Connectivity on the Q330 is pretty solid, comprising three USB ports, VGA, HDMI and all the usual necessities. These are all arranged in a logical manner, particularly as the memory card is at the front for easy access. It’s also good to see one of the USB ports, the one of the left edge, supporting standby charging – whereby you can charge USB devices even when the laptop is turned off. It’s an extremely handy feature.
Of greater import, however, is the usability of the machine itself and here Samsung hits most of the right marks. The keyboard in particular is excellent, sporting firm, accurate key actions and a sensible layout. You have to press very hard to create any flex too, ensuring it’s never a problem in normal use. This is a great machine for regular typing tasks.
Slightly less encouraging is the touchpad, but only because Samsung has plonked it slap bang in the middle of the machine instead of directly below the spacebar. This means your palm rests on the right edge of the pad, jogging the cursor (and potentially the button) as you type.
This can be mitigated by adjusting the ‘palm check’ feature of the touchpad driver, but this isn’t set correctly (it needs to be at its maximum) by default and is a devil to find. For the record it goes a little like this: Start > Control Panel > Hardware and Sound > Mouse (under Devices and Printers) > Device Settings > Settings > Pointing > Sensitivity > PalmCheck. Try finding that without directions!
Considering the price we weren’t expecting great audio-visual delights from the Q330, but it performed above our expectations. Though viewing angles are quite shallow, looked at straight on the screen on the Q330 is brighter, sharper and has greater fidelity than most of its kin. These strengths serve it well in all walks of use, be it web browsing, film viewing or productivity.
We were also pleasantly surprised by the speakers, if only because they’re much better than we’re accustomed to hearing on Samsung laptops. Don’t be under any illusions, bass is still mostly absent, but this pair achieve enough clarity and volume for general use.