Samsung Q30 – Ultra-Portable Notebook Review - Samsung Q30 Review

There’s a small silver touchpad just below the Spacebar, but since the wrist rest is raised slightly from the keyboard there’s little chance of you hitting the touchpad by accident when you’re typing. The touchpad is finished in the same matt silver as the rest of the chassis, as are the two selector buttons below it. This is a very good touchpad and made for accurate and easy pointer manipulation. Also, even though there’s no indication on the touchpad itself, you can use the right side of it to scroll up and down through documents and web pages.

Driving the Q30 is an Ultra Low Voltage Intel Pentium M CPU running at 1.1GHz and sporting 2MB of Level 2 cache. There’s 512MB of PC2700 DDR memory as standard, although this review sample came fitted with 768MB. The Q30 has 256MB of memory hard wired onto the motherboard and a single SODIMM slot so the maximum memory configuration is 1280MB.

Storage is taken care of by a 40GB 1.8in hard disk, which is modest by normal notebook standards, but more than acceptable for a slimline machine like this. If you do need to free up some space on the hard disk, or even just offload some important files, Samsung bundles a DVD-ROM/CD-RW drive. The drive is very slim and matches the Q30 perfectly – it connects to the six-pin FireWire port and needs no external power. The drive will burn CD-R media at 24x and CD-RW discs at 24x. Samsung will be offering a DVD writer as an option soon.

Looking around the chassis of the Q30, I did feel a sense of déjà vu – the power button resides in exactly the same place as on the Sony VAIO X505, and it glows, yep you guessed it, blue. So, on the right hand side is the power button, an Ethernet port, a modem socket, a USB 2.0 port and a CompactFlash card reader. At the front is another memory card reader, this time accepting SD, MMC and MemoryStick.

At the left you’ll find headphone and mic sockets, a six-pin FireWire port, a USB 2.0 port, a D-SUB port and the power connector. Most of the rear is occupied by the battery, so there’s not too much going on there. So, given the size of this little Samsung, there’s a massive amount of features squeezed into its chassis. That said, one feature is conspicuous by its absence, a PC Card slot. Now, many notebook users don’t need a PC Card slot anymore, since most of the devices that used to populate said slots are now integrated. However, I definitely need a PC Card slot in a notebook, so that I can use my 3G data card when I’m out and about. Whether the lack of PC Card slot is an issue, depends entirely on whether you have a definite use for one as I do. Many people only use the PC Card slot for their memory card adapter, and Samsung has got that base well covered.

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