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Samsung Q330 - Performance, Battery Life and Verdict

Andy Vandervell

By Andy Vandervell

Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

9

User Score:

Using a full-power processor makes the Q330 less of a compromise than low-voltage machines, as the system performance results show. It's comfortably faster than the Asus UL30A, and compares pretty well to the similarly specified Toshiba Satellite U500.

Samsung Q330

This isn't to say the Asus is slow; it's perfectly capable for general computing tasks. However, whereas it will struggle with MP3 or video encoding, the Samsung has the processing power to power through such tasks far more easily. It's also a better choice for those who multi-task heavily, as it simply has the processing overhead to run more applications at the same time.

It's a not a machine for gaming, though. It might cope with particularly undemanding games okay, as the playable 27.8fps in TrackMania Nations demonstrates. However it doesn't ask much of graphics hardware, especially at the medium detail settings we test at. Intel's integrated chip also doesn't support anti-aliasing, so it doesn't offer much in the way of eye-candy. On the other hand, HD video processing is no problem at all and the trade-off for its lack of performance is extremely efficient power use.

Samsung Q330

Consequently, battery life is rather more impressive. While the Q330 gets nowhere near the epic 10+ hours of the Asus UL30A, the 293 minutes (4hrs, 53mins) of productivity it managed is impressive enough given it performs more like an ordinary laptop. It's also considerably more than the Toshiba Satellite U500.

Samsung Q330

The Q330 also fairs quite well in the DVD playback test. At 161 minutes at full brightness it will last long enough for most films, and reducing the brightness a little should push it past the three hour mark quite comfortably. Of course, the UL30A doesn't have a DVD drive, so there's no comparison to be made there.

Verdict

Aside from the silly touchpad placement, it's difficult to fault the Q330. It's durable, looks good, performs well and has very good battery life: all the things you need in a genuinely mobile laptop. Best of all, however, is the price. At £600 it's an absolute bargain, and one that won't need replacing any time soon.

PoisonJam

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.

hankb6d

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! ;)

HarryGlass

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.

cliche

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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