Samsung Q310 review

£636
Price when reviewed

Samsung’s laptops were once synonymous with glossy black finishes and sleek, monochromatic good looks. Now, though, they’ve revisited the design and injected it with colour.

Samsung Q310 review

If you’re expecting laptops finished inblues, reds and pinks you’ll be disappointed. Instead, Samsung has stuck to the glossy black theme and simply added a fade of red along the wristrest’s bottom edge. It introduces awelcome frisson of style and, despitetheQ310’s slightly dumpy frame, it still manages to weigh in at areasonable 2.15kg.

Build quality is a highlight thanks to the Q310’s strong, resilient lid and the sturdy chassis. Its firm frame is ably matched by a responsive keyboard and wide trackpad.

Inside you’ll find an Intel Core 2 Duo P8400, 4GB of DDR3 memory, discrete graphics and a 250GB hard disk. With a score of 1.18 in our benchmarks, the Samsung proves it’s no slouch and, thanks to the modest abilities of the Nvidia 9200M GS graphics chipset, it even managed adecent 23fps in our easiest Crysis gaming test.

And, where Toshiba’s M800 stamina left it gasping for breath, the Q310 endures. More than five hours of light usage is good going for a portable, and the 1hr 43mins of heavy usage is even more encouraging.

There’s very little to criticise elsewhere. Connectivity isn’t quite as generous as that of Toshiba’s M800, butyou do get Bluetooth 2.0 as well as HDMI, VGA, three USB ports and a card reader along the laptop’s front edge.

The Samsung Q310 is a superb 13.3in laptop, and if portability is key then there’s plenty to like. Performance and battery life are excellent.

The only issue is that its 15.4in Samsung stablemate, the R560, costs a relatively small amount more and is, just, the better all-rounder.

Warranty

Warranty 1 year(s) collect and return

Physical specifications

Dimensions 322 x 241 x 39mm (WDH)
Weight 2.2kg

Processor and memory

Processor Intel Core 2 Duo P8400
Motherboard chipset Intel PM45 Express
RAM capacity 4GB
Memory type DDR3
SODIMM sockets free 0
SODIMM sockets total 2

Screen and video

Screen size 13.3in
Resolution screen horizontal 1,280
Resolution screen vertical 800
Resolution 1280 x 800
Graphics chipset Nvidia GeForce 9200M GS
Graphics card RAM 256MB
VGA (D-SUB) outputs 1
HDMI outputs 1
S-Video outputs 0
DVI-I outputs 0
DVI-D outputs 0
DisplayPort outputs 0

Drives

Capacity 250GB
Hard disk usable capacity 233GB
Spindle speed 5,400RPM
Internal disk interface SATA 300
Hard disk Hitachi Travelstar 5K250
Optical disc technology DVD writer
Optical drive Samsung TS-L633L
Battery capacity 5,200mAh
Replacement battery price ex VAT £103
Replacement battery price inc VAT £118

Networking

Wired adapter speed 100Mbits/sec
802.11a support yes
802.11b support yes
802.11g support yes
802.11 draft-n support yes
Integrated 3G adapter no

Other Features

Wireless hardware on/off switch no
Wireless key-combination switch yes
Modem yes
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 yes
MMC (multimedia card) reader yes
Smart Media reader no
Compact Flash reader no
xD-card reader yes
Pointing device type Touchpad
Audio chipset Realtek HD Audio
Speaker location Above keyboard
Hardware volume control? no
Integrated microphone? yes
Integrated webcam? yes
TPM no
Fingerprint reader no
Smartcard reader no
Carry case no

Battery and performance tests

Battery life, light use 317
Battery life, heavy use 103
Overall application benchmark score 1.18
3D performance (crysis) low settings 23fps
3D performance setting Low

Operating system and software

Operating system Windows Vista Home Premium
OS family Windows Vista
Recovery method Recovery disc
Software supplied N/A

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