Samsung Q330
This ultraportable is surprisingly well featured for its price

One of the best aspects of the Samsung Q330 is its excellent performance, courtesy of the Intel Core i3 350M processor. It's part of Intel's latest range of entry-level, dual-core processors, which vastly outperforms previous budget efforts such as the Celeron CPU and its ilk.

Running at a clock speed of 2.26GHz, we found the Samsung Q330's processor raced through every task we threw at it, even with several applications open at once. Office tasks are dispatched with ease, while more intensive software– programming and design suites, for instance – are just as smoothly handled. This is undoubtedly helped by the 3072MB of speedy DDR3 memory.

Compared to other ultra-portables, the Samsung Q330 comes out favourably too. It outdid the similarly priced AMD Athlon II Neo CPU-toting Dell M101z, and the Fujitsu Lifebook P770 , which has a low-voltage Core i7 on board.

In fact, the only ultra-portables to really blow the Samsung Q330 away were Sony's Z-Series. However, the likes of the VAIO VPCZ12V9E/X cost over two grand, so you're certainly paying for that extra power.

Samsung q330 review: ultra-portable

The Samsung Q330's processor may be good, but there's no dedicated graphics card on board here. Instead, the laptop uses the Core i3's integrated graphics for rendering images. Multimedia performance is therefore restricted compared to a laptop with a dedicated card, but we still found the Samsung Q330 had enough power to run simple multimedia tasks, such as photo editing and basic video editing.

Intel's Core processors also provide full support for high-definition graphics, so the Samsung Q330 can comfortably handle HD films. While recent games are out of this laptop's scope, we managed to run some older games, including the first Modern Warfare, with some of the details turned down.

Samsung q330 review: rear view

As with all ultra-portable laptops, battery life is an important factor. We found that we got around 255 minutes of life from a single charge, which is above the average three hours we expect from modern laptops.

Over four hours of use away from the mains is enough for the daily commute and most short to mid-range journeys, but there are several ultra-portables out there that can last longer. For instance, the Packard Bell Dot U and VAIO VPCZ12V9E/X managed almost five hours apiece.

Meanwhile, the Dell M101z lasted 346 minutes on a single charge, while the Fujitsu Lifebook P770 survived for a mighty 427 minutes. In the end, it comes down to your own personal requirements and budget, so be sure to check out our other reviews if you're still undecided.