Advertisement
Advertisement

Samsung 305U1A-A02 review

Tom Morgan
21 Apr 2012
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
378
inc VAT

Only suitable if you need a compact laptop; you can get better performance and battery life elsewhere

Advertisement

Netbooks have all but disappeared from store shelves, but one or two manufacturers have refused to give up on them just yet. Samsung’s 305U1A is one such laptop, and it uses an AMD Fusion APU to power its diminutive 11.6in chassis.

Samsung 305U1A-A02

Sadly, you won’t fool anyone into thinking you’ve just bought a new Ultrabook because the 305U1A is considerably thicker, being 25mm in height. It also weighs more, although at 1.2kg it’s still incredibly portable. Unfortunately, you’ll need to keep the power adaptor nearby when you take it on the move, because it only lasted four hours in our light use test, despite it using a low-voltage AMD E-350 processor. It’s a dual-core chip running at 1.6GHz, but unlike the more powerful Llano CPUs it can’t increase its clock speed using Turbo Core. It struggled in our multimedia benchmarks, even though it has 4GB of RAM, and its overall score of 13 proves that you won’t be able to run intensive tasks without slowing the system down.

Its graphics performance was also disappointing. Despite supporting DirectX 11, the integrated HD6310 GPU isn’t equipped to play modern games at high detail settings. Our Dirt 3 test struggled along with a barely playable 12.1fps, so you’ll either have to lower your expectations in terms of resolution or stick to older titles. It’s still capable of playing high definition video, however, so you’ll be able to watch 720p content on the laptop or connect an external display for 1080p playback.

Samsung 305U1A-A02

The screen itself is fairly basic, although the 1,366x768 resolution is a welcome improvement over what we typically expect from 11in displays. Colours were pretty vivid at maximum brightness, but anything lower and they started to appear washed out. There’s limited screen tilt and the viewing angles are distinctly average, although the matt finish helps diffuse light reflections.

Samsung 305U1A-A02

Typing wasn’t particularly comfortable because of its very short wrist rest, and unless we held our hands above the keyboard there wasn’t an easy way to type at speed. Smaller hands might not suffer as much, but the small keys could still make you feel a little cramped. The keys themselves are fairly bouncy and responsive, so it’s a shame that we found the keyboard so awkward to use.