We've become quite accustomed to Samsung producing well featured and affordable notebooks, particularly in the case of the Q35 and its successor the Q45, which still represents the best value sub-2kg notebook available today bar perhaps the Asus Eee PC, which is a law unto itself anyway. However, the Q45 isn't the beginning and end of Samsung's notebook range, with the X22 being the latest offering from the Korean giant.
A mid-sized notebook for corporate and business users, the X22 features a 14.1in display and weighs just a fraction over 2.2kg with the standard four-cell battery. This is quite a pleasant form factor for many, balancing the needs for mobility against the practicalities of everyday use. However, a quick look at this particular sector shows the X22 has a formidable opponent in the shape of Dell's Latitude D630. How does the X22 compare against this big hitter?
On price, one would have to say very well. Our sample model (NP-X22A001/SUK) is available for the reasonable sum of £850 and for this you get a well specified notebook with a 2.0GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T7300, 2GB 667MHz RAM and a 160GB SATA HDD. It also features an ATI Mobility Radeon HD2400 graphics chipset, as well as Bluetooth, Gigabit Ethernet and Draft-N Wi-Fi. An 8x LightScribe DVD+/-RW optical drive rounds off the package and, on this evidence, the X22 is a well balanced machine for the price.
There are, however, a couple of particular disappointments. For a notebook of this size it would be nice to see a higher resolution display than the 1,280 x 800 that's on offer, while Samsung has further skimped on the relatively low capacity 2600mAh four-cell battery. The latter does help keep the weight to a manageable 2.2kg, but battery life takes a significant dive because of this.
During a subjective general use test, with the notebook used for word processing and Internet browsing, the X22 managed a disappointing two hours and five minutes with the display set to its maximum and wireless enabled. This is a distinctly below average result, since more typically one could expect closer to three hours were the X22 to use a six-cell battery as most in this sector tend to do.
Clearly then, although the four-cell battery makes the X22 more portable, this is offset by the fact that it doesn't provide the kind of battery life that would make this extra portability worthwhile. To counter this, an extended eight-cell battery is available and this would certainly be advisable, though it's still a shame there's no half-way house in the shape of a six-cell battery.