Summary

Our Score

7/10

Review Price free/subscription

There's also Bluetooth in its uprated 2.0 guise for less power drain and greater range. Also on the left there's a 56k modem also included should you need to resort to old school connection methods.

On the left hand side of the notebook you'll find a VGA output, a headphone output and a microphone socket, next to which is a 4-pin Firewire port. On the opposite side you'll find an S-Video TV out and three USB ports. I always prefer to have USB ports on both sides as it's not always convenient to have cables trailing round. If you don't like cables you'll find the on/off switch for the built-in Wireless.

In terms of appearance, Samsung has done a reasonable job with a silver and black finish. The various plastic bits that are present round the screen look a bit cheap but the black grille above the keyboard is good. The trackpad is functional and the mouse buttons are spruced up with a brushed metal finish. The power button above the keyboard is a smart large silver button. Next to this is a smaller button that launches the AV Station software, which is its own Media Center type interface, though there's no built-in TV Tuner and you have to use a separate application to add files, which is a bit lame.

In use the Samsung is reasonably portable at only 2.1Kg. The worst aspect proved to be the space bar, which tended to stick as I typed making me keep having to go back and add spaces unless I took extra care to hit the space bar harder than I normally would. Otherwise the keys have a good firm feel to them.

In SYSmark 2002 we see the Samsung beat the equivalent priced Gateway. The latter featured a higher clocked 1.83GHz single core processor, so it's interesting to see how much the Samsung compares especially with non dual-core optimised tasks. Though it's faster there's not much in it with office productivity, but tellingly it does a lot better at content creation. In PC Mark it’s faster except for the memory test and inevitably in graphics. Intel really needs to sort out its poor integrated graphics. In battery life though the larger Gateway does much better than the Samsung X11.


Verdict

Ultimately though, it's not the Gateway that does it for the X11, it's Samsung’s own Q35. This essentially offers the same specs as the X11 but in a smaller, lighter package but with better battery life. As you can get a low end Q35 for £870, it's difficult to recommend the larger and less stylish X11, especially while its spacebar keeps sticking.

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