Microsoft). I’m with PhilJo.

  16. Lydia Said,

    June 14, 2009 @ 10:53 pm

    Does the NC20 run well with the installation of Windows Office 2000 (without having to upgrade the RAM)?

    If not, how expensive is an extra 1GB RAM and how do I upgrade to this?

  17. SteveO Said,

    June 26, 2009 @ 10:57 am

    My NC20′s been a terrific laptop since I bought it two weeks ago. I’ve already worked it into my daily routine, which I find surprising considering how fast it was.

    I disagree with the Linux point on this blog; I use openSUSE at home and SLED at work and I can’t see how either distro isn’t “office friendly”. Unfortunately, hardware support for the NC20 isn’t quite their with the current distros, but that should all be fixed by the next release cycle. Fedora 11 (and all related distros) work like a dream on the NC20.

  18. Stefan Holmes Said,

    July 6, 2009 @ 5:45 am

    There’s nothing stopping you using Linux on an NC-20 (or an NC-10, for that matter). Getting your retailer to refund the cost of Windows is up to you to sort out. Not an ideal situation, but if you want Linux badly enough…

    I purchased 2 NC-10′s for our company a couple of weeks ago. For us, Windows XP was a must in order to maintain compatability with existing systems and *more importantly* to reduce the cost impact in supporting them! This seems to be the one factor people ignore when saying “use linux, use linux!”.

    Supporting *just* Linux is great. Supporting Linux machines used in a Windows environment is a pain in the proverbial. Interoperability is much improved, in recent times. Still nowhere near transparent though.

  19. Simian Joshua Said,

    July 17, 2009 @ 8:41 am

    Just bought one of the these from amazon.uk for £355 and got 2Gb ram for £15.

    Wanted a small but functional laptop to do some basic document editing etc. Definetly wanted a small one as it was going to be flung in a bag a lot.

    Cant recommend this machine, enough. I was a bit dubious buying a ‘samsung’ as i had looked at the sony vaio TT series, even though there expensive. But glad i got the samsung.

    Highly recommend getting the new Windows 7 (i got the release candidate for free, usable for a year) as it works beautifully, easily installed.

    Also installed Office 2007 (only £9 if you work for the NHS) – works lovely.

    Nice machine, good price.

  20. dave da wave Said,

    July 27, 2009 @ 10:08 am

    So is the screen as good as say an old mac air? Or Hp-dv2?

  21. Leplus Said,

    July 28, 2009 @ 3:35 am

    Hi all,

    I would like to know where I can buy a NC20 with a linux (preferably Ubuntu) in France.
    If it is not possible, I should take another manufacturer :-(



  22. Shawnon Said,

    July 29, 2009 @ 8:28 am

    Bought it, Love it… got it for cheap through BuyDig.com… cheapest place on the net at $459 and have great service. Shipped in 3 days for free for 2 bucks and was tax free.

    It is small enough to hide in my truck and makes a perfect mobile work computer and it has a long battery life. As far as the glossy screen, well the new LED back light is brighter that previous and I have no problems seeing in bright light situations.

  23. Karl Said,

    August 25, 2009 @ 8:20 pm

    Hi. The NC20 is great and everything I asked for and more. I am however finding it diffcult to source a good protective sleeve as the standard one doesn’t offer sufficent protection. Can anyone please recommend a good protective sleeve that will fit the NC20 dimensions. Many thanks.

  24. Natalie Said,

    October 3, 2009 @ 12:55 am

    Does the NC20 have an SD slot? Im wanting to put the SD chip from my camera straight into the computer??

  25. Deeroo Said,

    October 7, 2009 @ 6:37 am

    I just purchased one NC20 and am so far extremely happy with it. All’s true about it in the article above.Highly reccomended!

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