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Better hardware may be available for the same price, but I highly doubt you'll get better quality. This laptop is built more like a tank than a laptop. Let me explain, this laptop had a lot of water spilled on its keyboard, the laptop survived, despite 2 keys not working. I have experience performing laptop repairs, so a keyboard replacement seemed simple, whilst replacing the keyboard it came to my attention that this laptop was built to a much higher standard than the HPs I'm used to working on.
The laptop itself does not go for a stylish look like most laptops these days, instead the laptop is covered in a matt black finish barring the screen bezel which is piano black. The keyboard has an island key style (where the keys don't touch each other) and feels solid to type on, it even has a number pad, a feature some laptop in this size range do not, overall a good keyboard.
The battery life on this laptop is very good, it's aided by its dual graphics cards, one weak (Intel gma) for battery saving, and an Nvidia card for high performance needs. By default there are two power settings "Balanced" and "High performance" though the screen brightness can be lowered lower than the presets for even better battery performance.
The hardware in this laptop is not weak, but at the same time not the quickest either. The dedicated Nvidia gpu means that gaming can be done, but the graphics settings may need to be turned down; personally I've been playing Kerbal Space Program on it and its worked fine so far. The screen is average, with a resolution of 1366x768 and a refresh rate of 60hz its nothing special. Though with a rather nippy dual core equipped with hyper threading this laptop is great for word processing or browsing, it may be able to handle more intensive tasks such as Photoshop or video editing, but it's not ideal.
So far into this laptops usage it has yet to develop any heat problems, in fact it runs surprisingly cool. The noise of the fan is barely audible. The quality of the microphone and webcam is what's to be expected from inbuilt laptop gear, subpar in other words, if you plan on using skype or other voip program regularly I defiantly recommend getting a dedicated piece of kit. Some nice features of this laptop include headphone and microphone ports at the side instead of at the front, a finger print reader (I've not used this yet so I can't comment), 4 usb ports and a hdmi port (there is also a vga port)
So what parts are bad about this laptop? The only major problem I have is the mouse; there is no problem with it the touch pad, but the scroll feature is terrible to say the least. In conclusion this isn't the most powerful laptop available, but you can't go wrong with it if you don't need to perform and process intensive tasks, it's bound to be better than the HP/Compaq competitors.
Let start with the hardware, this is a great piece of hardware, it feels solid, though the back of the device is shiny and slippery, making gripping the device troublesome at times, for this reason if you are going to buy this I suggest a case. This solid feeling comes at a cost though; the device is heavier than its competition and a fair bit bulkier. The proprietary (marks down for proprietary connections Samsung!) connection port seems to let it down as it feels flimsy.
The screen on this device is fantastic, not as good as apples products but certainly good, the screen has a good range of brightness's as to preserve battery. The touch screen works well enough to be usable; problems arise though due to the small bezel on the screen causing fingers to touch the screen slightly, causing some strange reactions, though my hands are quite large so this isn't a major problem.
The processor behind this thing isn't the best to be honest, a single core 1ghz A8 chip, most if not all apps like run fine on it, but navigating the interface with apps running in the background may not be as smooth as expected. Again the graphics chip is also mediocre, it will most likely do what you want, but slowdowns may occur at times. The microphone is of the quality you would expect to find on a cheapish android phone. The front facing camera (the one that looks at you) is of terrible quality, the other camera is much better, again it's what you would expect to find on a cheapish android phone.
Now comes the biggest problem, the software, this device suffers from one major problem, some people seem to get it and some done. Sometimes on startup the device will go into a strange mode where everything seems reset, and the menu that appears when the on button is held down has only 2 items instead of the normal 4. The only solution I have found has been to do a hard reset of the device.
Another thing to take into consideration is that there is no more official support for this product anymore, it will forever be stuck on android 2.2, though unofficial port to later versions of android may be available from xda, though that solution is not for everybody.
In conclusion, if you're looking at purchasing this, don't, or if you're looking to purchase this and you're not worried about some technical stuff, go buy an Archos 7o and put android market on it
Let me preface this review by saying that I am technically minded, and unless you're as much of a geek as me you'll probably not agree with this review.
Onto the review, to sum up this product in one word, primitive. Of course I am aware that the device itself is far from primitive, it's one of the most power smartphones out there, but the problem comes with IOS. The interface seemed quite intuitive, but above all, basic and limiting. I understand it's probably great for most people, but for someone who likes there tech, I doubt they would be impressed by the big colorful interface which quite honestly resembles more of a child's toy then an expensive gadget.
The next thing that made me dislike this product was the apple eco system, you know what I mean, having to use iTunes, apple hates nothing more than you using third party software with your phone. Now some may argue about the ethics behind this decision, but ill focus only the functionality. iTunes is a decent piece of software, defiantly not the best but better than the competition (Samsung!). Now the more eagle eyed reader may point out that it's a simple process to jailbreak, but that can void warranty, and what point is there in creating such a good phone and then ruining it by limiting it so much. If I bought a product I should be able to do what I want with it!
I suggest instead heading over to android or windows phone, I myself returned my iPhone and bought a much cheaper android phone. The android phone is much slower, the transitions are not as slick but its bloody good considering its half the price of the iphone. In conclusion, if you've seen an iphone and like it, you'll probably like it, it you like to mess with you tech, possible do some app programing(to program the iphone you require a mac and objective-c, whilst android uses java) then head over to android.