In the performance stakes the Q70 is also very competent. In PC Mark 05 it sits comfortably between the Q45 and the Acer Aspire 5920, which considering it’s a smaller chassis is quite impressive. It should be able to handle pretty much anything you throw at it, beyond the most demanding gaming titles that is, but even then the 8400M GS does provide some gaming performance and will be able to handle the likes of WoW or a similarly undemanding game, the name of which I refuse to use in this review.
However, the inclusion of a discrete graphics card has certainly had a negative effect on battery performance. As with the Q45 battery performance was tested subjectively, using the notebook on high brightness and with the high performance profile to get a general idea of how well the notebook will perform during everyday tasks such as word processing and web surfing.
The Q70 managed 2 hours and 40 minutes, which is okay but is fair way off the 3 hours and 20 minutes managed by the Q45. As ever one will get more by tweaking the settings, but there’s a noticeable gulf in longevity and this is always an important factor.
This also gets to the nub of what I see as the main problem of the Q70, that it defies qualification. It’s not an ultra-portable, and doesn’t quite have the grunt of a desktop replacement. It’s not as light as the Q45, and is also noticeably thicker measuring 39.2mm compared to the Q45s 36.3mm. Moreover that makes the Q70 a good deal bulkier than the 27.5mm of the MacBook, and even given the Q70 being lighter there is something to be said for having a balance to between weight and thickness.
Ultimately, it does leave you wondering why you’d choose a 13.3in notebook over a smaller 12.1 which has more or less the same features but is lighter and more portable. Average battery performance also counts against it, and as with any notebook – especially one that’s meant to be portable – this is a vital factor. Moreover the Q45 will be available with a similar specification in the future, so you could spec a faster CPU if you so desired.
Overall the Q70 is another sleek and attractive notebook from Samsung. The shiny black exterior provides the initial eye-catching element, and the metallic internal finish provides a very different but no less attractive effect. General performance is excellent, while the nVidia 8400M GS provides some limited gaming performance for those who require it.
If anything, though, the Q70 isn’t quite as compelling an option as the super cheap and more portable Q45, while with the likes of the newly announced Dell XPS M1330 may make the Q70 look a little less attractive in the near future. If you definitely prefer a 13.3in screen rather than the smaller 12.1 variety then the Q70 is still a very good option, but it’s worth looking around before settling on it.