Samsung X360 13.3in Notebook - World Exclusive - Final Thoughts & Verdict

Andy Vandervell

By Andy Vandervell



Our Score:


Yet, despite its undoubted excellent performance, we've agonised over our conclusions for the X360 more than most notebooks. This is because it treads an awkwardly fine middle ground in the ultra-portable market. Despite the 'lighter than air' taglines, the X360 isn't really a strict competitor to the MacBook Air. It just doesn't fit. Fine, it's 13 inches, it's slim and its light, but its good looks aren't the fashion statement that the MacBook Air's are and as such those wanting the latter probably won't look twice at the X360.

On the flip side, though it courts the executive market with features like a Trusted Platform module, docking port and fingerprint reader, the presence of a glossy screen and glossy plastic innards are things that won't endear the X360 to that more demanding market.

Instead, what Samsung seems to have produced is a sort of 'entry-level' ultra-portable - if such a concept doesn't sound too absurd. It has most of the ingredients of the more expensive efforts, but while the X360 costs less than £1,400 with a 128GB SSD, it's nigh-on impossible to find the ThinkPad X301 (the updated X300 with 128GB SSD), the MacBook Air, Toshiba's incoming Protégé R600 or the Sony VAIO TT for much less than £1,800 with the same storage option.

Whatever your stance, a £400 difference is pretty huge even if you factor in £100 or so for the lack of integrated HSDPA - something some of the above do feature at the same time. But is it enough to secure our unreserved recommendation? To our minds: no. Not quite. This doesn't stop the X360 from being a very good laptop with lots of good elements, including excellent overall performance and a truly superb keyboard, but a few too many niggles and a slight lack of focus ultimately let it down.


As a re-entry into the premium ultra-portable market the Samsung X360 has many admirable qualities; its great value price versus performance being primary among them. This makes it ideal for those who want a powerful ultra-portable but can't afford the alternatives, but there are one or two things Samsung needs to work on before it can compete with the heavyweights.


November 28, 2008, 8:16 pm

Alas, Samsung seem to be shooting for the corporate/education sub-� market - in my experience that limit is common.


November 29, 2008, 12:19 am

Gloss = Loss


November 29, 2008, 6:10 am

If Samsung were aiming for the budget concious, what was the point of putting DDR3 RAM in there, when it is so much more expensive than DDR2 and the very small performance increases don't really warrant it (particularly with that processor), especially for this market. They would have been better off just sticking in 3 or even 2GB of DDR2 which would have been fine for a system of this spec. They could then use those savings to upgrade that weak processor to the slightly better ULV SU9400 (1.4GHz), which would only be about another 㿀-㿊 more.


December 1, 2008, 3:59 pm

After reading the preview on TR a few months ago, I was seriously considering this notebook. After reading a few reviews, I'm glad I opted for the Sony VAIO VGN-Z11WN/B. The screen, colour of the lid, glossy finish & lack of a built-in optical drive are enough to put me off the Samsung. Might sound trivial, but when you chuck around ٟ.5k at a notebook, you want all your requirements on board!


December 2, 2008, 5:20 pm

Hi there,

I've had an X360 for the past couple of weeks and I am delighted with it. Whilst not a perfect product, for me it represents an excellent balance of features, performance and value. This laptop was bought to replace a Sony G series 12inch ultra-portable.

The good aspects of this laptop includes: battery life (full charge gives me five hours word processing plus three hours web browsing with two hours indicated remaining - wireless on at all times), display very sharp (from the box it did look a bit washed out but reducing the extreme factory contrast setting helped alot with this), boot time (can't tell you how annoying Vista boot times were on my previous laptop...this thing is so fast that I sometimes reboot just to see again how quick it is!), cool and really quiet operation, & finally really solid construction both keyboard (which is great) and overall.

The bad: the displays rather limited viewing angle.

The Ugly: Yep...that glossy finish is a pain.

Whilst it will always be horses for courses; for me (and after playing with the Sony TT as my other option) the X360 represented the best balance delivered at a very good price. Don't discount the X360 until you've tried it and the alternatives.



December 3, 2008, 4:47 pm

PS: On my scales the X360 is 1.31Kg - still not the quoted 1.29 :o)


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