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Samsung Series 5 550P5C-S03 review

  • Samsung Series 5 550P5C-S03
  • Samsung Series 5 550P5C-S03 video outputs
  • Samsung Series 5 550P5C-S03 optical drive
  • Samsung Series 5 550P5C-S03 keyboard


Its screen could be better, but this powerful laptop is the perfect swan song for Windows 7

Review Date: 27 Dec 2012

Price when reviewed: £680


Reviewed By: Katharine Byrne

Our Rating 5 stars out of 5

User Rating 4 stars out of 5

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If you’re looking for a solid desktop replacement but aren’t ready to use Windows 8, the Samsung Series 5 550P5C-S03 could be for you. It has the 64-bit version of Windows 7 Home Premium pre-installed and is one seriously fast laptop.

With 6GB of RAM and a 2.5GHz Intel Core i5-3210M processor, the 550P5C-SO3 powered through our multimedia benchmarks with ease, scoring an impressive 53 overall. This is beyond the performance capabilities of most Ultrabooks, so it’s definitely fast enough for both everyday applications and programs that require multithreading.

Its dedicated Nvidia GeForce GT 650M graphics chip also breezed through our Dirt Showdown benchmarks, averaging a silky smooth 58.5fps on High Quality settings and 720p resolution. You may have to lower the settings for some titles, however. When we put it through our more demanding Crysis 2 test it averaged just 23.41fps on Ultra settings at its maximum resolution of 1,366x768. Even so, this is still a pretty impressive feat for a non-gaming laptop, so you should be able to play a decent amount of 3D games.

Another highlight is the 550P5C-S03’s sound system, which includes two JBL speakers located above the keyboard and a small subwoofer underneath the chassis. It certainly has more bass than we’re used to hearing from laptop speakers, but most of it was directed into the work surface. Higher frequencies sounded a little thin, but overall the speakers are definitely a cut above the rest if you find yourself short of a pair of headphones.

Samsung Series 5 550P5C-S03 keyboard
We found the keyboard very comfortable to type on

Its full-sized Chiclet-style keyboard is also very comfortable to type on. The hard edge of the keyboard tray was a little too sharp for our liking, but on the whole its well-spaced and springy keys provided plenty of tactile feedback. Its smooth touchpad was similarly responsive, particularly for multi-touch gestures such as pinch-zooming. Its two dedicated buttons did feel a little flimsy compared to the rest of the laptop, but were accurate in day-to-day use.

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