Despite offering some of the most compact ultraportables on the market, the Samsung P50 (£949 ex. VAT) presents a larger option for the mobile business user.
Although not the largest laptop we've seen (it weighs in at 2.8kg), mobility is far from that offered by the Sony, but remains adequate for short journeys. Chassis strength is good throughout, providing reliable stability.
The trade-off is the use of a larger 15-inch TFT screen. Clarity and colour reproduction are strong. Unfortunately, its low 1024 x 768-pixel (XGA) resolution is poor and unsuitable for business use, as spreadsheets will quickly fill the screen.
Usability is more pleasing. The quality of the 300mm keyboard is excellent and ideal for working on the move. The touchpad and mouse buttons are equally usable, and a biometric fingerprint reader is located on the right of the chassis to add security.
Where the P50 excels is in performance and battery life. An Intel Core Duo T2500 processor running at 2GHz, and 1024MB of DDR2 memory allowed the system to score 241 points from MobileMark tests.
Providing mobile usability, the Samsung ran for 312 minutes under test conditions, so you can get more than five hours of use out of it - ideal for a business audience.
An 80GB hard disk spinning at 5400rpm and a dual-format recordable DVD drive supporting dual-layer discs, mean users can burn up to 8.5GB to a single disc. Perfect for large quantities of data or multimedia files, storage is effective but again bettered by the Sony.
Multimedia use takes a backseat. Sourcing graphics from the integrated Intel 945GM chip, a score of just 1503 points from 3DMark 2003 tests is adequate for presentations and business use. However, DVD use is unhindered for watching movies.
Good battery life
Essential for business, maximum connectivity is provided. Gigabit Ethernet and an 802.11a/b/g Wi-Fi card allow for high-speed data transfers wherever you roam. Bluetooth and Infrared connectivity allow users to sync the laptop with external peripherals with ease.
Despite a larger chassis than preferable for frequent mobility, the battery life, performance and connectivity of the Samsung P50 make it a capable business laptop. If optimum mobility isn't your main focus, this could be your perfect business partner. Alex Bentley, Michael Browne