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Samsung X460 14.1in Notebook
Having previously looked at the 13.3in Samsung X360 it's now the turn of its larger and arguably more practical cousin, the X460. Though it has a similar slim and light emphasis as the X360, measuring as little as 21.2mm at its thinnest point and weighing just 1.9kg, it is based on a substantially larger 14.1in display and as a consequence features a full-fat Intel mobile processor and also an integrated optical drive. Given these two facts, its sub-2kg weight is quite some achievement and one that certainly gives it the edge over machines of a similar form factor. This weight also sets it against some 13in machines while the price, just under £900 in some places, makes it a tantalisingly affordable option, too.
As far as styling goes the X460 is more or less identical to the X360 save for its larger frame. On the lid it has the same brushed metal and glossy black combination, though our version here comes in black rather than the red of the SSD equipped X360. This lends the X460 a classy but restrained appearance, though we're still not especially keen on how the glossy black finish is continued on the inside as well since it's a magnet for grease, dust and fingerprints that quickly begin to annoy.
One slight change on the inside, however, is a strip of black metal above the keyboard that's punctuated by speaker grills for the two 1.5W speakers and a small rectangular power button. Combined the speakers don't provide a great deal of punch, so you can rule out listening to music on them, but for the occasional video clip or demonstration they are perfectly adequate.
The keyboard also sees a small alteration with the addition of Home, Page Up, Page Down and End keys along the right-hand side. This is a logical use of the extra space and adds a little extra functionality to what was an already superb keyboard. Its isolated style keys are large and user-friendly, respond crisply and evenly, while the layout is without any obvious fault. This makes it a joy to use for regular typing duties and you'll quickly be up to normal speed when using it.
Regrettably this positive experience is somewhat dented by a rather silly oversight. Despite the keyboard being slightly off-centre to account for the Home to End keys, Samsung hasn't seen fit to move the touchpad. As a result we often found our right hand jogging the scroll zone when typing, with predictably irritating results. This is less of a problem if you tend to type with your hands hovering above the keyboard, rather than utilising what should be the wrist rest, but it's the kind of small issue that should be avoided.
This aberration aside the basic design and build of the X460 is very strong. There are no annoying creaking panels, very little flex in the keyboard and though the glossy finish won't suffer bumps and scrapes gladly, the machine itself shouldn't suffer terribly even if there's no SSD option or shock protection on the hard drive for heavier falls.