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The power button is located on the right side of the chassis – the round button is mounted in what looks like the spine of the notebook. When I saw this on the Q30 I figured that Samsung was copying the Sony X505, but it looked good nonetheless – the same still rings true today. Also on the right you’ll find an Ethernet port, a Modem socket, a USB 2.0 port and a CompactFlash slot. The latter is particularly useful to me since I use a Canon digital SLR, which employs CompactFlash cards as the storage medium. Having a dedicated CompactFlash slot means that I don’t have to carry a separate card reader around with me.
At the front there’s an array of indicator lights for Power, Charging, Wireless, Hard Disk, Scroll Lock, Caps Lock and Num Lock. Here you’ll also find another memory card slot, this time accepting SD/MMC and MemoryStick cards.
The left side houses headphone and microphone sockets, a four-pin FireWire port, another USB 2.0 port, a D-SUB connector and the power socket. The rear is dominated by the battery, with only space for a Kensington lock point.
Samsung hasn’t skimped on the accessories with the Q40. In the box you’ll find both a standard battery that fits flush to the chassis and an extended battery that protrudes slightly at the rear. You also get an external DVD writer for installing applications and backing up data from the hard disk, while the velvet slip case will keep the Q40 looking as sleek and stylish as the day you bought it.
Performance from the Q40 is limited by the hardware driving it. The CPU is the biggest bottleneck, being a Yonah chip, rather than the latter first generation Merom, let alone the current second generation Merom. Yonah was limited to 2MB of shared cache, while the newer chips are blessed with 4MB, which has a significant impact on performance.
When it came to battery life, the Q40 managed close to five hours using the extended battery, and nearly three hours on the standard pack. That puts it on a par with the Asus U1F, but a way behind the Sony TZ1MN. The good news is that with both batteries in the box, you have the option of carrying both with you – yes it will add more weight, but you’ll only carry both when you know you’re going to need them.