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(Note - ours is a Series 3 305E laptop, but is the 14" model E5A. I mention this since the photo pinned to this category at time of posting is the E7A 17.6" version)
We had a problem in our household. Until this summer holiday, we were battling over one computer, with at least three of us genuinely needing it for work in some form or other. Thankfully due to a small windfall for my other half, we were able to look for a laptop to help our eldest. She had managed to get to her final year at high school without one, but her workload this year is approaching lunacy.
She had been researching laptops longingly for some time, and had decided on a Samsung. There were several reasons for this - the chiefest of which being that we were able to borrow my Aunt's HP device while she was in hospital last year and the feel of the surface of the touchpad made her skin crawl. This seemed to be common to a lot of other makes as well, and when we visited PCWorld she found that Samsung (which she'd already been eyeing up) didn't use this type of texture. So she felt vindicated, and more so when we discovered that there was an offer on at the time which would get her a higher spec machine for the same price as the one she'd had her eye on. Unfortunately I have no record of the full price at the time as we actually ended up taking up their Infinity scheme, which is a bit like a mobile contract with a monthly lease fee. We pay about £30 a month for two years, and it's covered for everything as well as us having the use of it.
As it turns out this has become a shared laptop since I can use it while she's at school, so I have been making the most of this whenever possible so that she can have it back at hometime! (Our youngest's lack of computer was solved by her school, who in their infinite wisdom have decided to follow Bolton's ESSA academy and trial iPads for all of the students. This will be interesting...)
Anyhow, on to the machine itself.
The laptop has 6GB of RAM, a 64-bit operating system, and 1TB storage It came with the Windows 7 home premium edition. Much to my daughter's satisfaction it has a normal qwerty keyboard with number pad to the right, compared to my Aunt's HP which was arranged completely differently with an extra circuit of keys, causing her to hit print every time she wanted to hit shift. Her annoyance was audible from the garden. The battery lasts a fairly average two hours per charge for basic word processing and surfing, much less when using video a lot. Haven't tried games yet!
It is pretty fast. Bearing in mind we have a heavily burdened PC with only two 2MB RAM, and 300-odd GB of storage, this thing is comparatively empty and three times as powerful, with an absurd amount of storage. So it is a joy to start up and be able to go online within a couple of minutes, rather than switching the computer on and going off to make a cup of tea while it's warming up. It has Wi-Fi, which along with our youngest's impending iPad forced us to upgrade our modem accordingly, which has been massively helpful and liberating. It came with Windows 7, and we have also got Microsoft Office and Norton 360 installed, both of which were included in the agreement package at a reduced rate if I remember correctly. It runs very smoothly, isn't too heavy to have on your knee for protracted lengths of time, and doesn't get too hot either which is a great relief as that was something that concerned me, having read reviews of laptops that have caused scorch injuries.
There are two main things that will need extras buying for them. The mouse-pad seems to have very intermittent responsiveness. Having been used to a touch-screen smartphone for some time I'm finding this very frustrating, so I'll be looking for a mouse for it soon. Eldest seems to manage ok with it though so it may just be me (favouritism!). The built-in speakers are also a disappointment, so we will eventually be looking for some decent laptop speakers. Whilst we aren't obsessive audiophiles, we don't do tinny either, which unfortunately is what these speakers produce.
On the whole though, it's a great laptop, and so far has done all that we have asked of it (apart from the mouse business). We're still, even after five months, enjoying the novelty of not being a one-computer family. Being able to get on with my review-writing and other things while my other half's engrossed in his online pursuits has been a great help to me, not to mention that our daughter's able to get her homework done without having to dislodge her Dad (or me) to do so!