The Samsung SF310 is a machine that offers as many positives when using it as it does negatives. It's a little too heavy to compete with the netbooks, but not quite punchy enough to deal with the full-size laptops. It's not awful, it just struggles to define a place in the overcrowded market.

We liked

The screen is bright and vivid, and the native resolution of 1,366 x 768 works well on the 13.3-inch LED panel, making for a great way to work and enjoy movies (although the vertical viewing angle is narrow, so you'll need to get the screen angle just right).

The sculpting of the chassis certainly puts it above its often drab peers; while the raw processing power on offer could put many a desktop machine to shame. The inclusion of Windows 7 64-bit is a definite positive too, making the most of the 4GB of RAM present.

We disliked

While Samsung has done a lot right with the SF310, there are enough little niggles in its design to prevent it being a must-buy piece of kit. The touchpad is simply horrible to use. The Nvidia GeForce 310M graphics core is uninspiring and the battery life doesn't do enough to make it stand out from the crowd.

Verdict

The issues above, coupled with the high price tag and the recent release of the second generation of Core i5/i7 chips from Intel, seem to conspire to work against an otherwise beautiful and well thought-out laptop. Not a howler by any means, but just not good enough.