The Q30 is Centrino branded, so there’s an Intel Pro/Wireless 2200BG WiFi adapter inside it, supporting both 802.11b and 802.11g standards. Unfortunately there’s no integrated Bluetooth, but Samsung has assured me that future models will support Bluetooth, which will be quite useful in a slim and light device like this.
This particular Q30 configuration comes with both a standard and extended batteries. Both of these are “smart” battery packs with indicator lights showing you how much charge is left without the need to switch the notebook on. Using the standard battery the Q30 turned in a battery life of two hours and 49 minutes, which is fairly respectable for slim and light machine like this. However, when you slap the extended battery pack in, the battery life rises to a very impressive five hours and 40 minutes. The extended battery does protrude a little from the rear of the chassis, but not enough to be an issue, while the extra 150g that it adds to the weight is hardly noticeable.
Raw performance was never going to be amazing on a machine running a 1.1GHz Ultra Low Voltage CPU, but in use the Q30 feels responsive enough. The integrated Intel graphics chipset isn’t going to be suitable for games so there was no point running any 3D benchmarks. On the whole though, running general office applications didn’t phase the Q30, even when I had Word, Excel, Photoshop and multiple Web browsers open. When it comes down to it though, battery life is the most important performance factor with a machine like this, and the Q30 passes that test with flying colours.
Samsung even throws in a couple of choice bits of software – there’s Ulead Video Studio 7 SE, Photo Explorer 7 SE Platinum, Norton Anti-Virus and CyberLink Power DVD.
Samsung has put a stake in the ground and decided that it is going to base its notebook range on the slim and stylish market, and with products like the Q30 on offer, the future is looking good. With an estimated retail price of £1,775 the Q30 is far from cheap, but you are getting two batteries and the super-slim optical drive thrown in. When you consider the overall design, weight and the amount of features that Samsung has squeezed into such a tiny chassis, the price seems relatively modest – especially when you consider that even now the Sony VAIO X505 will still cost you as much on the street.
If you’re looking for a very light and slim notebook to carry around with you all day, every day, you’d be hard pushed to find a better unit than the Samsung Q30. Just make sure that you don’t need PC Card or Bluetooth support. At last, the Sony VAIO X505 has finally got some seriously stylish competition.
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