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Samsung Q330 review

Andy Vandervell




  • Recommended by TR

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Samsung Q330
  • Samsung Q330
  • Samsung Q330
  • Samsung Q330
  • Samsung Q330
  • Samsung Q330
  • Samsung Q330
  • Samsung Q330
  • Samsung Q330
  • Samsung Q330
  • Samsung Q330
  • Q330 Notebook (2.26GHz Intel Core i3, 3GB DDR3, 320GB HDD, DVD±RW, Windows 7 Home Premium, 13.3? LED)


Our Score:



  • Durable
  • Stylish
  • Cheap
  • Excellent battery life


  • Annoying touchpad positioning
  • Glossy touchpad buttons
  • Poor screen viewing angles

Key Features

  • Dual-core Intel Core i3 CPU
  • 13.3in, 1,366 x 768
  • Matt finish
  • Bluetooth 3.0
  • Light and portable
  • Manufacturer: Samsung
  • Review Price: £523.50

Samsung's Q-series of laptops is something of a perennial classic. While rarely the most glamorous or sophisticated, they've always balanced portability and affordability extremely well. Of course there's more choice in affordable and portable laptops these days, but the Q330 continues the grand tradition of its forbears.

Unlike the likes of the Asus UL30A, the Q330 uses a full-power Intel Core i3 processor: one that has two cores running at 2.26GHz, in fact. This gives it a significant edge in general performance, though its Intel HD Graphics means it's no better a gaming machine. Peeking closer under the hood reveals 3GB of RAM and a 320GB hard drive, which is perfectly sufficient considering the £600 asking price.

Interestingly, like the Samsung Galaxy S, the Q330 has Bluetooth 3.0 - a nice, future-proofing addition - in addition to Wireless-N Wi-Fi and Gigabit Ethernet. Of course, and this may sound like a trivial thing, the Q330 also an 8x DVD Re-writer drive - something not found in many low-voltage laptops, where the emphasis is on slimness at all costs.

Samsung Q330

Fundamentally, then, the Q330 is just a normal laptop made smaller and lighter: 1.96kg to be precise. This is nice weight for a laptop, as is the 13-inch form-factor a good size for slinging in a bag to and from lectures or the office. In this respect the Q330 has more in common with the Apple MacBook and MacBook Pro 13-inch, though it's considerably cheaper than either.

Naturally this more affordable price comes at the cost of the materials used, but the Q330 is no ugly ducking. As is typical of Samsung it's kept things as simple as possible, matching a near-black lid with matt silver on the inside to good effect. We particularly like the semi-gloss finish of the lid, which has all the visual qualities of a glossy one but with the fraction of the ugly smudges and fingerprints. Excluding the slight protrusion for the battery at the back, the Q330 is also pleasingly slim.

Samsung Q330

Any highly portable laptop is likely to receive a little rough and tumble, so build quality is an important consideration. Samsung's use of more durable materials, namely matt plastics instead of the easily scratched glossy finishes so often seen, certainly helps here. More to the point, the general construction of Q330 is excellent, with no creaking or poorly fitted panels to be found. It also runs coolly and quietly, something that's doubly important when working on the move.


July 26, 2010, 3:11 pm

Can you get from one end of the screen to the other in a single swipe of the trackpad?

This is really important to me as I'm considering moving anyway from my IBM x40, with TrackPoint, for something a bit faster for today's software. So many laptops I've tried required several finger swipes just to get from the top of the screen to the bottom.


July 26, 2010, 3:32 pm

No spec sheet page? I always want to know the page estate. :(

Matt G Baish

July 26, 2010, 3:41 pm

@PoisonJam I thought this depended on the `pointer speed` as set up in control panel (as per mouse pointer speed)? Unfortunately you can only set one common speed for the trackpad & physical mouse s o if you switch between both then you may have to change it manually or, alternatively, buy a custom program to handle it, see http://www.mouseswitcher.com (never used myself bus seems to have good things said about it).

Andy Vandervell

July 26, 2010, 3:54 pm

Don't have it to test I'm afraid, but in general you can adjust the sensitivity of the touchpad to make what you want possible - it's just rarely like that out of the box.

Andy Vandervell

July 26, 2010, 3:55 pm

@hank: I'll be adding that late, was in a rush to get home Friday! ;)


July 26, 2010, 7:24 pm

@PoisonJam: As Matt says this is configurable on just about any laptop, trying it in PC world means nothing... It should be the last of your concerns when buying a new laptop. If this Sammy fits your bill specs wise go for it, it looks like a wonderful machine for the money.


July 27, 2010, 4:13 am

I'd really like some Optimus switchable graphics on this !

Tom Brown

August 2, 2010, 1:16 am

You say this laptop has gigabit ethernet, but the amazon website, along with others ive seen say it only has 10/100 ethernet...?

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