Samsung announced a new netbook model today in the N230. At first blush, it doesn't seem like anything particularly special: a 10.1-inch screen with a resolution of 1024 by 600, Intel Atom N450 or N470 CPU, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, and a weight of around 2.2 pounds. The eye-catching part is the company's claim that this netbook will last for 13.5 hours on a single charge. How is it achieving such astounding battery life from a regular Windows-running netbook? Samsung talks about their efficient LED display and "proprietary Enhanced Battery Life (EBL) solutions" in its press release, but upon closer examination we can see what's really going on...
The N230 netbook has a high, but not especially amazing, battery life of 7 hours with the standard battery. The 13.5 hour claim comes when you use the optional 65 watt-hour long-life battery. Samsung doesn't say exactly what this battery will do to the netbook's bulk or weight. Still, this is an impressive feat, if the real battery life is anywhere close to Samsung's claims. We have tested netbooks with extended batteries before, and none have quite come close to that sort of runtime. Then again, we often find the battery life claims of manufacturers to be a bit...optimistic...compared to our lab tests.
Samsung says the N230 is available now in the US and should cost around US$400, but we haven't seen it pop up on our favorite shopping sites just yet.
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