Samsung waited until the very end of the ongoing IFA conference in Berlin to announce the N350, a dual core Intel Atom based notebook with built in dual mode HSPA+ and LTE capability. With operators around the world set to turn their LTE networks on by the end of this year, and many more in 2011, this couldn’t have come at a better time. The N350 is nothing special to look at, with a design that mimics previous generations of Samsung netbooks. Under the hood you’ve got a Intel Atom N550 dual core processor running at 1.66 GHz, 250 GB of hard drive space, 1 GB of RAM, a 10.1 inch matte screen with a resolution of 1024 x 600, 3x USB ports, 1.3 megapixel webcam, 802.11n WiFi, Bluetooth 3.0, and Windows 7 Starter Edition.
It’s set to ship in the fall for around 430 EUR in Europe, and nothing has been said about America yet, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see Verizon or MetroPCS offering this. The HSPA+ module inside only goes up to 21 Mbps, so if you’re in Australia forget about using this on Telstra’s dual channel 42 Mbps HSPA+ network and reaping the full advantage of their infrastructure investment.
In terms of the competition, there’s Qualcomm, who with their Gobi wireless cards that slip into just about any laptop and can use a whole range of wireless communications protocols. In March they announced 6 products with the flagship being the MDM9600 that does 100 Mbps LTE, 42 Mbps HSPA+, and even EV-DO Rev. A/Rev. B. You literally never have to worry about being in a country that doesn’t support your laptop, but you may have to think about downloading that 700 MB DVD rip if your operator is going to slap you with some serious roaming charges.
Are you excited about upgrading your netbook? I’ve got a ThinkPad X100e that I’m just about ready to throw out of my 8th floor window.