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  • Samsung NC10 Netbook

    Phoronix: Samung NC10 Netbook

    It seems that each and every week there are new netbooks that are introduced, but there are not many differences between most models. Some netbooks will have a slightly longer battery life, a different exterior, or a solid-state drive, but there are more similarities than differences. However, one of the latest companies to join the netbook bandwagon here in the United States has been Samsung with the introduction of the NC10. Is there anything special about this 10.2-inch Atom-powered netbook? We will tell you in this Linux review of the Samsung NC10.

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=13348

  • #2
    Which Atheros WiFi chipset does that thing use? From my Acer Aspire One:

    Code:
    jeffro@jeffro-one:~$ /sbin/lspci | grep Atheros
    03:00.0 Ethernet controller: Atheros Communications Inc. AR242x 802.11abg Wireless PCI Express Adapter (rev 01)
    With Kubuntu 8.10, it didn't work out of the box, but I didn't neet to compile anything. I just had to disable the default-installed driver (I think it was an older version of Mad Wifi), then install the "linux-restricted-modules" package (or whatever it's actually called). That had a working version of ath5k, and gave me no troubles once installed.

    Sorry if I'm hazy on the details, I ditched Kubuntu for OpenSUSE 11.1.

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    • #3
      Is there anything special about this 10.2-inch Atom-powered netbook? We will tell you in this Linux review of the Samsung NC10.
      i haven't read the answer in the article. false advertising?

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      • #4
        Originally posted by tulcod View Post
        i haven't read the answer in the article. false advertising?
        Then you clearly missed it.

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        • #5
          Mine still has Windows XP on it as I am wary of installing Ubuntu again due to the broken Firefox I have thus far experienced in three different installs (8.04 and 8.10 on the old laptop, 8.10 on the desktop).

          Anyone know a distribution that works with Wifi on this one as easily as Ubuntu?

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          • #6
            Anyone know a distribution that works with Wifi on this one as easily as Ubuntu?
            Well, I'm still waiting for one of the Phoronix guys to reply with lspci output for this thing.

            Assuming that, underneath the skin, it's the same as my Aspire OpenSUSE 11.1 will work fine. I used UNetBootin to make a USB installer. Had a couple time-outs with the installation repository, but once installed everything important just worked. I had to do absolutely zero messing around to get the wireless up and running.

            Only problem is ath5k (at least the version that ships with all the major non-rolling-release distributions) doesn't yet have support for the wireless status LED. I don't know about the other netbooks, but the wifi-kill switch on the Aspire is a momentary contact type. So, it can be difficult troubleshooting if the wireless should crap out (no visual indicator if the radio is actually doing anything)

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            • #7
              I'll be glad to write part II for you

              [QUOTE=phoronix;57462]Phoronix: Samung NC10 Netbook

              It seems that each and every week there are new netbooks that are introduced,

              ---snip-------

              Guess not enough are released for you to find linux based netbooks to review.

              Yes all of the GENERAL reviews I've read suggest the nc 10 is a very nice machine, (I even considered it myself before purchasing a linux based device) but I come to Phoronix hoping for news about Linux products, unfortunately I am usually disappointed. Phoronix does not need to re-iterate what has been said elsewhere. If your benchmarks had compared the NC 10 with other (Linux Based) netbooks it would have been more useful.

              To tell the truth I would have preferred you send the device back and let Samsung (A company I have had good dealings with) know that you would be glad to review the machine when it comes with linux as a supported platform.

              It is nice to know that Linux runs on this machine, but you didn't do much to tell us about problems or successes (other than the wireless).
              How do other distros fare on the device?

              Any problems w/ hard drives going to sleep and waking up constantly.
              (I've read this may be a problem w/ some other machines). Will Samsung have any warranty issues with a linux install? I don't know. What features work or fail under linux (or xxxBSD for that matter)

              Maybe you should send it to me so I can do part 2 of the review ;-)

              Instead you filled 5 or 6 click through advertising pages with graphs showing how the NC 10 compared to a totally unrelated product. (At least as far as target market is concerned)

              I appreciate the effort that has gone into creating the Phoronix test suite and hope other hardware review sites will begin to use it as well, I just wish that Phoronix would take a tougher open source stance reguarding its reviews,

              I like Phoronix, I just expect more from you.

              Thanks for reading

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              • #8
                Please do not recommend any Samsung laptop products

                There BIOSs are utter garbage and many models simply do not work correctly with Linux due to these problems. It's mostly due to laziness having one BIOS for both integrated and discrete graphics chipsets

                You may find brightness control a minor feature but it's highly irritating this doesn't work out the box with OpRegion on the Intel chipsets.

                I've contacted Samsung about this but they state quite clearly that they don't support Linux (or any 64 bit operating system) which is a bit silly considering they sell laptops with 4GB of RAM on board

                Anyway enough of me complaining feel free to search for open bugs on bugzilla.kernel.org for further verification of this

                Mike

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                • #9
                  Just to report a typo in the headline.
                  One S is missing ( Samung ), maybe a mod could correct it.

                  Cheers.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by joffe View Post
                    Mine still has Windows XP on it as I am wary of installing Ubuntu again due to the broken Firefox I have thus far experienced in three different installs (8.04 and 8.10 on the old laptop, 8.10 on the desktop).

                    Anyone know a distribution that works with Wifi on this one as easily as Ubuntu?
                    Define "broken".

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      just takes a bit of work

                      I've just bought one of these for the wife. I made a bootable USB stick under Intrepid and used it to install Intrepid on the NC10. Overall following the guide on the Ubuntu wiki things weren't so bad.

                      Wireless drivers work after enabling backports,installing extra packages and blacklisting the other modules.
                      Sound was better after updating to the -proposed kernel. Needed to open the volume control and adjust/turn on various bits.
                      Brightness keys will need a small kernel patch, hopefully Ubuntu will include it one day. For the moment I installed the brightness applet.
                      I enabled laptop mode and adjusted the HD power saving times.
                      The main remaining problem is that the touchpad vertical sensitivity is too high.

                      Pretty much everything else just worked. The battery lasts for ages - not sure how long yet but in excess of five hours!

                      Anyway, if I had wanted everything to 'just work' I would have got a Dell Mini 9.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by mesamoo View Post
                        Guess not enough are released for you to find linux based netbooks to review.

                        Yes all of the GENERAL reviews I've read suggest the nc 10 is a very nice machine, (I even considered it myself before purchasing a linux based device) but I come to Phoronix hoping for news about Linux products, unfortunately I am usually disappointed. Phoronix does not need to re-iterate what has been said elsewhere. If your benchmarks had compared the NC 10 with other (Linux Based) netbooks it would have been more useful.
                        If you have not noticed the selection of linux native netbooks is not very good. On top of that the biggest problem is most OEMs are only putting linux on their very low end selection. So basically your only option for a high end linux netbook is to do just what they did and buy the netbook of choice and put the OS they prefer on it.

                        The nc10 is one of the most reccomended netbooks on the web and im sure plenty of people where curious about the difficulty of getting linux installed on it ad how well it performed when installed.

                        Now what that has to do with the nc92 system is beyond me and why they are comparing them instead of comparing something relevant is anyones guess.

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                        • #13
                          I was so excited to see netbooks come with linux... and then the EEE pc 1000h came out with very nice specs and only windows.

                          Still waiting for another decent netbook with linux preinstalled. It's not for the preinstallation -- the first thing I'll do is erase it and put something else, but I don't want to give my money to microsoft, and to add +1 on those "see we sold more netbooks with windows than with linux" stats.

                          I want my +1 on the linux column.

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                          • #14
                            I agree with simbloke -- with a little bit of work this laptop works perfectly in linux.

                            My preference is to make my own systems rather than to depend on some "just works" thing which never quite delivers.

                            At the moment the only thing that doesn't work for me is the wifi led light which is not turned off when I disable the wifi. DAMN!

                            I use a custom kernel for this machine, patched with the fn keys patch. All hardware is supported in the kernel, no need for binary drivers of any kind.

                            Wifi works flawlessly with ath5k driver.

                            Battery life -- I'm getting up to 7,5 hours (with wifi, usb, bluetooth, camera disabled), and around 5-6 hours in regular use.

                            I'm very happy with it overall.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Svartalf View Post
                              Define "broken".
                              https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+s....0/+bug/206295
                              https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+s....0/+bug/231078
                              http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=741228
                              http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?p=5195687

                              Very, very annoying.

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