Samsung Q310 review
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.
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||1 year(s) collect and return|
|Dimensions||322 x 241 x 39mm (WDH)|
Processor and memory
|Processor||Intel Core 2 Duo P8400|
|Motherboard chipset||Intel PM45 Express|
|SODIMM sockets free||0|
|SODIMM sockets total||2|
Screen and video
|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|
|Hard disk usable capacity||233GB|
|Internal disk interface||SATA 300|
|Hard disk||Hitachi Travelstar 5K250|
|Optical disc technology||DVD writer|
|Optical drive||Samsung TS-L633L|
|Replacement battery price ex VAT||£103|
|Replacement battery price inc VAT||£118|
|Wired adapter speed||100Mbits/sec|
|802.11 draft-n support||yes|
|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||yes|
|MMC (multimedia card) reader||yes|
|Smart Media reader||no|
|Compact Flash reader||no|
|Pointing device type||Touchpad|
|Audio chipset||Realtek HD Audio|
|Speaker location||Above keyboard|
|Hardware volume control?||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|