Samsung Q35 review

£877
Price when reviewed

We’ve seen the Samsung Q35 before with a slightly different specification (web ID: 88712), so we were confident it would do well here. It’s a small but extremely robust notebook, weighing just 1.9kg, yet with a rigid lid capable of taking a fair amount of punishment.

Samsung Q35 review

And as well as lasting a long time in the physical sense, it will ensure you can work for a long time away from the mains, too. One innovative touch is the function key to disable the backlight to conserve power while waiting for a program to load or listening to music, and there’s another key for an instant onscreen battery status update. Our tests saw 6hrs 40mins of light use from the Q35, placing it top of the ultraportable models in the group.

Then there’s the AVS Now instant-on entertainment mode, which allows you to further save battery life by accessing your music without booting into power-hungry Windows. We timed the startup at just 23 seconds, so you essentially have your own 160GB travel jukebox (supporting music and videos) to keep you from boredom in a hotel room.

Also, the Q35 is a perfectly capable performer. Number-crunching duties are the responsibility of a 2GHz Core 2 Duo T7200, and there’s an unusual total of 1.5GB of RAM – 512MB in the form of a stick and a further 1GB is soldered onto the motherboard. This helped it to a decent overall score of 0.95 in our benchmarks, which is up there with the Sony and only slightly behind the Acer and Asus. You’re limited to integrated graphics, but this is the trade-off for that longer battery life.

You also get 802.11a/b/g Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and a card reader for most formats including xD-Picture cards. There’s a PC Card slot on the left and a VGA port on the right for connecting an external monitor. Plus, the 12.1in widescreen is glossy and bright, and the 1,280 x 800 resolution keeps text and images sharp.

A couple of minor niggles take the shine off it slightly: the one-year return-to-base warranty is disappointing, and there’s only the choice of Windows XP Professional until the slightly revised Q45 arrives with Vista. However, the Q35’s £877 price makes it far more appealing than the expensive Sony.

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