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79 of 89 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars NICE, zippy low priced machine, but not out of the box
A few things to know in advance:
1) I'm a Mac person. My home network consists of a MacBookPro, MacBookAir, MacPro (2008), and MacMini.
2) I'm an advanced user on Mac OS, running Mountain Lion on all machines. Windows has always been a "company issued machine" environment for me.
3) I wanted a low cost Windows machine, other than my locked down work laptop,...
Published 22 months ago by Eric Mars

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Crashed during 1st week
Crashed during first week. Had to send to Samsung for repair. Thus far it is working fine. The service took about two weeks. Samsung customer service was efficient and easy to deal with. Overall a good little computer. I hook it to TV to watch movies which is excellent feature. Hookup with Hdmi cable and automatic connection. Keep receiving alert to download sound...
Published 19 months ago by LARRY


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79 of 89 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars NICE, zippy low priced machine, but not out of the box, August 29, 2012
By 
Eric Mars (San Francisco, CA) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Samsung Series 3 NP300E4C-A01US 14-Inch Laptop (Blue Silver) (Personal Computers)
A few things to know in advance:
1) I'm a Mac person. My home network consists of a MacBookPro, MacBookAir, MacPro (2008), and MacMini.
2) I'm an advanced user on Mac OS, running Mountain Lion on all machines. Windows has always been a "company issued machine" environment for me.
3) I wanted a low cost Windows machine, other than my locked down work laptop, to learn the the system in depth, eventually Win 8, and how it interoperates with the Mac OS.

The 2 big problems, out of the box:
a. The trackpad, especially for Mac users who are used to butter, will drive you NUTS until you update the driver. It will sporadically ignore your touch-clicks until you update it.,
b. This IS a low-cost laptop. I expected a TN screen with poor viewing angles, and that's what you'll get, no changing that. (Fortunately it's a laptop, you just tilt the lid until you have an optimum viewing angle.) What I didn't expect was a washed out, somewhat bizarre screen calibration.

Here's the good news on these 2 issues:
a. You MUST update the trackpad driver. Once you do, it will work pretty much as a Mac user would expect, e.g. "like butter".
b. The Intel Graphics driver has color controls that Mac users would envy. Right click the desktop, dig in there, and play with Brightness, Saturation, Gamma, etc. until you are pleased. I lowered Brighness, upped Contrast, and increased Saturation a tad. That did the trick. The washed out screen is totally fixable. But I repeat, the narrow viewing angles are not, but you didn't cough up the dough for a top notch display, did you?

Something very foreign to Mac users - the driver updates on Samsung's site are very hard to find, Samsung has about 8,000 models of this machine, only distinguishable by slightly different 135-digit model numbers. And even once you find that page, you need to know you are running 64 bit windows, and you may have to dig into the Programs Control Panel to uninstall EITHER the Synaptics or the ETDWare trackpad driver BEFORE you install the new one.

I will save you some anguish, here's the link to the correct downloads page:
[...]
IMPORTANT: If you do nothing else, uninstall your Synaptics/ETDWare driver, and install the "Touchpad Driver ver. 4.5.0.0" dated April 12, 2012, before you judge this machine. It is night and day.

So, if you're compulsive like me, you'll want to install all driver updates. So, first I looked in the Control Panel and saw 4/18 was the install date on pretty much everything. I installed everything dated after that. Still, the trackpad was flaky, so I did a 2nd round and installed all of them (64 bit versions.) Note that there are NVIDIA drivers installed on the machine, and available for update, but this particular model has Intel Graphics. You certainly don't need to update them, and I uninstalled them along with the surprisingly small amount of bloatware that came on the machine. The moral of this story is the imaging disc the manufacturer is using is probably pretty old, so don't assume your machine doesn't need this or that update because of when you bought it or when the software on it was installed.

Aside: it comes with Norton AV Trial. Antivirus software is something Mac people are pretty ignorant about. So I Googled and I uninstalled it and downloaded "Microsoft Security Essentials". It's free and very unobtrusive, but I'd take the advice of more seasoned PC users over mine. I will say, I'm not going to buy it just because Norton made some marketing deal with Samsung.

So, build quality. However much you may hate Apple, the unibody MacBooks Air/Pro are marvelous hardware. Solid, compact, crisp, beautiful. I had no expectation of getting that for this price, and you don't. My Windows work laptop is a high-end ThinkPad, So I'm used to some nice stuff. I have to say, this little guy, considering the price, measures up really, really well. Yeah it's plastic, but it's very pretty. Great range to the screen adjustment, no wobble (which I read previous generations did.) Quite attractive when open, the thin bezel is very classy. The keyboard feels fine, and (AFTER UPDATE) the trackpad MUCH better than my ThinkPad, just slightly smaller than my MacBookAir 11", and supports 2 finger scrolls, pinch and zoom, two-finger right click. It's pretty seamless going back and forth. (Please don't let Apple's lawyers know.)

Interoperability with Macs on network: have to say, the only problems were on the Mac Mountain Lion side. I turned on Windows file sharing on the Macs, but sometimes the Samsung would present a login dialog. To fix this, I just turn File Sharing on the Mac off then on again, and the Samsung will seamlessly just open Mac files shares with a click. It's probably a Mountain Lion "point o" bug. Likewise, logging onto the Samsung from the Mac goes smoothly. (Be aware, when logging onto the PC from the Mac, you will need to include the Windows "domain" before your user name e.g. Sammy\Eric Mars.

Have had no problems connecting to my Airport network, but will say, I can't play a movie off my MacMini file server over WiFi without getting an error a few minutes into play. Copying the file to the Samsung, no problem. My Macs have no problem at all doing this. Maybe this is a symptom of the frequently mentioned wifi issues of prior versions, or maybe I'm just expecting too much of a laptop in this price range. Haven't tried it via ethernet yet but have a feeling that would be OK. Something for other reviewers to investigate.

So, very long review. I did this because I was intrigued by this inexpensive little machine with 6 GB ram, Fast Start, and an Intel processor and I could find NOTHING anywhere on the entire internet. Hope you find it helpful.

I'm extremely happy with my purchase, and looking forward to learning more about Windows, and especially Windows 8. At the risk of being shot as I drive thru Cupertino on my way to work in San Jose, I have to say, Windows is actually pretty nice, and this little machine responds instantly, loads programs fast despite the slow hard drive, downloads pages fast, and best of all, reboots and wakes from sleep in a flash, just like a Mac.

My parting words: IF YOU DO NOTHING ELSE, UPDATE THE TRACKPAD DRIVER!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Speedy - Reliable - Future Proof - Affordable, October 12, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Samsung Series 3 NP300E4C-A01US 14-Inch Laptop (Blue Silver) (Personal Computers)
A very nice and high quality unit at a hard to find and affordable price point. Runs like a top!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Samsung Series 3 NP300E4C-A01US Notebook, November 23, 2012
This review is from: Samsung Series 3 NP300E4C-A01US 14-Inch Laptop (Blue Silver) (Personal Computers)
What was my situation? My youngest child was using my six year old laptop for school work and personal use. It had served us well, but simply... it got old. We had already planned to purchase a good laptop for graduation (a couple of years away), so we didn't want to spend too much right now. We just wanted something that would get through shool work (MS Word, PowerPoint, Excel) and light personal use (web surfing, iTunes, photo editing with GIMP, etc.) for two or three years. I started reading reviews and went to a physical store to do some research. I found this laptop on a couple of websites and liked the specs and it was at the top end that I was willing to spend ($400). Finding the review by Eric Mars sealed the deal for me. I haven't owned a laptop with smaller than a 15.6" screen for a while, so the final thing was to check out how a 14" screen looked at a physical store. I liked it.

Initial impression: I wasn't too happy. Let me explain. I had read Eric's review about the touchpad. So after 1) installing virus software 2) getting rid of some of the pre-installed crapware (which there was very little of, I thought) I found the Samsung site with the drivers. I was disappointed when, after installing the touchpad driver, it didn't seem to work well at all. Then I remembered Eric's comment about doing it twice. That did the trick. Now it works great. The other negative initial impression was the speed. Honestly, I thought it was a bit of a dog. But after I did some more work (installed Windows updates, MS Office, GIMP, iTunes, etc. and defragged a time or two) I got a nice surprise. It really did seem pretty speedy.

Pros: 1) Memory. Sometimes I wish I had kept this little laptop for myself. But mine is currently only 18 months old and not too shabby itself. So I'll be happy for now and let the kid have the new speedy one. 2) Decent size hard drive. Though after installing all the software and stuff we've already used over 20%. I guess we'll have to start looking for machines with one TB! Or I should just use the external hard drive like I'm supposed to! 3) Physical size. Personally I've gotten used to having the numeric keypad (I do a lot of productivity work on my laptop), but the smaller size and lighter weight are nice when you're just internet browsing. 4) Physical unit. It seems like a fairly sturdy little laptop.

Cons: I haven't used it much since I got it set up, but I haven't really seen any. One thing I should check out is battery life. I can't speak to that but it's usually important to me.

Other thoughts: Somehow I got hooked on Acer laptops many years ago. I've purchased somewhere around six of them over the past 10 years for myself and children. I know everyone has a different story, but I've always had pretty good luck with them. So for me to consider anything different was a stretch. But the specs for this Samsung, along with the few reviews I found, just made me want to try it. I'm glad I did. We've had it for about a week and a half now and so far so good. My background is that I like tech gadgets, but I'm not a hardware person. I am actually an IT professional (20+ years), but on the systems side for a large corporation. So while I am comfortable playing around with gadgets, I'm not always the best at troubleshooting and fixing when it comes to the actual hardware.

I typically don't write reviews for products I've purchased. But I really appreciated the others I saw for this laptop so I felt compelled to this time. I hope this helps.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Not a good choice for me, August 25, 2013
This review is from: Samsung Series 3 NP300E4C-A01US 14-Inch Laptop (Blue Silver) (Personal Computers)
I purchased this computer on July 26th, 2012. It started running slow about seven months later. Took it in to have it checked and saw little improvement. The first week of August 2013 it began really dragging. Again took it in for checking. On August 28th, 2013 I was informed by the technician that the mother board had failed. Of course, the warranty had expired. After conversations with numerous agents at the repair facility, I was informed that they have been seeing this problem throughout their company's stores. The Samsung representative told me that they had no issues with this computer. Replacement of the mother board may be over $200 plus labor. So.... use your own judgment when considering the purchase this one.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great basic computer, March 21, 2013
By 
hereisthiswoman (Goodview, VA, United States) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Samsung Series 3 NP300E4C-A01US 14-Inch Laptop (Blue Silver) (Personal Computers)
I ordered this computer for internet browsing, light school-work, and to run Quickbooks for my company. My other crashed unexpectedly, and I needed a very reasonably priced laptop quick. I chose this one, as it had the best specs out of the computers in my price range. I'm very happy with my decision.

Got the computer early (thanks Go4Computers). I removed some bloatware per other reviews, loaded up Quickbooks, and restored my company's back-up. Voila! Fantastic, zippy computer! Quickbooks opens very fast, processes quick, and internet surfing is speedy. Did make a minor color adjustment to the screen resolution, now the color is great!

I'm very glad I decided to buy a computer with Windows 7, instead of buying a similar computer with Windows 8 from a big box store. I've heard Windows 8 is difficult to use if you're not purchasing a touchscreen laptop. I was tempted, just to have a computer in my hands that day. I'm glad I didn't, because Windows 7 is like butter, and WELL worth the wait.

Overall, I'm very pleased and highly recommend this computer for anyone looking for a basic laptop to get the job done!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Love it!, December 5, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Samsung Series 3 NP300E4C-A01US 14-Inch Laptop (Blue Silver) (Personal Computers)
It is a great size and I have not complaints. This is my first personal laptop but I have had plenty from work in the past. Love it!
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3.0 out of 5 stars Crashed during 1st week, November 25, 2012
By 
LARRY (South Carolina) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Samsung Series 3 NP300E4C-A01US 14-Inch Laptop (Blue Silver) (Personal Computers)
Crashed during first week. Had to send to Samsung for repair. Thus far it is working fine. The service took about two weeks. Samsung customer service was efficient and easy to deal with. Overall a good little computer. I hook it to TV to watch movies which is excellent feature. Hookup with Hdmi cable and automatic connection. Keep receiving alert to download sound driver. Each time I try receive upgrade failed message. Also no way to stop annoying Norton needs to be installed even though I uninstalled it. Samsung must have it in the system that even though I uninstalled it is still on computer (hidden, I guess)
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great laptop!, October 25, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Samsung Series 3 NP300E4C-A01US 14-Inch Laptop (Blue Silver) (Personal Computers)
I picked this laptop up in a lightning deal for $420 and it has been a huge bang for the buck. It runs fast and was easy to set up. Would definitely recommend.

** Update ** April 14, 2013
I've had this laptop for 6 months now and it's as fast and powerful as ever. This laptop is everything I hoped it would be.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love my Laptop, January 11, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Samsung Series 3 NP300E4C-A01US 14-Inch Laptop (Blue Silver) (Personal Computers)
Exactly what I was hoping for. Fast, and with no problems. My old laptop had windows 7 so I tryed the windows 8 and hated it. This laptop came with windows 7 and I love it.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A Bad Experience, December 19, 2012
By 
Amazon Customer "H" (Voorhees, NJ United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Samsung Series 3 NP300E4C-A01US 14-Inch Laptop (Blue Silver) (Personal Computers)
Samsung Series 3 NP300E4C-A01US 14-Inch Laptop (Blue Silver)This computer freezes up every 10-15 minutes. Re-installing all software doesn't help. Cleaning and optimizing the registry doesn't help, defraging the hard drive doesn't help, running anti-virus and malware programs doesn't help, running the best reviewed utilities doesn't help. And keeping it won't help. I hope this review helps someone avoid this computer.
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