OCZ Neutrino 10in DIY Netbook
Author: Rutledge Feman
Editor: Shawn Knight
Date: 08-07-2009
Provided by: OCZ Technology
First Looks

The Neutrino arrives safely packaged, nestled between a few fitted Styrofoam blocks. Also inside the main box is a smaller cardboard accessories box. Altogether, the package arrives with: the Neutrino itself, an AC adapter, a 4-cell battery, an installation guide, a drivers CD, and a quick setup guide (not pictured). For the purposes of the review, OCZ also provided 2GB of DDR2-667 (PC2-5300) RAM and an OCZ Apex 120GB SSD along with the netbook.

Finished with a glossy black plastic cover, the OCZ Neutrino sports a boxy, industrial form without sacrificing modern looks. On the left side of the netbook we find one of the two USB ports, an expansion slot, and an exhaust vent. On the opposite side, we find the 4-in-1 card reader (SD/MMC/MS/MS-Pro), the other USB port, the Ethernet NIC, and the AC adapter power inlet. Below you will see that the VGA port is on the back of the Neutrino, while the microphone and headphone jacks are at the front.

OCZ's Neutrino sports a large keyboard, shaped similarly to that of the MSI Wind U100. The keyboard has all of your usual function keys, such as display switching, brightness adjustments, and volume adjustments. For some reason, the WiMax key (F5) isn't neighboring the other two wireless keys, Bluetooth and WiFi (F1, F2). Also, volume mute (F6) isn't anywhere near volume down and up (F10 and F11). In addition to the standard keys, there are three shortcut keys, one to turn the webcam on and off, another to open your default email client, and the final one opens up your homepage in your default web browser. Overall, I really like the keyboard. If it weren't for the odd function-key placement, I would have had no complaints. You can also see the 1.5W speakers at the top of the keyboard.

At the front, we find the notification LEDs. From left to right, there is the battery, WiFi and Bluetooth (off – both off; red – Bluetooth only on; orange – both on; green – WiFi only on), WiMax, HDD activity, and caps lock. I don't know why there's no number lock or scroll lock LEDs — OCZ opted to provide software notification of those options, so a small dialog displays on the screen when either number lock or scroll lock is toggled. Finally, located at the top center of the monitor bezel is the computer's 1.3 megapixel webcam and its activity indicator LED.

Here we can get an idea of the size and shape of the Neutrino as a whole and also as compared to the MSI Wind U100 (right). You can see some components I didn't mention: the microphone is at the bottom center of the monitor bezel, and there is a VGA port and Kensington lock around the back of the case. The Neutrino occupies a slightly larger footprint than the Wind, but not by much. Otherwise, the layout, finish, and even keyboards are all very similar.

Now that we've had a good look at the Neutrino itself, let's take a brief look at installation before we move onto testing.

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