Joel and Rob are enamored with other netbooks — the Wind and Inspiron Mini, respectively, mostly for OS X hackability — but I still recommend the Samsung NC10 to anyone who cares to listen. It’s a gorgeous little machine that gets every element of the netbook formula right. Sure, it is imbued with the standard cut-copy specs of a 1.6GHz Atom N270, 160GB HDD, 1GB of RAM, WiFi and Bluetooth. But the keyboard is a thing of beauty that understands the proper place for a right-shift key, and the 6.5 hour battery life is not only boasted, but actual… a feat only recently matched by Asus’ 1000HA, but with the 9.5 hour Asus 1000HE on the horizon, the NC10’s position as most-juiced netbook under the sun was looking threatened.
Admirably, Samsung doesn’t seem to be resting on its laurels, though. They seem intent on keeping the NC10’s quality at the top of the heap: through an exclusive partnership with Amazon, the NC10 is being refreshed to include a 5,900mAh high capacity battery, which they promise will extend the battery life to a 1000HE matching 9.4 hours. Better, the trackpad is being enlarged, and the matte display replaced with glossy, which will be a boon or a burden depending on how you feel about such things.
Amazon’s accepting pre-orders now, if you’re interested in picking one up, but the price is a bit staggering: $499. Considering the 1000HE will go for about $375 after rebate, with a refreshed chiclet keyboard to boot, that’s an expensive premium for a similarly specced netbook. I doubt I will be recommending the NC10 for much longer.