Samsung has introduced some great notebook designs of late and the X22 continues this trend with a semi-lightweight machine intended for power users on the move.
Other models we've seen from Samsung have ad a glossy finish but this latest machine has a matt-black finish, which we felt was far more durable. The 2.2kg chassis is compact and feels robust to the touch. It's made from plastic so will certainly stand up to the rigours of life on the road.
Open the reassuringly solid lid and you'll find a 14.1-inch Super-TFT screen. It's not the brightest of panels but we found it sharp enough for office duties during the day and watching the odd movie by night. An integrated camera sits above the screen and lets you add live video to online messaging services.
The keyboard is of a good size and fills the main body of the machine. We found the keys to be highly responsive and comfortable to use. The touchpad and mouse buttons are also of a good size and easy to use.
When it comes to performance, this is an impressive machine in a compact design. You'll find an Intel Core 2 Duo T7500 chip, which runs at 2.2GHz and delivers dual-core power. Backed with 2048MB of memory, we found this notebook could handle any task we set it, from editing photos to running multiple tasks, with no real signs of slow down. The 160GB hard drive is a little average for the price but it'll certainly store all your media files with ease.
Considering the portability of the X22 we were hoping this would be a great machine to take on the road. Sadly, the result of the powerful specification is a rather pedestrian battery life. Even in Vista's Power Saver mode we only managed to get as little as 2 hours from the battery. Run this notebook in Performance mode and it's drastically less than that.
When it comes to graphics, you'll find the ATI Mobility Radeon HD 2400, which as the name suggests, offers support for high-def sources. The screen doesn't have a high enough resolution to show HD but there is an HDMI so you can connect from the notebook to an external high-def screen.
Other extras include a dual-format DVD rewriter, which supports LightScribe so you can create your own labels directly on to the disc. There is also Gigabit Ethernet and 802.11n wireless LAN for connecting to networks at the best possible speed.
Considering the power on offer here, we were impressed with how cool the system ran, only getting noticeably warm after using it for a couple of hours. At the asking price of £880 (inc. VAT) this is an impressively versatile notebook.
The Samsung X22 is a powerful and portable machine that misses out on Hot Product status only because its battery life is less than ideal. If, however, battery life isn't a concern this is a great all-round notebook at an excellent price.