26th Aug 2008 | 15:57
The performance and battery life of this laptop make it a winning design
Samsung's Q210 (£699 inc. VAT) is essentially an upgrade of its successful Q45 laptop.
It has the same compact footprint and you can see how the design has evolved. The use of shiny plastic instead of matt-black plastic means it's prone to smears, but these are easily wiped away.
The design has a ruby-red banding across the front of the casing, which is intended to tie it in thematically with Samsung's TV which has the same effect. However, it looks good in its own right,
as it's a rather subtle take on the design, instead of being a harsh contrast.
The big change is the move to Intel's Centrino 2 platform. Samsung has also taken the time to use nVidia's latest 9200M chip too, making this as state-of-the-art as laptops of this size can get.
Powered by the Core 2 Duo P9400 chip and backed by 3072MB of memory, this machine is more than capable of handling the current crop of tasks with ease.
Centrino 2 chips run at a lower voltage, but offer plenty of power, which would help explain the amazing performance of this laptop that is only matched by its battery life. Our test machine lasted for 296 minutes from a single charge, which at just under ﬁve hours, is an impressive feat for a machine of this size.
The screen is a standard 12.1-inch Super-TFT panel that we found to be bright, but not overly sharp when viewing digital images. The nVidia 9200M GS is intended to be an entry-level card, but with a 3DMark 2003 score of 6003, we were more than satisﬁed with its performance. You won't be able to play the latest games, but you'll be able to run multimedia tasks with ease.
Weighing in at a portable 2kg, the Q210 manages to incorporate all the features you'll need from a laptop, but without seriously impacting on portability.
A DVD rewriter is ﬁtted and you'll ﬁnd three USB ports, as well as an HDMI port, for connecting to digital outputs. There is an SDHC slot above the optical drive. We were surprised to ﬁnd that cards don't slot all the way in, so you won't be able to leave a card in for storage.
The keyboard is of a good size. The keys are ﬁrmly mounted, but have a very shallow amount of travel, which adds a distinct tapping sound as you type. We found it very comfortable to use, as the keys feel well spaced. Samsung has used what it's calling Silver Nano Technology on the keyboard, which prevents bacteria from developing.
The Samsung Q210 is an impressive laptop that packs a host of features into its compact design. As a successor to the Q45, this is a logical progression that makes for a great laptop.