Summary

Our Score

7/10

Review Price free/subscription

One area where the H001 is certainly well equipped is in the wireless department. Apart from the aforementioned HSDPA, you get Bluetooth 2.0 EDR and 802.11 draft-n wireless. Like on Samsung's previous Q40 HSDPA Notebook The HSDPA module is easily accessible by removing a small rubber flap just behind and underneath the headphone and microphone panel. However, the extra features do seem to have upped the weight just a bit, as the Q45 now weighs in at 1.92kg, although that's only 60g heavier than its predecessors.

The 12.1in screen is again largely the same as on previous models. The narrow black glossy surround adds a nice effect, and as mentioned, the display itself is high-gloss too, meaning you can use it as a mirror when your laptop is turned off. This makes it harder to use with ambient light sources, but does add a little vibrancy to colours. Speaking of which, they're fairly good for a laptop TFT, as is greyscale differentiation. There's no banding on any tones, and text is never less than sharp. The positives are somewhat ruined by poor viewing angles and distractingly strong backlight bleed from the bottom of the screen, but then that's not unusual for a display this size.

It's slightly depressing that after the lacklustre graphics performance of the Via chip in the MSI Titan, the Intel GMA X3100 integrated graphics result of 25.2FPS under TrackMania Nations Forever (at normal quality and the screen's native 1,280 x 800 resolution) seems positively impressive. But while the Q45 is certainly no gaming machine, it ought to be able to handle older games at low detail.

Our model came with Vista Business, though the Q45 is also available in other configurations with Home Premium and Windows XP Professional. The dual core 2.4GHz processor along with its 2GB of RAM ensures the H001 whizzes along under Vista, and most tasks are fairly snappy. Battery life is not bad either, though the Q45 is surprisingly beaten by Dell's Vostro 1310, despite that model having identical features and battery, and using a bigger screen.

When it comes to pricing, however, the Q45 is its own worst enemy. You see, instead of the H001 model which comes in at the £918 mark, around £570 will net you the A00D version with Core 2 Duo T5450 1.66 GHz processor, a very generous 3GB of RAM and a 320GB hard drive. This gives you nearly £350 to buy an external HSDPA modem and any other upgrades, and for many users, the increased memory and storage will more than make up for the weaker processor.

The final nail in the H001's coffin is that if you do want your HSDPA integrated, there are similarly specced and sized alternatives that are again far cheaper. An example is the Fujitsu Siemens Esprimo Mobile U9200 which offers everything the Q45 H001 does (minus 80GB of hard drive space) for close to half the price.

Verdict

Overall Samsung's updated HSDPA Q45 (H001) is a great little machine, which despite its dated chassis and other flaws is packed with features and some decent specifications. But at over £900, it simply costs too much compared to the competition or even other Q45 models, which offer good value for money.

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