Samsung – X60 review

high specification, all-purpose Core Duo laptop
Photo of Samsung – X60
£1,550

The natural successor to the X50 that Samsung launched last year, this X60 retains the 15.4-inch screen of its predecessor but is loaded with bang-up-to-date features.

Powering the X60 is an Intel Core Duo T2500 CPU clocked at 2.0GHz, while backing this up on our review machine was an impressive 2GB of PC5300 DDR2 memory, which gave the X60 very useful performance, as proved by its SYSmark04SE score of 250.

All this performance comes at the expense of battery life, though, which is disappointing; just over two hours when tested with MobileMark05′s Productivity test and just under two hours when playing a DVD.

Unsurprisingly, the X60 is finished in Samsung’s usual uniform of matt silver and black, and while it doesn’t stand out from the crowd in appearance, it’s well built and pleasing enough to the eye.

The 15.5-inch screen comes with a high contrast coating and it’s good to see that Samsung has made full use of its size by using a display with a full 1,680 x 1,050 pixel native resolution. Driving the screen is a 256MB ATI Mobility Radeon X1600 which gives the X60 a fair bit of gaming potential, especially if you drop down from the native 1,680 x 1,050 to something like 1,024 x 768.

Tested with FarCry at the native resolution with maximum details turned on, it produced a score of just 36fps; not what you would call playable. But when the screen resolution was dropped to 1024 x 768, again with maximum details, it produced a score of 67fps. If you want faster frame rates, just reduce the detail settings in your games.

Samsung has put a lot of thought into the keyboard of the X60. It’s a good size with keys that are responsive and comfortable to use, with the Shift, Caps Lock, Return, Backspace and Tab keys all suitable large. The X60 uses a trackpad which has a scrolling function built into the right-hand side, while under this sit the two mouse buttons. At either side of the trackpad are microphones for using with, for example, VoIP.

On the right-hand side of the keyboard sit five buttons that control media playback for Samsung’s AVS, for which a remote control is supplied that lives in the PC Card slot when not in use.

To allow you to communicate with the outside world, the X60 comes with options that cover most of the bases; 802.11a/b/g wireless, Bluetooth, Gigabit Ethernet and a 56Kbps modem.

For storage the X60 comes with a 100GB hard drive and there’s a dual format DVD burner so you can backup or transfer files to free up disk space. The front of the chassis is home to a 6-in-1 flash card reader that accepts all the major formats of cards, and there are three USB 2.0 ports.

There’s no Express Card slot but seeing that there aren’t many cards around to use in it, this is no great loss.

Company: Samsung

Contact: 01932 455 000


Verdict
This is a well-performing laptop with a good feature set, but the battery life is a bit below what you might expect from a notebook in this class.