There's been a huge increase in the number of CULV ultraportable laptops recently, and one of the latest offerings is the Samsung X420.

Built for portability, those after a slim, light and usable machine to accompany them on their travels will find plenty to like here.

If you're going to be on the road for hours on end, decent portability is a must. Fortunately, the Samsung delivers and the 504-minute battery life means you won't have to carry the charger around with you at all times.

The laptop is also comfortably light at only 1.8kg and we had no problems travelling over long distances with it.

Build quality is impressive, with hard black plastics making up the chassis, while the thick lid provides good protection for the 14.1-inch screen inside. It's also an attractive machine and the silver trim and glossy lid make a good impression.

Bright screen

The screen itself is very bright, and boasts a sharp 1366 x 768-pixel resolution. As a result, the picture it produces is very detailed, with colour and contrast also impressing, bringing photos to vivid life.

If this laptop has a flaw, it's the keyboard. It is suitably large, but has a very spongy typing action. Some may like the extra give that the board delivers, but we found it hindered usability. The large palmrest provides room enough for a decent sized, responsive touchpad.

Samsung has employed an Intel Core 2 Duo SU7300 CULV processor. It is designed to be very resource-light on the laptop's battery, with the trade-off being limited performance. The laptop provides roughly twice the power of a netbook, and can easily multitask office applications.

Use anything more resource-intensive, such as a multimedia suite, however, and the laptop will quickly show signs of system lag.

The 320GB hard drive will provide plenty of room for all your work files and folders.

Due to the slim chassis there's no optical drive built into the machine, although an external drive does come bundled in the box for watching DVDs or installing applications when at home.

Other features include an integrated webcam for making video calls over the internet, and also Bluetooth for connecting to wireless devices such as your smartphone. 802.11n Wi-Fi provides the fastest wireless networking currently available, and the three USB ports offer plenty of room for connecting peripherals.

The Samsung X420 is a great machine. It is a real pity the typing action isn't firmer, but ultimately this doesn't detract from what is a very rounded mobile computing solution. Excellent portability and decent performance make this a great choice for the regular traveller on a budget.

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