Samsung P200 laptop

Samsung may not be one of the biggest notebook sellers but this year it has been making some serious advances both in terms of design and price. The Samsung P200 costs £599 (inc. VAT) but the minute you pick it up you feel as though you're holding a far more expensive machine.

It has a simple look that is made from solid plastic that is firm to the touch. The black plastic has been flecked with silver, which gives it a neat look all its own.

It takes its look from the Q Series but this is a machine intended for business use. It weighs a compact and portable 2kg and is a great size for slipping into a carry case without too much trouble. When it comes to using the P200 on the daily commute, we managed to get over 3 hours from the battery, which is more than satisfactory for most people.

It hits this weight due to the use of a 12.1-inch screen. The fact that it’s a standard TFT panel instead of a glossy Super-TFT screen makes it better for use on the move, as you won't find as many reflections being cast across the panel. However, the downside is, this isn't the sharpest of panels.

In a curious move, you'll find the graphics are handled by the ATI Radeon Express 1250M chip, which is integrated but offers a better multimedia experience than rival chips in this price bracket. As a result, it's great for word processing on the move and the occasional movie.

As the screen is on the compact side, so is the keyboard. It fills the main body of the notebook and the keys have plenty of space around them. Once you get accustomed to the spacing and size of the keys, you'll find it a comfortable keyboard to use. Coupled with a solid touchpad and good-sized mouse buttons, this is a great machine to use if you have plenty of typing to do.

At this price we weren't expecting too much in the way of processing power. However, fitted with the Intel 2GHz Core 2 Duo T7250, and matched with 2048MB of memory and 200GB hard drive, you'll be hard pushed to find better performance at this size or price. We found it could run most tasks with relative ease. In line with its budget pricing, you'll find Windows XP Business has been pre-installed instead of Vista.

When it comes to features, you won't find anything out of the ordinary. A DVD rewrite optical drive is fitted as standard and when it comes to connections, both Ethernet and wireless LAN are covered using current technology. For sharing files with your camera or PDA, there is a media card reader that supports SD, MemoryStick and xD photo cards, which is impressive.

Verdict

The Samsung P200 is an impressive notebook. It's well-built and the keyboard comfortable to use. For the price, the battery life and specification are more than impressive. So, if you're on a tight budget and in the need of a small and compact notebook, this is a great choice.