Samsung SF310 review

Samsung's latest ultra-portable laptop looks gorgeous and has good battery life, yet we're still not totally taken with it. Read our review to find out why.

Oddly, two of the three USB2 ports, as well as the HDMI output, are protected by a flip-down flap, but the other ports are left exposed and unprotected. We're not convinced of the flap's usefulness, since it often gets in the way of chunky cables. Usefully, one of the USB ports can be used to charge smartphones and MP3 players even when the laptop is asleep.

802.11n, gigabit Ethernet and Bluetooth 3.0 networking are built-in. Bluetooth 3.0 is supposed to be faster than previous versions of the short-range wireless file transfer technology, but we've only seen other Samsung laptops equipped with it so far.

The SF310 isn't designed specifically as a business laptop so it doesn't come equipped with extra security features and comes with Windows 7 Home Premium, rather than Professional, so it lacks certain useful features such as the XP Virtualisation Mode and BitLocker. It's possible to upgrade from Home Premium to Professional using Windows' built-in Anytime Upgrade feature. You'll pay for the convenience of doing so however the upgrades costs 120 through Anytime Upgrade but costs just 60 from Amazon.

Verdict

It's tempting to buy the Samsung SF310 based purely on how it looks. There's a lot to like about the SF310 besides its appearance, including its fast performance, auto-switching dual graphics, good battery life and reasonably comfy keyboard. It's not quite as cheap as it seems if you need to upgrade to Windows 7 Professional however, while its frustratingly-designed touchpad counts against it. Nonetheless, if you can live with this it's a very competitively-priced ultra-portable laptop.

Processor: Intel Core i5 460 M, 2.53GHz

Memory: 4GB 533MHz DDR3 RAM

Graphics: 512MB Nvidia GeForce 310M; Intel HD Graphics

Hard disk: 320GB hard disk

Display: 13.3in 1,366 x 768 pixels, LED-backlit screen

Features: 1.3 megapixel camera, microphone, stereo speakers

Connectivity: 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, Gigabit Ethernet, Bluetooth 3.0

Ports: 3 x USB2, HDMI and VGA output, 3.5mm headphone and microphone audio sockets

Dimensions: 332x235x32mm (WxDxH)

Weight: 2.05kg

Warranty: 1yr C&R warranty

OS: Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

Part code: NP-SF310-S02UK

BENCHMARK SCORES

Video 113

Image 99

Multiple apps 73

Overall 93

Battery, heavy usage 6h20m

Battery, light usage 1h59m

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