samsung-q35-xic-5500

I’m the happy owner of a brand new Samsung Q35 XIC-5500 laptop. Here is a review of the machine hardware, not the software.

The hard disk of the machine is supposed to be a 120 GB one, and as usual a hidden partition is reserved for windows backups. I deleted this one and reformatted the whole disk. After this operation, fdisk (fdisk -l /dev/hda) report me a total usable space of 112.4 GiB. Not bad.

Now I’ll tell you what I noticed about the aesthetic and the usability of the machine itself.

samsung-q35-touchpad

The touchpad has a good soft touch, but is located so close of the keyboard that I inadvertently activate it while typing. This is quite bad, especially when you write long texts. I think with some practice I’ll be able to move my fingers to avoid this unintended behavior.

I feared having a glossy screen but I’m finally happy. This one is not as reflexive as I thought, and bright colors are welcomed for watching movies. I still hadn’t the opportunity to test it in a sunny environment. October is not the sunniest month in the north of France ! ;)

samsung-q35-strange-keys

To keep the machine as compact as possible, some keys of the keyboard were located in unusual places. Page Up / Page Down keys are for example on the right and on the left of the Upper key. Home and End need the function (Fn) key to work. This slow me down because I use them a lot when programming or editing blog posts.

The fan is located on the right side of the machine. I’m right handed so it’s not cool (pun intended). In reality it’s not a problem at all since the fan is not often activated during “normal” use (Internet surfing, mails, etc…).

I don’t like having sounds connectors in front of the machine.

The battery is unpleasant because half of it appear outside the laptop case. But having twice the capacity (6 cells instead of 3) is welcomed.

Finally the laptop is not ultra-mobile. It’s a very compact laptop (only 1.9 Kg), but not “ultra”: it has big margins around the keyboard and the screen, and is as large as usual 14” laptops. It is also as thick as others, because of the optical drive.

My Conclusion: If you need an ultra light laptop or if you are a gamer, this is not a machine for you. But if you need a light-weight notebook with everything heavy laptops have (including the optical drive), it’s a very good deal. I paid mine 1160 € on a French online store. This laptop is not an object of design. But for 100 € more than a 13” MacBook, you have a compact machine with superior hardware: Core 2 Duo, 1GB of RAM, 120GB HDD, 7 hours of max autonomy and 1280x800 screen. This is why I choose this machine, and I’m very happy with it ! :)

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