Samsung Q210 review
It isn’t often we find ourselves genuinely excited by the prospect of a budget laptop, but Samsung’s Q210 is one decidedly cute exception to the rule.
It’s a 12.1in model, so is dwarfed by every single one of its opponents, and even with its power supply it weighs less than any of its rivals – a very reasonable 2.38kg. Leave the power brick at home, however, and despite its chubby 37mm-thick frame the Samsung weighs in at a portable 1.95kg.
Its portability is matched with good battery life. Just short of five hours of light usage is a fine result, although heavy usage saw the Q210 last only 1hr 16mins.
What’s more, the Samsung has one of the fastest processors in the group. The Intel Pentium Dual-Core T3400 is partnered with 2GB of memory, and managed the best overall benchmark result of 0.97. That’s blisteringly quick for such a compact laptop. The Intel GMA 4500MHD graphics disappoint, though, with a mere five frames per second.
The Q210 is very comfortable to use, and especially so given its compact dimensions. The 12.1in display opts for the commonplace 1,280 x 800 pixel resolution, but its ample brightness and good contrast make for decent image quality. Colours are a little under-saturated and have a slightly blue tinge, but it’s nowhere near as wayward as the HP’s screen.
The keyboard is noticeably tinier than its rivals – in fact, it’s almost identical to its netbook stablemate, the Samsung NC10. Only a slightly bizarre Windows key placement to the right of the spacebar sets it apart.
That aside, the Q210’s keyboard is very usable. The keys don’t have a great deal of travel, but their positive action and otherwise sensible layout make up for it.
You do pay a small price for the Q210’s performance and portable size, however. Gigabit Ethernet is present and correct, but there’s no sign of draft-n wireless or Bluetooth.
When it comes down to it, Samsung’s Q210 is a bona fide bargain. When you’re getting a good-quality portable for just £417, it’s easy to overlook the odd minor flaw.
|Warranty||1yr collect and return|
|Dimensions||304 x 226 x 37mm (WDH)|
Processor and memory
|Processor||Intel Pentium Dual-Core T3400|
|Motherboard chipset||Intel GM45 Express|
|SODIMM sockets free||1|
|SODIMM sockets total||2|
Screen and video
|Resolution screen horizontal||1,280|
|Resolution screen vertical||800|
|Resolution||1280 x 800|
|Graphics chipset||Intel GMA 4500|
|Graphics card RAM||96MB|
|VGA (D-SUB) outputs||1|
|Internal disk interface||SATA/150|
|Hard disk||Samsung HM160HI|
|Optical disc technology||DVD writer|
|Optical drive||TEAC DV-W28S-R|
|Replacement battery price inc VAT||£0|
|Wired adapter speed||1,000Mbits/sec|
|802.11 draft-n support||no|
|Integrated 3G adapter||no|
|Wireless hardware on/off switch||no|
|Wireless key-combination switch||yes|
|PC Card slots||0|
|USB ports (downstream)||3|
|PS/2 mouse port||no|
|9-pin serial ports||0|
|Optical S/PDIF audio output ports||0|
|Electrical S/PDIF audio ports||0|
|3.5mm audio jacks||2|
|SD card reader||yes|
|Memory Stick reader||no|
|MMC (multimedia card) reader||no|
|Smart Media reader||no|
|Compact Flash reader||no|
|Pointing device type||Touchpad|
|Audio chipset||Realtek HD Audio|
|Speaker location||Alongside keyboard|
|Hardware volume control?||no|
Battery and performance tests
|Battery life, light use||4hr 52min|
|Battery life, heavy use||1hr 16min|
|Overall application benchmark score||0.97|
|3D performance (crysis) low settings||5fps|
|3D performance setting||Low|
Operating system and software
|Operating system||Windows Vista Home Premium 32-bit|
|OS family||Windows Vista|
|Recovery method||Recovery disc|
|Software supplied||CyberLink DVD Suite 5|