If you need to burn optical discs in your notebook the Q35 won’t disappoint, with a Super-Multi DVD writer installed. This will write to DVD+R/RW, DVD-R/RW, DVD-RAM and dual layer DVD media. Oh, and you can still burn CD-R and CD-RW discs of course.
Lifting that red lid reveals a silver keyboard and wrist rest, along with a 12.1in widescreen display with a silver bezel surrounding it. The screen has a native resolution of 1,280 x 800, which is pretty standard for a 12.1in widescreen display. The screen has a high contrast glossy coating, which you either love or hate – luckily I’m in the former camp, especially if you happen to want to use the Q35 for watching movies, which I have done on several occasions. In fact, if you’re not a fan of high contrast coatings you’re in trouble, because more notebooks tend to have them than not these days. The screen is very bright and the colours are extremely vivid as I would expect – the downside is that it is fairly reflective in some lighting conditions, and the viewing angle is shallower than a not glossy screen. The latter isn’t too much of an issue though, since you’re not likely to be giving too many presentations to people on a notebook this small.
The silver keyboard doesn’t just look good, it’s also surprisingly comfortable to type on. The keys are small, but not too small to type on, even if you have large hands. The Caps Lock, Shift, Return and Backspace keys are all large, although the Tab key isn’t. Also, even though Samsung has decided to place the Fn key in the bottom left corner, where the Ctrl key should be, it has made amends by making the Ctrl key twice the normal size. There’s a decent amount of travel on offer with a solid spring back bouncing your finger up, ready for the next key strike. It’s not in the same league as the HP Compaq nc2400, but then no other thin and light notebook keyboard is.
Below the Spacebar is a touchpad with a widescreen aspect ratio to match the screen. The right edge of the touchpad is marked out for scrolling vertically through web pages and documents, and even though the bottom edge isn’t marked, it will allow you to scroll horizontally too. The touchpad is very sensitive and accurate, while also being placed far enough from the Spacebar to avoid accidental cursor movement when typing. Under the touchpad are two large selector buttons finished in brushed aluminium.