The problem with most high performance laptops is that they don’t have a lot of juice when it comes to battery life. At most they last for a few hours before they need recharging. Of course, there are a few who make the cut and Samsung NP-QX410-S02CA is one of them.
The Samsung NP-QX410-S02CA is not only a powerful laptop but it’s also elegant and stylish. It’s one of those thing, you wouldn’t mind using in a public place.
The Samsung NP-QX410-S02CA comes with a 2.66 gHz Intel Core i5 processor and a NVIDIA GeForce 310M graphic card. They enable you to play 3D games or edit HD video without any problem. Your PC performance is only increased when needed. That means, the processor throttles down when you are surfing or writing a report and consume less power.
What else does it have? 4GB DDR3 RAM, a 500GB hard drive, a webcam, 3 USB ports, 802.11abg/n WiDi Capable/WIMAX, bluetooth, a 4-in-1 (SD, SDHC, SDXC, MMC) card slot, an HDMI port and of course, a VGA and a RJ45 (LAN) connection. There is also an input for a microphone and an output for a headphone.
The laptop is mainly made of aluminium and soildly built, which would probably make it last over a life time. The edge-to-edge back-lit screen is brillant and sharp. The laptop weighs slightly over 5 lb (2.3 kg) with standard battery and measures 13.7 X 9.7 inches (34.8 X 24.6 cm). The thickness is barely over 1 inch (2.7 cm). It is not the lightest 14″ laptop and not as compact as some others are. We would generally not recommend it for travelling.
Whereas most laptops are getting rid of the DVD drive to save on size and weight, Samsung chose to keep it. For those who love to watch DVD, the drive is a must. With the HDMI port you can connect it to your HDTV to watch movies in high resolution.
First there is the USB port which allows you to recharge USB devices without having to power on your computer. Then there is the Easy Content Share, which enables DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance) devices to interconnect and share video, music and photos. All the latest Samsung TV and multimedia players come equipped with the DLNA feature. That means, you can wirelessly transmit your video clips to your Samsung TV without connecting it through a cable. Securitywise it has a security lock port for use with a Kensington key lock, which will make it harder to steal. Last but niot least, the Samsung Recovery Solution enables you to reinstall the drivers and the system software should there be any problem.
Performance on the side, battery life is according to us, one of the most important issue for a laptop. Most of the laptops will not exceed 4 hours. Notebooks with the low power Intel Atom CPU do reach 5 to 7 hours but they have small screen sizes and are not suitable for gaming.
Samsung claims that its 6-cell battery can reach up to 7.7 hours. We were not able to confirm that. We understand that a lot depends on the settings and on what applications are being used. We could watch DVD for about 4.75 hours before it went on hibernation. If we opened up several applications, we got between 4 and 5 hours. Switching off the wireless feature will probably increase the battery life, but since most of us go online, this will not be practical. Still a battery life of 5 hours is pretty good. Recharging the battery takes about 2 hours.
Our intial reaction when we look at the screen is that it is a 15″ screen because it looks so big and wide. After measuring it, we admitted we were wrong. It was effectively 14 inches. We like the brightness of the screen and the crispness of the images. Even though it’s glossy, it does not bother us at all. True, we can’t see much under the sun but neither can we with a laptop with matt screen. The viewing angle is good. It does get a little darker as you move away from the center but you can still see well.
The sound from most laptops tends to be tinny. The sound from the Samsung is actually quite strong. It has 2 X 1.5 watts stereo speakers with a sub-woofer. We are not sure how much the SRS feature improves the bass, we feel it is still lacking. Nevertheless we like the sound and are impressed at how loud it can be.
Heat & Noise
Although it’s not a major issue, a laptop which becomes hot after a few hours is not pleasant, especially if you place it on the lap to work with. The top can also be so hot that your palm can get burned. The Samsung NP-QX410 does not get overly warm. It’s pleasant to work with. It is also very quiet. We never heard any fan noise.
We like the keyboard with the elevated palm rest and the large touchpad. The key buttons are large and easy to press. They are also quiet. When you close the lid, it doesn’t touch the key buttons. Consequently your screen doesn’t get finger prints.
How does the Samsung NP-QX410-S02CA compare to the other laptops? We used the PerformanceTest 7.0 to evaluate the performance of the computer and compared the results with those of Thinkpad X220, which had received considerable positive reviews.
As we can see, the Samsung NP-QX410-S02CA fares pretty well compared to the Thinkpad X220. Although both are equipped with an Intel Core i5 processor, namely M 560 @ 2.67 GHz for the Samsung and 2520M @ 2.50 GHz for the Thinkpad, the Thinkpad X220 far excels the Samsung NP-QX410 in processing power.
As regard to 3D-Graphics, the Samsung proves to be slightly better than the Thinkpad. As to CD and disk speed, the Samsung performed as well or better than the Thinkpad. Since the Thinkpad has 8 MB RAM, twice that of the Samsung’s, it is twice more performant that the latter.
The Samsung NP-QX410-S02CA is a solidly built laptop with an aesthetic design. Although it is not meant for heavy gaming and video processing, it is powerful enough to handle most games, including 3D as the test results show. There should also be no problem if you want to use it for video and audio editing. Its relatively long battery life, even though not 7 hours, is a definitely plus. We like the bright LED screen as it is easy on the eyes. If you already have a TV with DLNA feature, the Samsung would be a good fit. For those who travel a lot, a lighter laptop may be better unless you don’t mind the weight. The Samsung NP-QX410-S02CA is definitely a great laptop which will provide you years of satisfaction.