There are hordes of new netbooks that make use of Intel's latest revision to its Atom processor. Acer's Aspire 532, Toshiba's Mini NB305 and Sony's Vaio M are all built around the revolutionary design that reduces power consumption and increases graphics performance in one go.

As good as they are, though, none of them can do smooth 1080p video out of the box. None of them except the Samsung N220, that is.


Extra chip

Instead of sticking with the Atom N450 processor and cutting the price, Samsung has included an option to add in a separate Broadcom chip designed purely for accelerating HD movies.

It does one thing, and does it well – smoothing framerates and making unwatchable files playback perfectly.

If you hook up a TV to the HDMI port, the N220 quickly becomes more than a netbook - it's an awesome portable media centre.

Eight-hour battery

What's more, because the extra chip only kicks in when you're watching videos, the N220 still turns in a massive eight hours or more on a single battery charge.

That's not the end of the N220's entertainment attributes either. The screen is bright and colourful, though it's not exactly in a class of its own. The speakers, on the other hand, are superb quality for a laptop of any size, with a built-in subwoofer for a really rich sound that gives movies and music and almost hi-fi kick.


Chunky case

The N220 may be bigger and slightly less elegant than some of its peers, but the burnt-in pattern on the lid adds a touch of class and it's never a bad thing that the keyboard is designed for typing rather than being ogled.

It comes with Windows 7 Starter pre-installed, but there's an alternative Linux-based operating system called HyperSpace for super-fast booting into a web-browser when you need it too. The only annoying thing about it is the position of the power switch.

It may be touch pricey than other N450-based netbooks, but compared to ION-based models it's not only much cheaper but video quality is better too. So long as you get one with the extra video chip in, it's absolutely worth it.

Stuff says... 

Samsung N220 review

With Full HD video playback without the cost of an ION chipset, this is the best all-round netbook you can buy