Samsung produced some great laptops in 2010 and, on the evidence of the SF310, 2011 looks to be another vintage. Providing a successful mix of power, portability and usability the SF310 is also an extremely competitively priced machine, leaving many competitors floundering in its wake.
Ok, the 2kg chassis isn’t quite as light as we would’ve liked and it’s certainly bulkier than the latest Apple MacBook Air but the excellent 384 minute battery life offers over six hours of battery between charges, meaning you can leave the adapter at home on day trips.
Everyday performance is aggressive thanks to the Intel Core i5 460M processor and 4GB of memory. You’ll blitzkrieg through pretty much any consumer applications without issue, and resource intensive multitasking is also an option.
The SF310’s dedicated nVidia GeForce GT 330M graphics card allows quite a bit of play as well as work. We’re not talking high-end gaming, but HD movie editing will run fine. All this for under £800 is excellent value for money.
The 320GB hard drive is about right for the price, allowing plenty of room for your multimedia files, and you also get a DVD-RW chucked in for good measure, allowing you to watch your favourite films on the go as well as regularly back-up crucial data.
The ivory white lid finish and gentle curves of the chassis make this an attractive, as well as functional, laptop. The SF310’s palrmest features a chic brushed aluminium finish and the touchpad reflects light in a swirl pattern, giving the machine a unique look. We like shiny things.
Usability is also top-notch. The bright 13.3-inch screen features a 1366 x 768 720p screen resolution, so technically HD, which makes the best of photos and films. A very shiny screen coating causes distracting reflections in bright light, however, so not great for the garden.
The SF310’s spacious keyboard suffers none of the flexibility issues that plague many other laptops around and the keys are well-spaced and boast a firm, crunchy action which makes typing for long periods of time as much of a pleasure as possible.
A good spread of ports includes three USBs for connecting up peripherals or charging your smartphone, as well as both HDMI and VGA video outs, so hooking up to an external monitor or TV is quick and easy.
Samsung has created a fantastic laptop, the price is exquisitely low for what you get, and great design makes this a very desirable machine also.
Samsung SF310 launch date: Out now, link Samsung
Samsung SF310 price: Around £750 online