48 of 48 people found the following review helpful
on 2 March 2012
I'd narrowed my choice down to this or a tablet, and opted for bargain functionality over expensive recreation. It's considerably cheaper than a tablet and of course does very much more. Three USB ports, LAN and VGA ports, wireless LAN and, of course, a keyboard. After reading earlier reviews I took no chances and ordered the 2GB RAM upgrade which arrived in the same box. It cost £10 and took less than a minute to fit - why isn't it fitted as standard when so many people are put off the machine by the performance of the 1GB module? Windows 7 seems to be posing no issues, though I make sure it notifies me when an update is available, rather than doing it all automatically. I use OpenOffice applications which work fine. The other main application I use is Skype. That also works well, but I did spend a lot of time trying to diagnose and clear the performance message "your computer is running slowly" without success, and ascribed it to Skype being picky. I use it for writing too and appreciate the lack of noise, though of course over long periods one has to be careful with posture. Remember that the keyboard, whilst adequately responsive, is compact and takes a while to adjust to.
Battery life seems to be about 5-7 hours if you leave it switched on with the recommended settings, shorter if you're running a memory hungry application like Skype; very much longer if you put it to sleep of course. I normally only plug in the power overnight. Power on from sleep is almost instant and it boots very quickly from a shut-down state.
A tablet of course is much sexier and you won't turn heads by plonking this down on a table at the start of a meeting. But this suits my purposes perfectly and of course it's less than half the price.
49 of 50 people found the following review helpful
on 20 January 2012
I have left reviewing My new little plaything for over a month, so I could use it and have an opinion, I absolutely love it! I bought it really to go out and about/travelling, without having to carry around My larger, heavier 17" laptop, it does everything i want, although a little slow, but going to upgrade the RAM to 2GB to make it run faster, and I will at some point get an external DVD drive. overall, really pleased and would recommend...Happy bunny!
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 16 March 2012
Fantastic bit of kit. Wanted a small device to take out in the van, which was not too expensive. Wasn't expecting too much from it to be honest, having read that netbooks are a bit slow and limited in what they can do. However... this is just brilliant, got the 2GB memory upgrade at time of purchase which is to be recommended.
Build quality is excellent, good keyboard and stunning display. Battery seems to last forever as the machine sleeps as soon as you shut the lid, and restarts within 2 seconds when next opened.
Have used it so far on a number of wireless networks and with my 3 dongle, no problems with connecting.
Only slightly negative point, why not ship with a 2GB module and put the price up by a tenner, would save having to get the screwdriver out.
Really really pleased, would recommend to anyone.
1st June 2012:
Just an update, had the machine for a few months now and it's still brilliant. Makes working away from the office an absolute joy. Recently installed office home/student on it with no adverse performance issues, next try Win7 home premium as the basic one is just that, rather basic.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 6 April 2012
i have had this Net-book for over a month now at first it was really slow and i almost sent it back but because i could not afford a ipad or anything better i have decided to keep it. i ordered the memory upgrade at same time and it has speeded things up. And i have download Goggle Crome i have found this a lot quicker than internet explorer. i have taken the samsung program off. Also i have download VLC media player for windows so i can watch video file from a memory stick,
but it will not play back files in hi-def, like mp4 or hd ,they just break up. But it does play avi mkv files they play really well which i find great sitting in bed at night with headphone in, plus youtube play well too. Windows 7 starter is ok i don't need to upgrade this for what i use it for, and not sure if it would need more power to run it anyhow. i have put the norton 60day free trail on it which work fine. Its a well made little net-book keyboard is really nice. track pad takes time to get used to, Just check out the user guide it will show u how it works best. To scroll down the page its is far right on the trackpad. i also found it a bit sensitive if your arrow is over anything to long it will jump to that page, but it mite just need's adjustment which can be done, i have got use to this now. Screen is really nice. Plus it is very portable. don't be put off, this is a good net-book and a good price. It just's take a little time to get use to it. And i can see it lasting quite a few years.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 5 March 2012
Bought this for my son after Christmas to get him computer literate. He loves it and is now surfing happily , producing homework and playing games. It was easy to set up I upgraded the memory to a 2GB card which was very simple, I know nothing about the internal workings of a laptop and it took 2 minutes to do. You can upgrade it at any time you don't have to do it before first use I did it after we had set it all up and it worked fine. I would recommend doing this as it speeds up the netbook thinking time.Windows starter is ample for a child of 9 and probably up to 16 depending on what they want to do, it has word and excel, you just cant change the desktop theme which doesn't really matter as you can have all the theme changing fun you want when you set up your search engine page. I thought it was a lot heavier than I expected but that`s a plus as it feels robust enough for a 9yr olds abuse. Don`t expect it to be as fast as a laptop and be all singing and dancing because if that`s what you want spend more and get a laptop instead, but overall I am impressed by this little netbook. My son thinks its the best thing ever. Make sure you set up parental controls if it is for a child otherwise you could end up answering some awkward questions after they have been surfing!!
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on 11 July 2012
My experience with this netbook was a little delayed by the failure of the first one delivered to show me anything on-screen. I tried the brightness and contrast through the function keys, but the screen was not lighting up at all. There were no "beep codes" to indicate any kind of failure (don't know if a netbook uses these, but it should!) and absolutely no way of trying to get the thing to respond. The disk was spinning up but the device otherwise looked dead. I had been planning to upgrade the memory to 2GB (easily done), but decided to ask Amazon for a replacement, which was duly done. The Amazon returns procedure is a lot less painful than my memories of other companies' efforts, so full marks to Amazon, who in my experience have always stepped up to the mark and backed up their sales service with excellent after-sales too.
"But the netbook..." you ask.
I was surprised at the moderate speed of the device. Some comments led me to wonder whether it'd be unusable, they were so strident. I have a number of other better-specced computers, some desktop workstations, and a couple of good laptops. The N145 is slower than all of them, but only a little slower than my lowest-spec laptop (which is similar spec to the netbook in some respects).
This is because of the need to eke out power consumption. The selling point for netbooks is mobility. You don't want to be lugging around all the "infrastructure" you need to keep a portable machine charged, and whereas my 17" lappie will probably manage 2 hours before asking for a drink, the N145 goes on camel-like for another 7 or 8 hours. A larger screen would take more power, a faster processor likewise, larger HDD likewise; but you don't get a netbook as your main computer. If you want that kind of flexibility, go for a low-end laptop. A 15" screen and 2Ghz processor shouldn't cost you twice the price of the N145, but at least can do a better job of being a primary computer. You get a netbook for portability and a convenient method for keeping up with emails etc while on the move. It is also great for people that need a quick note-taking device or would like to work just occasionally in the open air, on things that don't need much screen space. For this kind of secondary use, these are fine, and the only alternative for people who'd like an Ipad for its compactness but really can't get along with its on-screen keyboard. The "real" keyboard on the N145 is a bit cramped, but still very usable.
The oft-criticised startup speed is as much of a problem as you'd like it to be. Sure, starting up from "cold" takes a little time - perhaps people think small devices should start up faster? If the time is a bit slow, there are surely other things you can do while it wakes up, preparing those papers, making that cuppa, organising yourself mentally for whatever it is you were going to do with the N145. It really isn't that onerous. If you want a faster start, just allow the N145 to sleep instead of shut down. Open the screen and it is there ready for work before you are!
We're using the netbook as a convenient access online when we're sunning ourselves in the garden, and for coursework (university and vocational), and for email. We don't need lightspeed for any of those tasks, if we were going to use it to watch films, well, we'd have got at least a 15" laptop instead, but even so, the lower screen resolution might not help there although I imagine the processing power is up to it. If we were going to do anything more system/screen/graphics intensive, we'd not even use a basic laptop but move upmarket to something suited to that kind of work. This is for emails, word processing, and the Web. If you get it for those purposes and its portability and meagre power consumption, you should be fine.
Note that even so the limited screen size may present occasional problems, such as Windows dialogue boxes that are too large to fit vertically on-screen, meaning a bit of jiggling around in order to reach the OK/Cancel buttons, for example. Generally, though, it is easy to work with and not much of a strain on the eyes to read.
We ditched the included MS Office package for a simple Word Processor in OpenOffice (free, and advert-free too!), and moved over to Mozilla's Thunderbird for our email, and Firefox for the browser. Thunderbird sets up easily, will automatically get the settings for your ISP email accounts (and Hotmail, GMX, Gmail et al) and also allows you to keep the messages you receive on their servers, so that your main computer can pick them up a second time later on (great for someone on the move who wants to keep messages centralised). Frankly, with the right software this machine is close to essential. It does all the basics well, in somewhat cramped space admittedly, and providing it starts up first time (!) should serve you well.
I did the memory upgrade to 2GB when a working machine arrived, but hadn't used it on 1GB for long enough to really sense an improvement. I got the impression that it was marginally faster at best.
I've always tended to buy a machine for set purposes, a workstation for my 3D graphics/modelling work, a large laptop for general use (writing books, doing coursework for Uni (I'm 55, btw!)) another system for gaming, etc. The netbook fills our niche for a "small general-purpose ultra-portable terminal that'll run for hours" - something none of our other machines can do!
A good machine. There are newer and faster versions around for more money, but I personally believe we pitched into the netbook genre at about the right place. More speed and features, and we'd have picked a laptop instead because the price differentials drop rapidly, so for a computer that sees use in specific situations (on the move, away from a power outlet) this price/technology point was perfect for us.