- Good battery life
- Low cost with Verizon 3G service
- Difficult to upgrade
- Weak performance
- Low-resolution screen
The Samsung N150 is a low-performance netbook with an extremely low price from Verizon.
Low-performance, low-cost “netbooks” remain a popular computing solution for many consumers and business professionals despite the fact that these little laptops lack the capabilities of full-featured notebooks. Why bother with a netbook when you can just use a smartphone? Verizon Wireless believes the large keyboard, physically larger screen, USB ports and Windows 7 interface are all reasons to buy the Samsung N150 netbook. Oh, and let’s not forget that you can buy it for $30 with a two-year contract and stay connected to the internet anywhere the Verizon network has coverage.
Our Samsung N150 (NP-N150-HAV1US) features the following specifications:
- Intel Atom N450 processor (1.66GHz)
- Windows 7 Starter (32-bit)
- 10.1″ WSVGA (1024 x 600), Non-Gloss, LED Back-lit display
- 1GB DDR2 RAM
- 160GB hard drive (5400rpm)
- Wired Ethernet LAN: 10/100 LAN
- Wireless LAN: 802.11b/g/n
- Bluetooth: Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR
- 1.3-megapixel webcam
- Verizon Wireless 3G GOBI 2000 with VZAccess Manager software
- Verizon Wireless SIM Card
- 6-cell battery
- Dimensions: 10.4 x 7.4 x 1-1.4 inches
- Weight: 2.75 pounds
- Price: $469 or $29.99 with 2-year contract from Verizon
Build and Design
The design of the Samsung N150 is, in a word, “average” for a modern netbook. The matte black exterior combined with a burgandy red stripe of color around the edges delivers a simple consumer-oriented netbook appearance with a touch of business class. The plastics used in the construction of the chassis are high quality enough to avoid creaking sounds when you squeeze the netbook, but the plastics are thin enough that you feel that netbook flexing under the pressure of your fingertips.
The screen lid provides a similar level of protection when compared to the plastics in the rest of the netbook. If you press firmly on the back of the display you will start to see distortions on the screen, but the lid is strong enough to protect the display while the N150 rattles around in your briefcase or purse. The N150 feels relative sturdy when the netbook is completely closed and the screen hinges offer enough resistance to make you feel like you’re getting your money’s worth. On the inside the keyboard feels solid in its tray with very little flex or movement. The palmrest also holds up well, although if you have adult-sized hands your palms will hang over the front edge of the netbook and almost rest on your lap or the desk surface depending on where you work.
Taking a look at the bottom of the Samsung N150 reveals this is one of the least upgrade-friendly netbooks we’ve seen. Most netbooks have one massive access panel on the bottom of the laptop or two smaller panels that allow you to remove the RAM and the the hard drive in order to upgrade these components yourself. The N150 only features a small panel over the RAM slot allowing you to upgrade the RAM. Accessing the hard drive and wireless cards requires you to completely disassemble the netbook.
That being said, it’s doubtful that the majority of people buying this netbook from Verizon will upgrade any component … even adding a 2GB stick of RAM is unlikely for most N150 owners.
Ports and Features
The Samsung N150 features three USB 2.0 ports, VGA-out, headphone jack, microphone jack, SD card slot and Ethernet. Of course, if you purchase this netbook from Verizon you also get the built-in Verizon WWAN card for broadband internet access anywhere the Verizon network has coverage.