This sleek-looking business laptop is very comfortable to work with but its battery life and processor are rather poor for the price.
15.6 in 1,366×768 display, 2.5kg, 2.13GHz Intel Core i3 330M, 3.00GB RAM, 320GB disk, Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
Samsung’s P580 business laptop is understated, with a simple matt-black chassis with only the company’s logo to adorn it. Open the lid and you’ll find more matt black, with a finish that looks like brushed metal but feels almost like wood. This felt a bit odd at first but proved to be a remarkably comfortable surface for the laptop’s wrist rest.
The keyboard is a pleasure to use, with large, flat keys. A clever bit of design means that the cursor keys are below the rest of the keyboard, which both makes them easy to use and difficult to strike by accident. There’s also a compact numeric keypad on the right-hand side. The touchpad is small, but well located, so we neither brushed it accidentally nor had any trouble reaching it.
The laptop has a slightly above-average selection of ports. The usual three USB ports are accompanied by a dual-function USB/eSATA port. Beyond that, all you’ll find are fairly typical VGA and HDMI outputs and 3.5mm stereo in- and outputs. There’s also a Gigabit Ethernet port and dual-band 802.11n WiFi. The memory card reader can handle SD, SDHC and MMC formats.
The built in speakers are startlingly good, with plenty of volume and clarity, even on the busiest and most distorted of tracks. They’re slightly lacking in bass power, but still outperform most laptop speakers.
We were particularly impressed with the laptop’s 15.6in matt display, which has a resolution of 1,366×768. This produced vivid, accurate colours, deep backs and pure whites, without any of the reflectivity we’re used to seeing from glossy screens. Even at reduced brightness settings, the screen was easy to work with and colours remained balanced.
Unfortunately, although we were very impressed with the P580’s build quality and design, its Core i3 330M processor is underpowered when compared to the specifications of other, similarly priced laptops. The processor’s limitations are reflected by the P580’s mediocre Overall score of 76 in our benchmarks.
The rest of the specification is sound; Samsung has installed a 1GB Nvidia GeForce GT 330M graphics processor, which produced an acceptable 28.7fps in CoD4. There’s 3GB of RAM, and the 64-bit installation of Windows 7 Professional means that you won’t have to buy a new license if you want to add more memory. A 32-bit copy of Windows XP is also provided on a disc if you need it.
Battery life isn’t great at just over three hours in our light-use test. We’d hoped for more from this fairly compact business notebook, and the short battery life could be a problem if you regularly need to use your laptop on the move.
There are many other versions of the P580, so you should always check the exact part code when shopping, but this one is beautifully made, even if it isn’t particularly good value for money. If you’re looking to spend around £600 on a laptop, we recommend buying Packard Bell’s cheaper EasyNote TM instead. It’s faster and has a bigger hard disk, too.
|Processor||Intel Core i3 330M|
|Processor clock speed||2.13GHz|
|Memory slots free||0|
|Sound||Realtek HD Audio|
|Viewable size||15.6 in|
|Graphics Processor||Nvidia GeForce GT 330M|
|Graphics/video ports||VGA, HDMI|
|Total storage capacity||320GB|
|Optical drive model||TSST TS-L633C|
|Optical drive type||DVD+/-RW +/-DL|
Ports and Expansion
|Wired network ports||1x 10/100/1000|
|Wireless networking support||802.11n (dual band)|
|PC Card slots||none|
|Supported memory cards||SD, SDHC, MMC|
|Other ports||1x eSATA|
|Operating system||Windows 7 Professional 64-bit|
|Operating system restore option||Windows 7 disc, Windows XP disc|
|Software included||CyberLink DVD Suite, CyberLink YouCam|
|Warranty||one year RTB|