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Samsung X460 AS03

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      21.03.2009 17:58
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      Samsung X460-AS03 Business Laptop

      SAMSUNG X460 - AS03

      The Samsung X460 is a laptop from Samsung with Microsoft Vista Business pre-installed. It's a beautifully designed black, glossy laptop with a 14" LED screen meant for the business user. I bought mine for £901.00 including delivery although the price seems to have dropped to around £910. There is also an X360 version of this laptop. That is a 13" version but it houses a solid state drive so it slightly more expensive.

      I think the laptop is beautifully designed. All the connectors/ports, are discretely labelled with the appropriate logos and icons. The build quality feels very solid with no clicking and cracking noises around the body. The screen panel also feels very sturdy. I really can't fault the design in terms of aesthetics and build. Only downside I can see with having such a nice looking laptop is the glossy parts of the laptop (which is most of it) does pick up fingerprints, scratches and dust quite easily so I'm usually quite careful with the device. Three quarters of the top of the lid is made of some sort of metallic material and this seems to scratch quite easily. Minor scratches do seem to rub off though but even though it looks great, would like something a bit tougher.

      One factor for buying this laptop is that, for a 14" laptop, the X460 is very light at only 1.916Kg. I also own a Samsung NC10 netbook but it'd be a bit of a waste to have to leave the X460 home all the time.

      ACCESSORIES

      It comes with a blue cloth, which I always feel is a thoughtful item to include with a gadget that picks up dust and fingerprints easily, although that was the only thing included aside from the installation discs and charging adapter. As it's a computer though, you can buy all sorts of USB accessories for it and naturally, I bought myself a (well two) laptop cases for it for different occasions. The X460 also supports its own dock if you want to buy that but it costs around £100 so I won't be bothering.

      USING IT

      The performance of this laptop is very impressive with its 2.26GHz processor (the brain) and 3GB of DDR3 RAM (memory for running programs). I would have preferred 4GB but that's a minor gripe. Even using Windows Vista, which in itself is very memory hungry operating system, the speed is very good most of the time. There are moments when certain programs seem to take up more of the CPU (acronym for the processor) than I'd like but it usually goes back to normal fairly quickly. Navigating around is generally very zippy. I've not tried installing Windows XP on there with the included CD but if I did, I'd expect it to perform even better as XP doesn't use a much resources as Vista does.

      Vista provides a rating for systems it is installed known as the Windows Experience Index and the X460 scores the following:

      Processor - Calculations per second = 5.2
      Memory (RAM) - Memory operations per second = 5.9
      Graphics - Desktop performance for Windows Aero = 4.4
      Gaming graphics - 3D business and gaming graphics performance = 5.0
      Primary hard disk - Disk data transfer rate = 5.2

      The above ratings give the X460 an overall score of 4.4 (it picks the lowest scorer), which is a very good score considering the maximum rating for each is 5.9, and I'd imagine the machine can run 3D games quite comfortably too (it's got an NVidia 256MB DDR3 graphics card).

      It has a 250GB SATA hard drive, which isn't a huge amount by today's standards but it is perfectly acceptable in a laptop. I would have liked a bit more considering the price tag of the X460 but most people would not need this much anyway. There is a slightly different model of the X460, which includes a 320GB drive but I believe I can upgrade it myself should I see the need in the future.

      The screen is an LED screen with a glossy finish and I find the picture very crisp, although not quite as nice as screens found on Sony Vaio laptops, it's still very good. I've not had any problems with the screen being reflective during sunny days and I've used it near windows on sunny days.
      Another thing that attracted me to this laptop is that each key on the keyboard has a gap between each key, much like what you have may have seen on Sony Vaio and Apple MacBooks. This, I believe was invented by Sony but later adopted by Apple. Having this type of keyboard seems to make typing easier as the keys are not stuck together like on 95% of laptops on the market and the keys feel very sturdy too. The sticker on the laptop advertises a "Silver Nano Keyboard", which is a coating of silver, which kills 99% of bacteria, which is nice to know it'll always be germ free. The touch pad and buttons feel very natural to use and the buttons feel pretty hardwearing.

      Sound quality is very tinny but acceptably loud. It's supposedly HD audio but personally, I can't really tell. However, if you want good sound, then you're better off plugging in speakers.

      CONNECTIVY

      It has three USB ports, which, in my opinion is a good number as this allows room for a USB mouse, flash drive and one additional item, all at the same time. There's been times when I've had a mouse, and then needed to transfer files from one flash drive to another only to find the laptop only has the two USB ports. Not a problem for most but I do have the need for more ports at times.

      It has HDMI output which is brilliant as it means I can connect it to a big TV plasma or LCD TV that are HD ready. I've downloaded some sample HD movies onto the X460 and broadcasted them on a 50" Sony Bravia Full HD 1080 TV and the image quality is superb. With this in mind, it's slightly disappointing that the X460 doesn't come with a Blu-Ray drive to make full use of the HDMI output, seeing as I've seen £500 laptops with this included. I can understand this though as the X460 is meant to be business laptop so Blu-Ray isn't really necessary for most business users purpose, and the lower costing laptops that do house a Blu-Ray drive are aimed at the consumer and classed as entertainment laptops. Anyone who does still want to use Blu-Ray with the X460 could always buy a USB external Blu-Ray drive.

      Even though all laptops these days have built-in wireless as standard, not quite all support the Wireless N standard, which has a better speed and range. The X460 doesn't fail there and has a built-in Wireless N network card, as well as a Gigabit Ethernet port. It also has Bluetooth, which I wouldn't want to be without as I can use it to transfer files to and from my phones as well as use my phone as a modem for Internet access when there's no free wireless hotspots around.

      There's also the usual VGA output so you can plug the machine into a monitor for a bigger screen or even a big TV, microphone and headphone sockets and also an Express Card slot, which I've not used yet. It has a built in memory card reader, which even supports xD cards on top of the usual, SD, MMC, and top it off, there a SIM card slot behind the battery, which I've not managed to get working nor find any documentation on it in the manual or the web as yet. It's in a slightly annoying location as I have to take the battery out to get to it but better than having to unscrew a cover. Lastly, it has an RJ45 port to plug into a phone line for dialup Internet access. No one uses dial up any more but I guess it's nice as a back up.

      FEATURES

      Something that very few laptops have is a fingerprint scanner. This enables me to just log in by swiping my finger over the scanner and it works great. It allows me to register more than one finger in case I get a cut on one but I can still just type in a password. This feature is really only for inconvenience in terms of accessing Windows, as the Windows Vista/XP password can be easily reset with the right tools, so fingerprint or not, people with the know-how can still get to the files. However, the fingerprint scanner software does also work with other login dialogue boxes when it detects them and even enters the username for me, which I think is quite clever.

      A 1.3 mega pixel webcam is built in and although the picture quality is incredible, it's perfectly acceptable and much better than those I've seen built into Toshiba and Asus laptops. This can be handy for business users who want to do an Internet conference or even just home user who wants to do a webcam chat on MSN/Yahoo/Skype. It has a built-in microphone so there's no need to carry and external one with you.

      BATTERY LIFE

      The battery lasts me around 3-4 hours, with basic usage such as surfing the web. This is the quoted battery life so I'm pleased with that. Many laptops of the same size barely manage 3 hours so I am impressed.

      SUMMARY

      PROS

      - Performance
      - DDR3 memory
      - HDMI output
      - Fingerprint scanner
      - Built-in webcam
      - Built-in card reader even reads xD memory cards.
      - Cloth included
      - Includes Windows XP installation CD
      - Very good LED screen
      - Very pretty!

      CONS

      - Glossy body picks up finger prints, scratches, etc
      - No Blu-Ray drive
      - No Lightscribe
      - Price tag

      VERDICT

      So to conclude, I love this laptop! It's very fast laptop, looks terrific and has lots of features and connection options. Only downsides seem to be the issue with it picking up finger prints, lack of Blu-Ray drive and the high price tag. Samsung do counter the finger print issue by providing a cloth, Blu-Ray isn't quite standard yet and it's meant for business users, which explains the high price tag. So whether you're a business user or home user, I'd still recommend this laptop as you would have a fairly future proof machine if your budget allows. You get what you pay for.

      Thanks for reading!

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    • Product Details

      At a mere 1.9 kg, the X460 is one of the lightest notebooks in its 14.1" class, but it is certainly no lightweight when it comes to performance. Featuring the latest Intel Centrino 2 processor technology and extensive data sharing capabilities the X460 is designed to keep pace with even the most socially connected and results-allowing you to carry less, and do more.