Samsung Q210 review

Price when reviewed

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.

Samsung Q210 review

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

Physical specifications

Dimensions 304 x 226 x 37mm (WDH)
Weight 1.950kg
Travelling weight 2.4kg

Processor and memory

Processor Intel Pentium Dual-Core T3400
Motherboard chipset Intel GM45 Express
RAM capacity 2.00GB
Memory type DDR2
SODIMM sockets free 1
SODIMM sockets total 2

Screen and video

Screen size 12.1in
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
HDMI outputs 1
S-Video outputs 0
DVI-I outputs 0
DVI-D outputs 0
DisplayPort outputs 0


Capacity 160GB
Spindle speed 5,400RPM
Internal disk interface SATA/150
Hard disk Samsung HM160HI
Optical disc technology DVD writer
Optical drive TEAC DV-W28S-R
Battery capacity 5,200mAh
Replacement battery price inc VAT £0


Wired adapter speed 1,000Mbits/sec
802.11a support no
802.11b support yes
802.11g support yes
802.11 draft-n support no
Integrated 3G adapter no

Other Features

Wireless hardware on/off switch no
Wireless key-combination switch yes
Modem no
ExpressCard34 slots 1
ExpressCard54 slots 0
PC Card slots 0
USB ports (downstream) 3
PS/2 mouse port no
9-pin serial ports 0
Parallel 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
xD-card reader no
Pointing device type Touchpad
Audio chipset Realtek HD Audio
Speaker location Alongside keyboard
Hardware volume control? no
Integrated microphone? yes
Integrated webcam? yes
TPM no
Fingerprint reader no
Smartcard reader 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

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