Samsung is something of a dark horse in the notebook world. As one of the largest component manufacturers in the world, it produces over 90% of the parts for its own machines, which means it can offer something a little more special than the average run of the mill machine.
It’s curious then, they only offer a small number of machines and most of those are ultraportable business machines.
Bucking against this trend is the X60, which is a 15.4-inch widescreen all-in-one notebook that brings with it dual-core performance and a focus on multimedia. Finished in silver and black, the chassis is constructed from magnesium-alloy, and despite measuring just 14mm at its thinnest, is incredibly stiff. The full-sized keys are comfortable to use, with good weighting, and the accurate touchpad has a coarse, tactile finish.
Perhaps the first surprise is the weight, which at 2.6kg, is a lot lighter than your average widescreen machine. That’s not to say it’s ultra-portable as it’s quite a bulky machine. We carried it around for a couple days and while the weight isn’t really an issue, you know you’ve been carrying a notebook around.
The screen has a great finish to it. The 1680 x 1050-pixel resolution and use of a Super-TFT coating means it's sharp and clear to look at, ideal if you want to edit photos or movies, or simply sit back and watch a DVD.
It’s not only the screen that impresses as the use of the ATi Mobility Radeon X1400, which comes with 256MB of memory, packs a good enough punch for most multimedia tasks. True, it’s not the greatest gaming chip but at the asking price, we wouldn’t call it a compromise.
Powered by an Intel Core Duo T2400, which runs at 1.83GHz, this is a quick and nimble machine. Backed by 1024MB of DDR2 memory applications load and run smoothly and we found it a great machine to use for labour intensive chores, such as authoring a DVD, while running lesser apps in the background. The 100GB hard drive is standard for this class but you can store plenty of files on it.
Samsung also manages to squeeze a comprehensive list of features into the slender chassis. Networking comes in the form of the increasingly popular Gigabit Ethernet, which is much faster than 10/100 BASE-T but you’ll need to connect it to a relevant network. Wireless is handled by the Intel 802.11a/b/g, which rounds out the Centrino branding. You’ll find Bluetooth for wireless connectivity, and a 6-in-1 card reader lets you back up files on a variety of different formats. The X60 also features a tri-format DVD rewriter. Rounding up the features is a remote control, stored in the PC Card slot, for controlling your DVDs and PowerPoint presentations.
It’s hard not to be impressed with the Samsung X60. It’s a good machine at a great price and anyone looking to replace his or her desktop PC with a mainstream choice will like it. We managed to get over 3 hours from the battery, which means you can even get a decent mobile experience from it.