Samsung Q70 notebook review

4 out of 5
£650

For

Powerful, well-built, good battery life

Against

The screen is flat and washed-out

Samsung may not be the first name you think of when considering a notebook but in the last 12 months, the company has released a surprising number of machines. The Q70 is a stylish and powerful notebook aimed at those who need portability and power.

The look of the Q70 follows the standard look of all Samsung machines, so the black plastic has a matt finish to the main body and a gloss coating to the lid. While the design is rather boxy, it is solid and feels incredibly firm in the hand.

Weighing just 2kg, this is a great notebook to consider if you need to carry it around with you daily. So, students as well as commuters will like this machine. The battery pack sticks out of the back of the chassis, which could prove a hazard and certainly makes it trickier to slip into a standard notebook case.

However, the larger battery pack does mean you’ll be able to work away from mains power for longer. We found over the course of our tests that 5 hours was easily obtainable with the Q70.

Running Windows Vista Home Premium Edition isn’t a problem on this machine as we found it a quick and capable notebook. General performance is stunning for the price. Samsung offer a variety of specifications and price points but our test machine can installed with an Intel 2.1GHz Core 2 Duo T8100 processor, 2048MB of memory and a whopping 250GB hard drive. This is great value for the asking price. In daily use, we found this a powerful machine that ran our test applications with ease.

To keep the weight to a minimum, you’ll find the screen is a 13.3-inch Super-TFT panel that should offer sharp reproduction of images and videos. Sadly, we found the screen colour to be a little flat, which left images washed out in detail. White balance, such as when viewing Word documents looks satisfactory, though.

Graphics are provided by the Intel GMA X3100 integrated controller, so you’ll be able to run video and standard applications with ease, but this isn’t a machine for games or heavy-duty video editing.

Far more impressive is the keyboard. The keys are large and well spaced and the action of the keys as you type is smooth and comfortable. The keyboard is evenly sprung, so you won’t find the keys rattling as you type.

You’ll find a standard DVD rewriter installed that, as with all Samsung notebooks, supports LightScribe technology. This means you can write labels directly onto specially formulated discs. Wi-Fi supports 802.11n for the fastest wireless rates possible. However, the fixed Ethernet is a standard 10/100 BASE-T chipset.

Verdict

The Samsung Q70 is a good all-round notebook that will suit the daily traveller. While the screen isn’t as bright as we’d have liked, the battery life and keyboard make this a great notebook for using on the daily commute or in the University library. The specification offers good value for money and the build quality won’t disappoint.