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Samsung Go N310 Review

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Software and Performance:

Sure you can opt to go with a tried and true experience with Windows XP on the Samsung Go, but as we said, our unit came loaded with Windows 7 Starter Edition out of the box. As with most netbooks, software offerings are slim pickings with your usual set of applications like Microsoft Works, MS Office Home & Student Edition with a 60 day trial, and McAfee Security Center as your anti-virus software choice for 30 days. Other than that, Samsung loads in a few programs and games that don’t leave anything worth mentioning to the imagination. Instead there are more tools to help optimize the experience with programs like Samsung’s Battery Life Extender. You may want to keep startup applications to a minimum to alleviate the stress off of the unit. Unfortunately with even disabling unwanted applications at startup, the overall experience we got out of the Samsung Go was nothing short of frustrating. Loading up applications and connecting to AT&T’s network was a timely process in itself – web surfing was painfully slow as well when it came to loading our site. Ironically enough, the Samsung Go just couldn’t perform the most basic of functions without being marred by slowdown at every turn – it just couldn’t “go”.

Samsung Go N310 Review
Unlike the easy SIM card access that’s found on the Nokia Booklet 3G, the slot is located in the most unusual place on the Samsung Go. You have to remove the 4-cell (4000 mAh) battery completely off the netbook to get access to the SIM slot. After installing our SIM, the AT&T Communication manager got us connected after some time. 

Netbooks are known for their focus on web surfing, but the Samsung Go just provides for an experience that’s far from enjoyable out of the box. Sure Internet Explorer may not be the ideal browser of choice, but it’s littered with choppy scrolling once we loaded up our site.  Although Wi-Fi connections makes for the fastest loading times, AT&T’s network made viewing YouTube videos a slow process – requiring many pauses and buffering times. Additionally, HD videos on YouTube froze up at times and it jumped from one frame to another – plenty of noticeable lag. The experience does not follow the mentality that netbooks are known to provide.

So maybe multimedia playback on a netbook may not be the most ideal thing to do, but the experience on the Samsung Go was just atrocious. We’d gather that Windows 7 could be the culprit between a lot of the choppy experience, but we were dismayed with the sluggish video playback. It implements HD Audio and SRS 3D Sound Effects, but of course, through the built-in speaker it sounds just like any speaker we’ve heard on other netbooks – you can go into the SRS Sound Settings and manually adjust some options to try to take advantage of better sound quality.

Would be owners should probably stick with Windows XP with the Samsung Go because we were unimpressed with its weak battery life with Windows 7 Starter Edition. At the bare most we got out of the 4-cell battery using it to check out some YouTube videos, it produced over 2 hours and 30 minutes of life before requiring a charge. When some of Samsung’s other netbooks, like the NC10 getting 4 hours of juice, we were thoroughly disappointed with the Go’s overall battery life. If this was one of the units running Windows XP with a 6-cell battery, it would have obtained an estimated 10 hour battery life according to Samsung. Nonetheless it still clearly falls behind some of the impressive numbers we’ve seen put out by the Nokia Booklet 3G.  With longevity being one of the main priorities of a netbook, the Samsung Go just doesn’t make the cut in that one category where it really needs to shine in order to be considered competitive.


Conclusion:

With so many GSM-based netbooks available, the Samsung Go falls flat in being passable for everyday use. We were really expecting to see this unit just go without any hiccups in performance, but its sluggish experience blatantly exposes the common problems some users run into – it’s all about the speed. Not only will you see it excruciatingly crawl to a near halt, but the battery life with Windows 7 Starter is a far outcry from what we’ve seen on similar netbooks. Priced at $199 with a 2-year agreement on AT&T ($449.99 full retail), it’s unimaginable to go with this one rather than something else that might make the experience a bit more joyful – ultimately it just won’t go unless you have a lot of patience.

Pros

  • Bright LED display
  • Spacious Chicklet style keyboard

Cons

  • Sluggish performance
  • Unattractive & bulky design
  • Poor Battery Life
  • Overly large logo
PhoneArena rating:
5.5
User rating:
Not rated
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