Samsung's recently revised laptop line-up features a host of stylish and portable machines, the Q70 (£899 inc. VAT) being the latest addition to its corporate-targeted Q range.
Featuring Samsung's Aura design, it has a stylish gloss black casing. It scratched easily and will need to be kept in a case if it's to stay in good condition.
The 13.3-inch display is a widescreen panel, so proved ideal for watching movies and working with spreadsheets. It features a Super-TFT coating, helping images to appear vivid and lifelike. However, there's a slight grain to the panel which can be seen in brighter conditions and, like all laptops with glossy displays, reflections can cause problems in direct sunlight.
The display is supported by the latest graphics adapter, in this case Nvidia's 8400M G. This is an entry-level dedicated card, but provides an impressive amount of performance for a machine of this size. Multimedia tasks present no problems, and only the latest games prove beyond the Q70's capabilities.
The keyboard offers firmly attached keys and, although some buttons around the edge of the board are slightly cramped, it's easy to type quickly and in comfort. The touchpad proved responsive, and the buttons large.
Build quality is reasonable, and the chassis is sturdy. The palm rests are covered in brushed aluminium, which creates a tactile feel and helps to set the Q70 apart from its peers. The display could do with a stronger casing, however, flexing slightly under pressure. That said, this is a machine you could use daily without fear of something snapping off.
Playing it cool
Despite the compact screen, the Samsung is not the slimmest 13.3-inch machine we've seen, and weighs in at 2.1kg. However, the 45mm thick chassis helps to make cooling more efficient and, even after long periods of use, the Q70 remained a cool-running laptop. There's also space for a multi-format LightScribe DVD rewriter, letting you burn music and movies on to blank DVD discs.
For such a compact machine, performance was surprisingly fast. We found Windows Vista booted with minimal delay - this was certainly helped by 2048MB of memory. Applications also ran smoothly, and there was more than enough power for everyday use. A 160GB hard drive is included, offering ample storage space.
Those expecting the Q70 to be a basic machine only useful for the daily commute will be pleasantly surprised. Not only is it a capable laptop, it also offers speed, comfort and style.