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Samsung Q330 review

Tom Morgan
19 Apr 2011
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
560
inc VAT

Improves on the original, but only just; we still want to see 4GB of RAM, but the Q330 is still an excellent ultra-portable laptop.

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Specifications

13.3 in 1,366x768 display, 2.0kg, 2.53GHz Intel Core i3-380M, 3.00GB RAM, 320GB disk, Windows 7 Professional 64-bit

We were impressed with Samsung’s Q330 laptop when we first saw it last year; the 2kg ultra-portable had a great design and excellent battery life, but it wasn’t completely flawless. With only 3GB of memory and a 32-bit operating system, it wasn’t as future-proof as other similarly priced laptops. Samsung has addressed some of these issues with the latest model.

Samsung Q330

Externally, there is very little to separate the new Q330 from its predecessor. The black lid now has a carbon-fibre effect finish, but thankfully the excellent keyboard remains unchanged. Typing on the full-size Chiclet-style keys was comfortable and precise. The touchpad is still on the small side, which forced us to increase the cursor speed in Windows so we could span the desktop in one motion.

To avoid redesigning the motherboard layout for the existing chassis, Samsung has opted to stay with an original Core i3 processor rather than use a newer Second Generation Sandy Bridge chip. The dual-core i3-380M runs at 2.53GHz, which should be powerful enough for most tasks, but it can’t increase its clock speed through Turbo Boost for increased performance like a Core i5. The chip does show its age in our new multimedia benchmarks, with an overall score of 46, but during everyday use it still felt responsive when running several programs simultaneously.

The operating system has been updated to the 64-bit version of Windows 7 Professional, finally adding support for memory configurations of 4GB or greater. Oddly, though, Samsung has decided not to upgrade the memory from its original specification, leaving it unchanged at 3GB. If you want more memory, you’ll need to perform the upgrade yourself - you'll just need to remove a panel on the bottom of the laptop.