Samsung – Q45 review

highly portable Santa Rosa laptop
Photo of Samsung – Q45
£778

Samsung’s popular Q series of notebooks has had a recent addition to the family line-up – the Q45 – which continues the family trait of highly portable, well-featured business laptops and adds in the latest Intel Santa Rosa technology and a really strong price tag.

In the spirit of “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it”, the Q45 looks like it uses the same chassis as its predecessor, the Q35, with the only apparent change being the front of the chassis, which is now rounded off. The Q45′s style and finish will cause divisions with its shiny, piano-black exterior offset by the matt black finish of the interior.

You can hear the shouts of “It looks like a Thinkpad!” even now, but it makes a pleasant change from all the silver-and-grey systems around at the moment. Measuring just 299 x 217 x 36.3mm, the well-built Q45 weighs in at 2.35kg including the power brick, meaning you can carry this baby all day and not really notice it.

At the heart of the Q45 sits one of Intel’s latest T7100 CPUs, clocked at 1.8GHz with an 800MHz FSB, backed up by 2GB of DDR2 memory running at 667MHz, all of which gives the Q45 a pretty healthy performance to run all the normal everyday office apps without any problems. If you feel the need for more performance, other CPU options are available and, if you want to add more memory, the motherboard in the Q45 supports up to 4GB.

There’s plenty of storage space provided in the form of a 160GB Hitachi SATA hard drive and a DVD burner that allows you to back up your data. The latter drive reads DVD-ROMs at 8x and burns media at 8x DVD+/- R, 8x DVD+RW, 4x DVD Dual Layer +/-, 6x DVD-RW and 5x for DVD-RAM. Also provided is a PC Card slot, a 6-in-1 card reader and a 4-pin FireWire port, but you only get two USB 2.0 ports.

As this is primarily a business laptop, you won’t be surprised to find out that the Q45 relies on an integrated Intel solution for graphics, and even though it is the latest GMA X3100 engine courtesy of the 965GM Express chipset, it is still no games performer. On the other hand, the screen is a real beauty. Measuring just 12.1 inches, it has a native resolution of 1,280 x 800 pixels and, thanks to its high contrast coating, it produces sharp, vibrant colours and is ideal for watching DVD movies.

To connect to the outside world there are the standard options; 802.11a/b/g Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.0, 10/100Mbps wired Ethernet and, last and least, a good old 56kbps modem.

The Q45 comes with Windows Vista Home Premium pre-installed along with McAfee Virus Scan, Adobe Reader, a trial version of Microsoft Office Professional and a whole host of Samsung utilities and tools. The warranty, however, is a bit mean at just a year’s coverage.

Company: Samsung

Contact: 01932 455 000


Verdict
With the Q45 Samsung has another winner on its hands. The combination of the latest technology, features and price tag make it a business laptop that's hard to ignore.