In the past Samsung has done a great job of supplying the market with affordable portable notebooks in the shape of the original Q35, and its successor the Q35 Red Core 2 Duo. Both of those notebooks walked away with TrustedReviews Recommended awards, and so good were they that we felt compelled to give one away as part of our Readers Survey. Can Samsung repeat this feat with the Q35's successor, the cannily named Q45?
As with the R20 and R70, the Q45 continues Samsung’s penchant for sleek and simple designs which feature a shiny black outer casing and matt black interior. Clearly Samsung wants to foster a unified look that can be easily identified as belonging to the company, and in this it has been pretty successful.
Other than the black finish, however, it’s clear that not a great deal about the chassis has changed. All the connections are in more or less the same places, and the overall size and shape is nigh on identical to that of the Q35. The only noticeable change comes at the front of the notebook, which has a curved shape where the Q35 was simply squared off. This is quite a nice addition too, creating a more comfortable surface on which to rest your wrists when typing.
It’s just as well then that this chassis has stood the test of time. Despite being just over a year since Riyad reviewed the original Q35, the Q45 which is based on the same design is still a fantastic chassis. Measuring 299 x 217 x 36.3 mm (WxDxH) it’s a fairly average sized notebook, the 12.1in screen is a good size and overall the Q45 couldn’t be deemed to be overly chunky or unusually slim either. However its overall weight of 1.86kg puts it on the outer fringe of the ultra-portable category, making it a very portable and convenient notebook for everyday use.
But, as with previous Q35s, not only is the Q45 eminently portable, you also get a lot for your money. Our sample came with a Santa Rosa spec Intel Core 2 Duo T7100 clocked at 1.8GHz with an 800MHz Front Side Bus. This CPU packs in all the new power saving and dynamic throttling features that Riyad wrote about in his Santa Rosa feature, and marks a significant step forward in notebook processing. Of course it's worth remembering that the T7100 only sports 2MB of cache, as opposed to the 4MB that you get in the higher-end CPUs, but this is one of the few compromises being made in the Q45.
To accompany this there’s 2GB of 667MHz DRR2 RAM, a 5400rpm 160GB SATA hard drive, DVD-Rewriter drive and Intel X3100 integrated graphics. All of this is plugged into the Intel 965GM Express chipset, and for connectivity the Q45 features Intel PRO/Wireless 3945ABG Wi-Fi, 10/100 Ethernet and Bluetooth 2.0 EDR. The lack of Gigabit LAN or draft-n wireless is a little disappointing, as is the lack of a Turbo Memory module, but considering the price there’s no good reason to be disappointed.