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Samsung Q30 ultra-portable notebook

Very thin, very light - but totally desirable?

Driving the Q30 is an Ultra-low Voltage Intel Pentium M CPU running at 1.1GHz with 2MB of L2 cache. There's 512MB of PC2700 DDR memory as standard, although the review sample came fitted with 768MB. The Q30 has 256MB of memory hard wired onto the motherboard and a single SO-DIMM slot so the maximum memory configuration is 1280MB.

Storage is taken care of by a 40GB 1.8in hard disk, which is modest by normal notebook standards, but more than acceptable for a slimline machine like this. If you do need to free up some space on the hard disk, or even just offload some important files, Samsung bundles a DVD-ROM/CD-RW drive. The drive is very slim and matches the Q30 perfectly - it connects to the six-pin Firewire port and needs no external power. The drive will burn CD-R media at 24x and CD-RW discs at 24x. Samsung will be offering a DVD writer as an option soon.

Looking around the chassis of the Q30, I did feel a sense of déjà vu - the power button resides in exactly the same place as on the X505, and it glows, yep you guessed it, blue. So, on the right hand side is the power button, an Ethernet port, a modem socket, a USB 2.0 port and a CompactFlash card reader. At the front is another memory card reader, this time accepting SD, MMC and MemoryStick.

Samsung Q30 notebook

At the left you'll find headphone and mic sockets, a six-pin Firewire port, a USB 2.0 port, a D-SUB port and the power connector. Most of the rear is occupied by the battery, so there's not too much going on there. One feature is conspicuous by its absence: a PC Card slot. Plenty of notebook users don't need a PC Card slot, since most of the devices that used to populate said slots are now integrated. However, I use a 3G data card when I'm out and about so the lack of PC Card slot was an issue for me.

The Q30 is Centrino-branded, so there's an Intel Pro/Wireless 2200BG Wi-Fi adaptor inside it, supporting both 802.11b and 802.11g standards. Unfortunately, there's no Bluetooth now, but Samsung has assured me that future models will support Bluetooth.

This Q30 comes with both a standard and extended batteries, both equipped with indicator lights showing you how much charge is left without the need to switch the notebook on. Using the standard battery the Q30 turned in a battery life of two hours and 49 minutes, which is fairly respectable for slim and light machine like this. However, when you slap the extended battery pack in, the battery life rises to a very impressive five hours and 40 minutes. The extended battery does protrude a little from the rear of the chassis, but not enough to be an issue, while the extra 150g that it adds to the weight is hardly noticeable.

Samsung Q30 notebook Battery Test
Next page: Verdict

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