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Samsung SF310 review

Tom Morgan
22 Dec 2010
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
722
inc VAT

Apart from the underpowered graphics card and average screen, the SF310 a great all-rounder thanks to a long-lasting battery, decent performance and an excellent design.

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Specifications

15.6 in 1,366x768 display, 2.5kg, 2.4GHz Intel Core i3-370M, 3.00GB RAM, 320GB disk, Windows 7 Professional 64-bit

The SF310 is the second Samsung laptop we've seen that has the company's 'wave-style' design. The first was the ultra-stylish NF210 netbook and this 13.3in ultraportable continues the excellent design scheme.

Samsung SF310

The Intel Core i5-460M processor runs at 2.53GHz and supports Turbo Boost to automatically increase clock speed for demanding tasks. In our multimedia benchmarks the SF310 scored 92 overall, so the SF310 will be able to run most applications. Multi-threaded programs will benefit from Hyper-threading support, effectively doubling the processor’s two physical cores. It might be powerful, but the mobile Core i5 chips can also be very energy efficient. The SF310 lasted an impressive seven hours in our light use battery test. It has the benefit of Nvidia's Optimus graphics switching technology, which helps extend battery life by reverting to the built-in graphics chip when away from the mains.

The decision to install a GeForce 310M graphics card is odd as it doesn't improve much upon the processor's integrated chip. Both can handle HD video smoothly at the laptop's native resolution, and can also play back 1080p content on an external display over HDMI. When it comes to games, the 310M's 15fps score in Call of Duty is only 2fps higher than the integrated chip's.

Screen quality was average: brightness wasn't particularly high and colours had a slight blue tint to them. Contrast was reasonable, but vertical viewing angles were very limited. There's not a huge amount of tilt, so finding the perfect angle could become an issue as you also try to avoid reflections in due to the glossy finish. Despite having no obvious speaker grilles, the SF310 was very loud. Although the mid-range was clear, treble was slightly harsh and there was hardly any bass at all.

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