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

Warranty1 year(s) collect and return

Physical specifications

Dimensions322 x 241 x 39mm (WDH)
Weight2.2kg

Processor and memory

ProcessorIntel Core 2 Duo P8400
Motherboard chipsetIntel PM45 Express
RAM capacity4GB
Memory typeDDR3
SODIMM sockets free0
SODIMM sockets total2

Screen and video

Screen size13.3in
Resolution screen horizontal1,280
Resolution screen vertical800
Resolution1280 x 800
Graphics chipsetNvidia GeForce 9200M GS
Graphics card RAM256MB
VGA (D-SUB) outputs1
HDMI outputs1
S-Video outputs0
DVI-I outputs0
DVI-D outputs0
DisplayPort outputs0

Drives

Capacity250GB
Hard disk usable capacity233GB
Spindle speed5,400RPM
Internal disk interfaceSATA 300
Hard diskHitachi Travelstar 5K250
Optical disc technologyDVD writer
Optical driveSamsung TS-L633L
Battery capacity5,200mAh
Replacement battery price ex VAT£103
Replacement battery price inc VAT£118

Networking

Wired adapter speed100Mbits/sec
802.11a supportyes
802.11b supportyes
802.11g supportyes
802.11 draft-n supportyes
Integrated 3G adapterno

Other Features

Wireless hardware on/off switchno
Wireless key-combination switchyes
Modemyes
ExpressCard34 slots1
ExpressCard54 slots0
PC Card slots0
USB ports (downstream)3
PS/2 mouse portno
9-pin serial ports0
Parallel ports0
Optical S/PDIF audio output ports0
Electrical S/PDIF audio ports0
3.5mm audio jacks2
SD card readeryes
Memory Stick readeryes
MMC (multimedia card) readeryes
Smart Media readerno
Compact Flash readerno
xD-card readeryes
Pointing device typeTouchpad
Audio chipsetRealtek HD Audio
Speaker locationAbove keyboard
Hardware volume control?no
Integrated microphone?yes
Integrated webcam?yes
TPMno
Fingerprint readerno
Smartcard readerno
Carry caseno

Battery and performance tests

Battery life, light use317
Battery life, heavy use103
Overall application benchmark score1.18
3D performance (crysis) low settings23fps
3D performance settingLow

Operating system and software

Operating systemWindows Vista Home Premium
OS familyWindows Vista
Recovery methodRecovery disc
Software suppliedN/A

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