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Samsung 300E5A-A01 review

Tom Morgan
28 Jan 2012
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
400
inc VAT

This entry-level laptop is a competent all-rounder at a good price

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Samsung’s latest entry-level laptop might not look all that different if you’re familiar with the other models in its line-up – the 3 series uses an almost identical chassis to the older RV-series laptops we looked at last year, with a few minor tweaks to bring it up to date for 2012.

Samsung 300E5A-A01

The 15.6in chassis won’t look out of place in the office or at home thanks to its brushed metal lid, which is both scratch- and fingerprint-resistant. There’s a good selection of ports around the edges, including three USB, VGA, HDMI, 3.5mm mic and headphone ports, a multi-format card reader and an internal DVD re-writer. We would have liked to have seen at least one USB3 port, though.

Samsung 300E5A-A01

The minimalist theme continues once you open the lid, with a silver wrist rest complementing the black keyboard tray nicely. A keyboard comprised of Chiclet-style keys and a separate numeric keypad are ideal for getting on with work, as is the large touchpad beneath it – the keys were bouncy, responsive and in their usual locations, although because they felt very slightly smaller than full size it took a little while before we were typing at full speed.

The touchpad was a joy to use, thanks to its smooth finish and large size – it actually felt too sensitive at its default settings, with a single swipe sending the cursor flying across the screen, but we could easily change it using the control panel. The buttons beneath it were slightly wobbly, but still clicked firmly when pressed.

Samsung 300E5A-A01

We were happy to see Samsung has added a matt display to the 300E5A, as it let us work without being distracted by light reflections. The 1,366x768 resolution is par for the course at this price, but image quality was surprisingly good – colours looked accurate and both images and text were crisp. The speakers beneath it were only average, producing basic audio that can’t compete with a good pair of headphones or external speakers.

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