A big department store like Myer is the last place you expect to find a good netbook deal, least of all one on a new generation netbook like the Samsung N150. But Myer surprises us (and vendors) by occasionally selling newly-released machines at lower-than-expected prices for an introductory period before reinstating normal pricing. It did it recently when it charged $439 for an ASUS 1005P netbook which is now back selling for $499, and it's doing it again, with a $469 deal for a Samsung N150.
These machines are hot off the South Korean maker's assembly lines and represent the newest generation netbooks, powered by Intel's N450 CPUs (the so-called "Pine Trail" technology) and incorporating a 6-cell battery, a combination that gives you a big improvement in battery life compared to the previous range of Samsung netbooks. Samsung claims up to 8.5 hours on one charge using industry standard Battery Mark scores, but we are yet to test this ourselves.
The N150 is the most basic machine of several new Samsung notebooks. It has the standard specs, such as 1 GB of RAM, 250 GB hard disk, and a 10.1in screen with 1,024 x 600 resolution, so it doesn't bring anything new to the table, apart from the longer battery life. In terms of usability improvements, we like its new matte, anti-reflective display, which makes it easier to use outdoors, and the feel of its multi-touch trackpad. We also don't mind its keyboard (below), which has been criticised elsewhere for being too cramped, a criticism that's the equivalent of criticising a Fiat Bambino for not having enough leg room. Nonetheless, keyboards are a subjective thing and if you think you might have fat fingers, make sure you test out the N150's keyboard before you buy it.
The N150's casing also feels a bit tougher, although that is a subjective assessment as we haven't intentially tried to damage it.
In short, if you want a new generation, quality-brand netbook at a good price, this deal is worth considering. As they did with the ASUS 1005P, Myer will put up the price once the introductory offer expires on March 8.