A few days ago, gagadget, a (correction) Ukrainian gadget site for Russian-speaking readers, got their hands on a lot of information about 12.1″ Samsung NC20 and posted quite a few images, including screenshots of the hardware drivers and configuration as well as the keyboard layout. There is video and photos included showing off the built-in 1.3MP webcam. There is also quite a bit of information about HD video playback on the NC20.
The NC20 is based on the VIA Nano U2250 CPU (1.3GHz, 1MB L2 cache), and remember, the NVIDIA CEO had good things to say about the VIA Nano in comparison to the Intel Atom, although it is using a slightly older chipset.
From the software/driver downloads from Samsung UK and from the screenshots, more details about the hardware have emerged:
– VIA VX800 Chipset
– VIA Chrome9 HC3 Integrated
– Atheros Wireless
– Synaptics Touchpad
– 1.3MP Namuga Webcam
– Broadcom Bluetooth
– 160GB Samsung HM160HI Spinpoint M5 HDD (8MB Cache, 1.5Gbps)
– Already a BIOS firmware package – 04MQ
The VX800 chipset supports up 4GB of RAM, unlike the 2GB of Intel’s 945 chipset. It will be interesting to see if that translates to the NC20 – there are 4GB DDR2 SODIMMs out there – Crucial and some of the other memory makers produce them. They are very expensive (relative to the cost of netbooks).
I would have speculated that the graphics would be based on VIA/S3’s Chrome 400 ULP (Press Release from Sep 2008), with the ULP = Ultra Low Power. From the press release, this sounds like a perfect graphics chipset for the NC20:
Leveraging the most power-efficient GPU architecture on the market, todayâ€™s users will now be able to enjoy the latest HD media playback and DirectXÂ® 10.1 gaming experience on mini-notes as well as notebook PCs.
However, the screenshots list the graphics as VIA Chrome9 HC3 Integrated, which is interesting, given that the Chrome9 HC3 is listed as a DirectX 9 graphics chipset (although Vista/Windows 7 shouldn’t be a problem). The Chrome9 does support 720p playback reasonably well, going by the screenshots, so this may not be an issue.
Some of the drivers you can download from Samsung UK include both 64-bit and 32-bit versions. I will add that this could simply be shared drivers that are used with other Samsung notebook products and the packaging was therefore not customized for the NC20.
The article mentions nearly 6 hours of battery life. If so, that’s impressive, given the increase in size to the 12.1″ display over the 10″ display of the NC10.