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Samsung 300E5A-A01 review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £400
inc VAT

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

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 1,366×768 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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Basic Specifications

ProcessorIntel Core i3-2330M
Processor clock speed2.2GHz
Memory slots2
Memory slots free0
Maximum memory8GB
SoundRealtek HD Audio
Pointing devicetouchpad


Viewable size15.6 in
Native resolution1,366×768
Graphics ProcessorIntel HD 3000 Graphics
Graphics/video portsHDMI, VGA
Graphics Memory384MB


Total storage capacity500GB
Optical drive typeDVD+/-RW +/-DL

Ports and Expansion

USB ports3
Wired network ports1x 10/100/1000
Wireless networking support802.11n
PC Card slotsnone
Supported memory cardsSDXC, MMC
Other portsminijack audio output, minijack microphone input


Carrying caseNo
Operating systemWindows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Operating system restore optionrestore partition
Software includedMicrosoft Office 2010 Starter Edition
Optional extrasnone

Buying Information

Warrantyone year RTB

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