So I’m due to go on holiday again soon, and while the Asus was excellent for my last trips to Spain, the cramped keyboard and small screen made it a bit painful as an only computer.
Looking to upgrade to something with a bigger screen, I started doing my hacker homework and searching for a netbook that’d run OSX pretty well. A lot of googling later, and the Samsung NC10 was a prime candidate.
Thanks to the hard work and patient instructions from a poster called Mysticus C* over on the InsanelyMac forums, he’s provided instructions, tools and ongoing updates to shoe-horn OSX on the NC10. And it’s bloody brilliant!
Installation isn’t too difficult, I use a £14 Xbox HD-DVD as a USB drive, which makes installing this and Ubuntu/Linux Mint a breeze, then using the supplied tools you can patch OSX up to 10.5.5 (Apparently the 10.5.6 update works too, if you re-run the patcher app from Bike Town). The system boots up *very* quickly, miles quicker than my MacBook Pro. The drivers for the screen are correct, running at 1024×600, USB devices work ok, the webcam is fine, swapping the Mini PCI-e card for a Dell 1390 makes the Airport work a treat.
There are a few problems at the moment. The headphone socket and microphones (internal and socket) aren’t recognised, but there’s a hack to switch outputs, and a lot of work is being done on these at the moment by the guys on the forums.
Sleep with a power lead attached doesn’t work yet, works ok on battery power though. This isn’t really a massive problem, as the system boots and shuts down sooo quickly, sleeping isn’t a big loss, but it’ll be nice to have it fixed.
At the moment the machine is partition to dual boot OSX and Linux Mint and I’m pleased to report that at no point did this netbook boot into Windows ;)
The Samsung NC10 is a great little laptop, nice big keyboard and screen and only an inch or so wider than the Asus 701. The battery life is excellent, 160GB drive, and of course it’s running OSX. Having Front Row while on an airplane to keep Eloy happy will be brilliant!
Apple, I’d much rather give you my money for a small form-factor netbook, but for the moment this’ll do, and do well.