Notebookcheck

Review Samsung N145-JP02DE Netbook

Sebastian Jentsch (translated by Pam Taylor), 02/26/2011

Snow White and Rose Red. No end in sight for 10-inch netbooks. These diminutive machines with weak single-core processors still enjoy great popularity. This is reason enough for us to take a closer look at the Samsung N145, which can be yours for as little as €235.

Samsung NP-N145-JP02DE: A stylish, portable midget for a low price?
Samsung NP-N145-JP02DE: A stylish, portable midget for a low price?

The last 10-inch netbooks we reviewed were without exception dual-core Atom systems. The N550 and D525 processors have been able to give palpably more speed to small netbook systems for the first time. However, we don’t want to lose sight of the fact that there is still an enormous number of single-core Atoms being sold.

The reason for this is the low price-tag, sometimes as low as €199. The price of the Samsung N145-JP02DE that we have before us was not quite as low as that recently offered by an e-tailer for the Lenovo IdeaPad S10-3; this white dwarf will set you back €235. But that is still an attractive price, as long as it can offer good battery life, reasonable input devices and the ability to be used outdoors.

Can the N145, like other Samsung netbooks in the past, hold its own with exceptionally low levels of unwanted heat and noise? How does the matt screen cope with the sunlight, is it bright enough? The white case with red edging looks pretty, but is it a good choice for everyday use? Find all the answers in our review.

Case

Battery sticks out but is firmly attached.
Battery sticks out but is firmly attached.
The matt plastic look is susceptible to dirt.
The matt plastic look is susceptible to dirt.

The N145’s look is simple but still eye-catching thanks to its pearly white colour. A matt, bordeaux-red stripe around the base unit gives the netbook a slightly feminine appearance. The surfaces are pleasingly matt to the touch, and don’t pick up fingerprints. Samsung has done without any glossy surfaces at all, a sensible choice making it more suitable for everyday situations, which are never exactly sterile. However, the matt white surfaces, particularly the non-slip underside and the screen edging, do tend to pick up dirt, and whereas smooth surfaces can simply be wiped clean again, the dirt will sit more stubbornly on the N145’s surfaces.

The netbook’s ‘Duracase’ shell seems impressively robust. The lid is unusually rigid. It can only be made to flex by applying considerable force. The underside is not quite as perfect. The cross-hatched surfaces of the RAM access panel and the air intake vent can be made to flex quite noticeably. The battery latches tightly into place in the base unit, protruding out from it underneath.

The hinges’ mechanical properties are very good; they move easily but are very firmly mounted. We needed both hands to open the netbook, as the initial resistance is very large. After that the lid can be moved easily with one hand.

Connectivity

A meagre selection of ports, normal for a netbook.
A meagre selection of ports, normal for a netbook.

The selection of ports is the usual light fare offered by netbooks. On the left, you can plug in your network cable; the same side has a USB port and the headphone and microphone ports positioned near the front. The USB ports do not come with the charging function which is now seen on many Samsung netbooks and notebooks. The right-hand side of the netbook houses a VGA port and two USB ports; there is a card reader below the front edge of the machine.

The Samsung tools, collected together in the Samsung Support Center, are worth a mention. As well as a tool for burning recovery DVDs (using an external USB burner), you can limit the battery charge to 80% using Battery Life Extender. This will prolong the life of the battery, because recharging is bad for it, on an electrochemical level. If your N145 is plugged into mains power for the majority of the time, you should definitely activate this function.

Front: card reader SD/SDHC/SDXC/MMC (middle, beneath edge)
Front: card reader SD/SDHC/SDXC/MMC (middle, beneath edge)
Left: AC, Ethernet, USB 2.0, audio
Left: AC, Ethernet, USB 2.0, audio
Back: no ports
Back: no ports
Right: 2 x USB 2.0, VGA
Right: 2 x USB 2.0, VGA

Input devices

Keyboard

The keys have moderate travel, good tactile feedback and a soft impact at the end of the keystroke. The keyboard surface does not flex at any point. The keys are packed closely together, and the arrow keys as well as the Page Up/Down and the Ü and Ä keys are smaller than usual because of the lack of space. But there have to be compromises when the available space is so small.

Touchpad

The multi-touch pad can be used in several different ways. You can scroll using two fingers, or in the classic style using the (unmarked) horizontal and vertical scrollbars. The surface of the pad is sensitive right up to its edges, and is as matt as the palm rest. Your finger glides across the surface with little resistance and the cursor responds accurately. The pad is firm, like the whole of the palm rest, and does not flex under pressure. The tiny touchpad buttons unfortunately do not depress very far, but they do click nice and quietly.

Keyboard gives clear feedback
Keyboard gives clear feedback
Small arrow keys
Small arrow keys
Small touchpad
Small touchpad

Display

The 10.1-inch screen’s basic resolution of 1,024 x 600 is absolutely standard for netbooks. If you want to see more on-screen so you can scroll less, Samsung has a solution for you. The native resolution can be artificially increased (interpolated) to 1,152 x 864 or alternatively 1,024 x 768. The picture that results is not pretty and somewhat distorted, but you could now fit the whole of the notebookcheck home page on your screen.

Along with an average brightness of 223 cd/m², we measured a low contrast ratio of only 115:1. Almost every netbook comes with low contrast like this. It makes the colours appear rather pale and with less subtlety. The colour space, as you would expect, is a long way removed from what a professional would want. But no professional would be using a netbook; covering sRGB(t) and AdobeRGB(t) is essential for them.

ICC N145 vs. AdobeRGB(t)
ICC N145 vs. AdobeRGB(t)
ICC N145 vs. sRGB(t)
ICC N145 vs. sRGB(t)
ICC N145 vs. MBPro13 2010-04(t)
ICC N145 vs. MBPro13 2010-04(t)
210
cd/m²
209
cd/m²
210
cd/m²
215
cd/m²
230
cd/m²
237
cd/m²
233
cd/m²
218
cd/m²
248
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
Information
Gossen Mavo-Monitor
Maximum: 248 cd/m²
Average: 223.3 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 84 %
Center on Battery: 230 cd/m²
Black: 2 cd/m²
Contrast: 115:1

The reasonable brightness of 223 cd/m² means the picture is acceptable even in sunlight. The screen’s matt finish also allows you to surf the web without being bothered by reflections. A brightness of 300 cd/m² would be the perfect figure, and would provide a clear picture if used in the park on a sunny day. At least being on battery power does not restrict the brightness.

Front-on view, some cloud
Front-on view, some cloud
Front-on view, some cloud
Front-on view, some cloud
Side view, some cloud
Side view, some cloud

The Samsung netbook’s viewing angles are good along the horizontal axis. Text is still readable up to around 60 degrees, and colours do not invert. But vertically the eye of the beholder can only deviate by 20 degrees before the picture darkens substantially. At 45 degrees we saw the colours invert massively (ghost images).

Viewing angles for the Samsung N145-JP02DE
Viewing angles for the Samsung N145-JP02DE

Performance

The Samsung N145 is based on the Intel Atom N450 processor (1.66 GHz, Pine Trail) with integrated GMA 3150 graphics. The processing speed may be low, but with the help of Intel’s Hyperthreading technology the single-core processor can handle a multi-tasking OS like the Windows 7 Starter system which is pre-installed. The processor is supported by 1,024 MB of DDR2 RAM as well as a 160 GB hard drive by Samsung (HM160HI).

The PCMark Vantage benchmark determines system performance, taking all the system’s components into account such as the HDD, CPU, GPU, and RAM. The N145 manages to score 1,223 PCMark Vantage points. Compared to a recent Atom N550 netbook configuration, that is very litttle. A Samsung NF210 scores 1,640 points.

The application performance running Windows 7 Starter does not feel particularly fast. Even in high-performance mode and plugged into mains power, folders, files or new programs open with a significant delay. The system is at its slowest when programs are running simultaneously. Want to play music, write emails and have five tabs open on your browser? Better think again.

System info CPUZ
System info CPUZ
System info CPUZ
System info CPUZ
System info CPUZ
System info GPUZ
GPUZ GMA 3150
DPC Latency Checker: idle, sporadic delays
System information Samsung N145-JP02DE
2.3
Windows 7 Experience Index
Processor
Calculations per second
2.3
Memory (RAM)
Memory operations per second
4.5
Graphics
Desktop performance for Windows Aero
3.1
Gaming graphics
3D business and gaming graphics
3
Primary hard disk
Disk data transfer rate
5.4
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single 32Bit
569
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
874
Cinebench R10 Shading 32Bit
293
Help
PC Mark
PCMark Vantage1223 points
Help
PCMark Vantage in comparison
Sony SV-S1311G4E (min)
 2350M, HD Graphics 3000
811
   ...
HP Slate 2 Wi-Fi + 3G
 Z670, Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 600
1146
Acer Aspire One 533-13Drr
 N455, Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 3150
1160
Fujitsu Stylistic Q550
 Z670, Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 600
1191
Samsung N145-JP02DE
 N450, Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 3150
1223
Asus Eee PC 1016P
 N455, Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 3150
1230
Lenovo IdeaPad S12
 N270, GeForce 9400M (G) / ION (LE)
1233
Dell Latitude 2110
 N470, Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 3150
1255
   ...
One K56-3F (max)
 4700MQ, GeForce GT 750M
23558
3D Mark
3DMark 2001SE2479 points
3DMark 05302 points
3DMark 06
 1280x1024
142 points
Help
Samsung SpinPoint M5S HM160HI
Transfer Rate Minimum: 32.7 MB/s
Transfer Rate Maximum: 61.9 MB/s
Transfer Rate Average: 52 MB/s
Access Time: 20.8 ms
Burst Rate: 58.8 MB/s
CPU Usage: 5.3 %

The hard drive (model HM160HI) has a capacity of only 160 GB and achieved a very low data transfer rate in the HD Tune benchmark. A rate of 52 MB/s in the sequential read test is behind the times. The Crystal Disk Mark test indicates the same thing, giving 65 MB/s in the sequential reading and writing (another test routine). The HDD is not audible even when the read and write heads are active.

HD Tune 52 MB/s read
HD Tune 52 MB/s read
CDM 65 MB/s read
CDM 65 MB/s read
Compare CDM Aspire 7750G 73 MB/s read/write
Compare CDM Aspire 7750G 73 MB/s read/write

Emissions

System noise

It may not be fast, but it is quiet and cool. The Samsung N145 follows this principle at all times, whether running in idle or at full load. It barely makes a sound. Not even when the N450 processor is working flat out (stress test). The fan is turning constantly either in normal or speed mode (Fn + F8), but the 31.3 dB(A) it produces is practically inaudible.

When the Samsung ‘silent mode’ is activated, the fan shuts off completely. Now all you can hear is the gentle background murmur of the HDD at 30.3 dB(A), if you listen carefully. In silent mode the fan will only come back on if the processor is put under stress or if the processor temperature gets too high for other reasons. In Samsung speed mode or normal mode (Prime95 or 3DMark06) the small cooling system is brought up to the aforementioned maximum of 31.3 dB(A). That is only 1 dB(A) above the background noise level of the room.

Noise Level

Idle 30.3 / 31.1 / 31.1 dB(A)
HDD 30.7 dB(A)
Load 31.3 / 31.3 dB(A)
 
    30 dB
silent
40 dB
audible
50 dB
loud
 
min: , med: , max:    Voltcraft sl-320 (15 cm distance)
Idle: CPU 43 degrees
Idle: CPU 43 degrees
Stress: CPU 50 degrees
Stress: CPU 50 degrees

Temperature

The netbook’s temperature gain stays low in every mode of operation (idle, stress), with the idle temperatures even higher than the stress ones. The reason for this is that the idle measurement was taken in silent mode. In this mode the fan is deactivated and the components’ waste heat (RAM, hard drive, CPU, motherboard) builds up. The temperature graphic shows red areas of up to 37 degrees. With a heavy load on the CPU using the Prime95 test, we measured a maximum of 32 degrees on the left side of the keyboard. The average temperature on the underside was only 31 degrees Celsius during the stress test. In silent mode in idle the average here was 34 degrees.

Max. Load
 29.7 °C28.1 °C25.7 °C 
 31.6 °C28.4 °C26 °C 
 29.2 °C27.5 °C24.5 °C 
Maximum: 31.6 °C
Average: 27.9 °C
29.7 °C29.7 °C33.5 °C
29.1 °C32 °C33.8 °C
24.8 °C29.7 °C33.5 °C
Maximum: 33.8 °C
Average: 30.6 °C
Power Supply (max.)  32 °C | Room Temperature 19 °C | Voltcraft IR-360

Speakers

The N145’s stereo speakers are positioned under the palm rest and direct their sound towards the table top, where it is reflected. The sound is too heavy on the high-tones. Discerning listeners will quickly reach for their headphones because of this unbalanced sound. But at higher volumes the little speaker membranes still manage to produce the sound without distortions. The 3.5 mm audio port provides a clean sound output, which was free of any unwanted noise during our basic sound check.

Battery life

Buyers of netbooks, even cheap ones, are spoilt these days with battery life approaching that of some smartphones. Samsung has really pushed out the boat and offers excellent battery run times. Even when the N450 processor was continually under stress (Battery Eater Classic test), with the wireless modules on and the screen brightness on maximum, we could not get the netbook to last for less than four hours (4 hours 20 minutes).

Our test using wireless internet surfing gives a result very close to the real everyday battery life. The battery only gave up after 6 hours. The LED screen was on the medium setting of 100 cd/m² during this test. We also tested the film playback battery life using a low-resolution AVI film. The lights went out only after 5 hours 47 minutes. When all possible energy-saving measures are activated, the N145 can even reach 10:14 hours. During these 614 minutes the netbook was turned on but inactive, with all its wireless modules turned off and the lowest screen brightness selected (Battery Eater Reader’s test).

Charging 134min
Charging 134min
Stress 260min
Stress 260min
WLAN surfing 260min
WLAN surfing 260min
Film from HDD 347min
Film from HDD 347min
Idle 614min
Idle 614min
Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
10h 14min
WiFi Surfing
6h 00min
DVD
5h 47min
Load (maximum brightness)
4h 20min

With such long battery life, the energy consumption has to be low. In idle, standby and when turned off we took very small energy readings. Our professional multimeter could only measure 0.5 Watts (standby) and 0.05 Watts (off). The low energy usage in idle of 6.9 Watts confirms the good idle battery life. A processor stress test could only bring the total energy consumption up to 13 Watts. During these energy readings the battery was not inserted.

Power Consumption

Off / Standby 0.05 / 0.5 Watt
Idle 6.9 / 9 / 9.5 Watt
Load 12.6 / 13 Watt
 
Key: min: , med: , max:         Voltcraft VC 960

Verdict

The Samsung N145-JP02DE offers exactly what many netbook users want, starting at 235 Euro. The robust case, very good lid hinges, good input devices and low sound levels are all very commendable. The matt WSVGA screen (which can be scaled up to 1,152 x 864 pixels) is sufficiently bright, and the netbook’s battery life of at least six hours is very long.

The N145 is a good match for its price. Buyers looking for a miniature mobile companion won’t go far wrong with this netbook. The only thing that buyers shouldn’t expect is speed and fluidity when multitasking. The single-core Atom N450 thinks very slowly and the small 160 GB hard drive with its low transfer rates could reasonably be described as a lame duck.

Samsung N145-JP02DE: The white case quickly turns dirty
Samsung N145-JP02DE: The white case quickly turns dirty
by courtesy of ...
In review: Samsung N145-JP02DE, by courtesy of:
In review: Samsung N145-JP02DE

Specifications

Samsung N145-JP02DE

:: Processor
Intel Atom N450 1.66 GHz
:: Mainboard
Intel NM10
:: Memory
1024 MB, PC2-6400 400MHz
:: Graphics adapter
:: Display
10.2 inch 16:9, 1024x600 pixel, keine Angabe, glossy: no
:: Harddisk
Samsung SpinPoint M5S HM160HI, 160 GB 5400 rpm
:: Soundcard
Realtek ALC269 @ Intel NM10 ICH
:: Connections
3 USB 2.0, 1 VGA, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: line out, microphone, Card Reader: SD/SDHC/SDXC/MMC,
:: Networking
Marvell Yukon 88E8040 Family PCI-E Fast Ethernet Controller (10/100MBit), Atheros AR9285 Wireless Network Adapter (b g n )
:: Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 50 x 270 x 190
:: Weight
1.193 kg Power Supply: 0.173 kg
:: Battery
48 Wh Lithium-Ion, 4400mAh 11.1V
:: Price
299 Euro
:: Operating System
Microsoft Windows 7 Starter 32 Bit
:: Additional features
Webcam: 0.3MP, Easy Resolution Manager, Support Center, 24 Months Warranty

 

[+] compare
The Samsung N145, just one netbook among many?
The Samsung N145, just one netbook among many?
The white plastic of the case is matt and looks pretty.
The white plastic of the case is matt and looks pretty.
Unfortunately the screen edging and base unit seem to magically attract stubborn smudges of dirt.
Unfortunately the screen edging and base unit seem to magically attract stubborn smudges of dirt.
The palm rest and lid are smooth and therefore easier to clean (can be wiped).
The palm rest and lid are smooth and therefore easier to clean (can be wiped).
The power switch is located on the front edge.
The power switch is located on the front edge.
The card reader, also on the front edge, has a plastic cover.
The card reader, also on the front edge, has a plastic cover.
Nothing but the basics when it comes to the ports: USB, audio, LAN and VGA.
Nothing but the basics when it comes to the ports: USB, audio, LAN and VGA.
The base plate on the underside is fairly easy to remove once you take out a lot of screws (access to HDD).
The base plate on the underside is fairly easy to remove once you take out a lot of screws (access to HDD).
The black mains adaptor doesn’t quite fit in with the netbook’s white look. But it does weigh only 173 g.
The black mains adaptor doesn’t quite fit in with the netbook’s white look. But it does weigh only 173 g.
Battery life is as long as six hours (WLAN use) with the 48 Wh battery.
Battery life is as long as six hours (WLAN use) with the 48 Wh battery.
The battery sticks out from the bottom of the base unit, but has feet.
The battery sticks out from the bottom of the base unit, but has feet.
Not so; it has an attractive, snow-white case,
Not so; it has an attractive, snow-white case,
which may appeal particularly to women.
which may appeal particularly to women.
The robust but slender case
The robust but slender case
is relatively light at 1.2 kg including battery.
is relatively light at 1.2 kg including battery.
Cost: around €235.
Cost: around €235.
Of course at this kind of price it only comes with an Atom N450 and 1 GB of DDR2 RAM, along with Windows 7 Starter.
Of course at this kind of price it only comes with an Atom N450 and 1 GB of DDR2 RAM, along with Windows 7 Starter.
Commendable: the 10-inch screen has a matt finish.
Commendable: the 10-inch screen has a matt finish.
The screen is also very bright, so it’s possible to use it outdoors.
The screen is also very bright, so it’s possible to use it outdoors.
The user has to burn his own recovery disks for Windows 7 Starter using the Recovery Tool and for example a USB DVD burner.
The user has to burn his own recovery disks for Windows 7 Starter using the Recovery Tool and for example a USB DVD burner.

Similar notebooks

Devices with the same GPU

» Review Asus Eee PC R051PX Netbook
Atom N570, 10.1", 1.198 kg
» Review Gigabyte S1080 Tablet/MID
Atom N570, 10.1", 0.85 kg
» Review Samsung Series 5 Chromebook
Atom N570, 12.1", 1.485 kg
» Review Asus Eee PC 1015PX Netbook
Atom N570, 10.1", 1.178 kg
» Review Packard Bell dot SE (N550) Netbook
Atom N550, 10.1", 1.13 kg
» Review Toshiba NB520-108 Netbook
Atom N550, 10.1", 1.278 kg
» Review Samsung NC210-A01DE Netbook
Atom N550, 10.1", 1.175 kg

Links

Compare prices

Amazon: Invalid XML response.

Amazon.com

Show results on Amazon.com

Pricerunner n.a.

Pro

+Long battery life
+Very quiet and cool
+Bright, matt screen
+Robust case
+Good keyboard
 

Cons

-Plastic picks up dirt
-Small keys
-Low screen contrast
-Poor performance, slow HDD
-Small palm rest
-Touchpad buttons don’t have much travel

Shortcut

What we like

The interpolated resolution gives you more of an overview on your screen, without the need for an HD-ready display.

What we'd like to see

More speed.

What surprises us

How much bang for your buck you can get with netbooks these days, and with the OS included too.

The competition

The Asus Eee PC R101 with vibrant screen; Samsung NF210-HZ1 with Intel Atom N550 and a 3G module; Acer Aspire One D255 with N550; Samsung NF310 with matt HD-ready screen.

Rating

Samsung N145-JP02DE
02/20/2011 v2
Sebastian Jentsch

Chassis
87%
Keyboard
84%
Pointing Device
84%
Connectivity
50%
Weight
94%
Battery
93%
Display
72%
Games Performance
18%
Application Performance
58%
Temperature
91%
Noise
94%
Add Points
86%
Average
76%
85%
Netbook *
Weighted Average

> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Archive of our own reviews > Review Samsung N145-JP02DE Netbook
Author: Sebastian Jentsch, 2011-02-26 (Update: 2013-06- 6)