Samsung SF310 review

Samsung's new thin and light is curvier than most, but can it marry performance and stamina with those seductive looks?

TODO alt text

In practice, the Samsung SF310 isn't quite as impressive as it looks on paper. The Nvidia 310M is an improvement over the integrated Intel graphics, but only just – it lags behind true gaming power by a considerable margin.

The Alienware M11x certainly has nothing to fear here as far as its ultra-portable gaming niche is concerned.

3DMark06 returned a score of 3,805, while the more serious test, Cinebench 11.5, had the OpenGL performance at 8.57fps.

Neither score is particularly strong, although if you're looking for a machine that can play the odd game at lower settings and resolutions, this may just about get by (as a reference, World of Warcraft managed 17fps at medium settings at the default screen resolution of 1,366 x 768).

When it comes to real world use of the battery, you'll undoubtedly get more out of the SF310 than our punishing video playback test delivers, but at 187 minutes we were left feeling disappointed.

The promised eight hours may just be possible, but only if you're not really doing much with the machine at all. Those looking for a machine with serious stamina should check out the likes of the Asus UL30A.

Where the Samsung SF310 does impress, for now at least, is in the raw grunt on offer from the Intel Core i5 at its heart – encoding HD video at 12fps is nothing to be sniffed at.

The fact that the CPU boasts hyperthreading, and therefore can handle four threads at once, means that it's surprisingly punchy at handling several applications simultaneously. The PCMark05 score of 6,023 is certainly helped by this.

We found that the keyboard offers plenty of space for comfortable typing, although the narrow travel doesn't make for a particularly rewarding experience for prolonged bouts of work.

The touchpad is truly horrible, though, varying from unresponsive to simply skittish. The button-less design makes it prone to errors and it's huge size is annoying when typing. Turning it off and attaching a quality mouse is the only way to maintain any level of sanity here.

Tech Specs

Product TypeNotebook
Hard Drive Capacity320 GB
Processor ManufacturerIntel
Graphics Controller ManufacturerNVIDIA
Graphics Controller ModelGeForce 310M
Wireless LANYes
Optical Drive TypeDVD-Writer
Backlight TechnologyLED
Product FamilySF
Operating System Architecture64-bit
Processor Modeli5-460M
Operating SystemWindows 7 Home Premium
Brand NameSamsung
Processor Speed2.53 GHz
Processor TypeCore i5
Screen Size33.8 cm (13.3")
Number of Cells6-cell
Screen Resolution1366 x 768
Standard Memory4 GB
Weight (Approximate)2.06 kg
Cache3 MB
Processor CoreDual-core (2 Core)
64-bit ProcessingYes
Chipset ManufacturerIntel
Chipset ModelHM55 Express
Number of Total Memory Slots1
Optical Media SupportedDVD-RAM/±R/±RW
Dual-Layer Media SupportedYes
Graphics Memory CapacityUp to 512 MB
Display Screen TypeActive Matrix TFT Colour LCD
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11n
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 3.0
Ethernet TechnologyGigabit Ethernet
Total Number of USB Ports3
Height32.5 mm
Width331 mm
Depth235.9 mm
Screen ModeWXGA
Memory TechnologyDDR3 SDRAM
Product SeriesSF
Product ModelSF310
Product NameSF310 Notebook
Pointing Device TypeTouchPad
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberNP-SF310-S02UK
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

The Samsung SF310 notebook series delivers one-of-a-kind style and performance for those always on-the-go. And not only does its unique, slim and fluidic design set it apart, but its unrivalled performance - the state-of-the-art Intel Core i5 Processor , combined with a longer lasting battery, gives you the freedom to get out with the power to perform without the worry of where to recharge. So, if you want more than just an eye catching design, other features include the 14.0" high resolution, wide-screen, LED backlit display that will certainly satisfy your needs, delivering a visually stunning video-watching experience. Also, with its Fast Start feature, faster connectivity options, and lightweight casing, you'll quickly appreciate the perfect combination of portability and performance. So stay fashionable and trendy, without compromising on performance, with your SF series notebook.

Package Contents
  • SF310 Notebook
  • Standard Battery
  • AC Adapter
Limited Warranty1 Year