Of course this isn’t the limit of the X50’s connectivity, since it’s quite well endowed when it comes to wireless features. Being a Centrino branded notebook, it comes as no surprise that there’s an Intel wireless adapter inside this machine. But it’s always good to see the Intel Pro/Wireless 2915, which supports 802.11a, 802.11b and 802.11g – so you’ve definitely got all the bases covered. One thing that I always used to complain about with Samsung notebooks was the lack of Bluetooth functionality, but thankfully that has now been addressed. The integrated Bluetooth adapter in the X50 means that you can always get online with your mobile phone if you can’t find a WiFi hotspot, it also means that you can easily get all those photos of your camera phone.
Considering the size of the screen, the X50 was never going to be a particularly small notebook and at 357 x 267 x 31mm you’re going to need a decent size bag to put it in – at least it’s quite slim though. It’s not too heavy considering the size though, at 2.41kg.
It’s hard to judge the performance of the X50, since I used a new version of MobileMark and a new version of PCMark when testing. That said, the SYSmark 2002 score is a little lower than the Acer TravelMate 8104WLMi I reviewed a while back. The MobileMark DVD test returned a time of 146 minutes, so you should be able to watch a decent length movie with a fully charged battery – however, it’s worth remembering that this notebook lets you watch movies without booting up Windows, which should give you even longer battery life. Looking at general Windows usage, MobileMark 2005 turned in a time of just over three hours, which is pretty reasonable, but not astounding. Samsung does offer a high-capacity battery for the X50 for anyone looking for all-day unplugged usage.
Although the X50 is a great looking notebook with a full feature set and strong performance, it doesn’t come cheap. At £1,489 including VAT, the X50 is pricey, but no more so than any other high-quality machine in this sector. You can pick up the excellent Acer TravelMate 8104WLMi for around £120 less, which sports a very similar spec with a better graphics chipset, but weighs slightly more – ultimately it’s worth comparing the two before you buy.
There’s no doubt that the X50 is a great notebook. Samsung has got the balance of great design, solid performance and strong features just right. If you’re looking for an all round, fully featured notebook that doesn’t weigh too much, the X50 is definitely worth considering. However, the Acer TravelMate 8104WLMi offers a slightly better package for less, if you don’t mind the slight weight increase.