Samsung X420 CULV Notebook

Notebook Platform Intel CULV a couple of months ago was considered confusing gimmick, but now all manufacturers gradually began to produce such models. So Samsung (followed by Acer, Lenovo and MSI) has announced a lineup of ultra-thin and ultra-light notebook with great battery life – 11-inch X120, 14-inch X420, and 15-inch X520. All three models are equipped with screens with a resolution of 1366×768 and new pads. For price and performance, they occupy an intermediate position between full-fledged laptops and netbooks, gradually replacing the latter in the lowest price range. In our test lab got average model lineup – X420. Let’s see how good it is.

Specifications

  • Operating system: Windows Vista Home Premium (October Windows 7).
  • Processor: Intel ULV Celeron 723, 1.4 GHz, 1 MB cache second level.
  • Chipset: Intel GS45 Express.
  • RAM: 2 GB, DDR2 667 MHz
  • Drive: 160 GB, 5400 RPM.
  • Display: 16:9, glossy, 14-inch, 1366×768, LED backlight.
  • Video: Integrated, Intel GMA X4500MHD.
  • Weight: 1,7 kg with battery.
  • Battery: 6-cell, 5900 mAh.
  • Communications: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Ethernet, optional UMTS-modem.
  • Connectors: HDMI, USB 3pcs, VGA, Ethernet, audio, microphone, SD / MS / xD.
  • Webcam: VGA (640×480).


Note: the configuration of the test sample does not correspond to "corrupt" samples which will be used only dual-core processors (Celeron ULV SU2300 and Core 2 Duo ULV SU7300).

Appearance and design

It looks fairly recent laptop, primarily due to its unusual shape with rounded corners. To me this look more like than not. In the case used a nice touch rough plastic of good quality. Our sample was a pretty dull cover, alas, have retail copies of it will be covered with lacquer.

The only element of design, which I did not like, is glossy bezel underneath. From it is a mile away giving cheap Chinese toys!

Laptop is very thin (its thickness is less than 2.5 cm) and very light, which is certainly an advantage. Alas, this advantage, logically, one very serious drawback: the lack of rigidity of the shell. In particular, if we take the open laptop in front corners, the lower part of the body sags noticeably, plastic panels with a loud creak. The lid has a thickness of the notebook only about 5 mm and also differs too much flexibility – even with a slight pressure on the back of the matrix are typical of "wave", so that the risk of accident to push the screen is quite large.

But the location of ports, in my opinion, well thought out. Front and rear faces of the connector are not at all, which is quite correct: a mobile access to these faces is difficult. The right is three USB-ports and card reader:

Left – HDMI, VGA, network connector, headphone output and an input for an external microphone.

The design allows users to replace the memory modules and hard drive.

Display

The screen in the notebook is glossy; its resolution is 1366×768 with aspect ratio of 16:9. Gradually, these screens are becoming standard and displace "old" 1280×800. My attitude to him ambivalent: on the one hand, the extra 86 pixels horizontally – it’s good on the other, the height of the screen noticeably lacking (especially in Windows 7, where the taskbar by default has a height of 32 pixels).

Mediocre quality of the screen, the main claim is the lack of black (it is gray) and visible illumination along the bottom edge. But the brightness, thanks to LED-backlighting, very high for comfortable work in the room it should diminish almost by half. Interested parties can report that the lights have not flash Samsung X420 (many inexpensive laptops suffer from this).

Maximum angle of the screen noticeably falls short of 180 degrees, but work comfortably on his knees is enough. Here, incidentally, lies another weakness construction X420: at angles of opening, close to the maximum, center of gravity shifts and balance notebook becomes unstable.

The keyboard and touchpad

Keyboard Samsung X420 is very good. Layout can be called almost standard: all full-size keys (unlike the line of Acer Aspire Timeline, where the arrow keys are half-height), PgUp / PgDn, Home / End, and Del in a separate column on the right. Mechanical quality is also at a height: a full gap is absent, pressing the soft, with a clear fixation.

                

But the touchpad, in my opinion, slightly disappoint. It is separated from the working surface of a small rim at the same time near the lower boundary of the-rail are not buttons, and LEDs. As a result, the button is difficult to find by touch, blind, I always missed and tried to click on the area of indicators. Moreover, the appearance of the touchpad buttons, covered with the above mentioned Chinese "silverfish", offends my sense of beauty.

For the implementation of indicators, by the way, too bad: if you work in darker lighting, the high-brightness blue LEDs are annoying and cause eye fatigue.

Performance

Performance in general is typical for notebook platform CULV. Execution time benchmark wPrime 32M was 131.57 seconds, 3DMark’06 laptop scored a symbolic 520 points. In the game Trackmania Nations Forever at 1366×768 resolution and minimum settings embedded benchmark showed the rate of 25 frames per second – quite playable. For comparison – for laptops with GMA X3100 video to achieve playability permits more than 800×600, in principle, impossible.

Graphics Card Intel GMA X4500MHD supports hardware to decompress the HD-video, so that with playing FullHD-H.264 video is not the slightest problem occurs, the CPU whiles the order of 40%.

Noise and heat

In short, we can say that the noise and heat available as such.

Notebook supports three operating modes – Silent, Normal, and Speed Mode. Even in normal laptop almost inaudible, in a noiseless and does is deathly quiet. While increased productivity barely audible whisper of escaping from the ventilation grilles of air. Thus Samsung X420 is barely warm to the touch even after hours of play in Trackmania Nations Forever.

Meals and time

Included with the laptop is very compact, you can even say – a tiny power supply capacity of 40 Tues It is so light that the three-pronged plug for connection to the mains weighs more than the PSU! Both have Velcro cord for easy transport.

If you believe the marking, the staffing 6-cell battery has a capacity of 5900 mAh, but the diagnosis in Battery Eater shows that its actual capacity is 6100 mAh. When you work with it achieved the following results:

Endurance easy reference. More than 7 hours on the Internet via Wi-Fi – a good indicator, as well as 9 hours 30 minutes of reading. About 5 o’clock playing videos, I just kept silent.

Time of full battery charge (from 0 to 100%) – 3 hours 52 minutes. Payment to a weightless power supply…


Conclusion

As expected, Samsung X420 performs the functions claimed by the manufacturer, namely – provides long battery life and an acceptable performance with low weight and good ergonomics. If you want a light notebook with a large screen and good keyboard, this model will be a very good choice – the only one present on the market on the characteristics of the model, Acer Aspire Timeline 4810T, weighs 200 grams more (though it has a built-in drive). It is worth noting that in retail samples will be installed 2-core processors, which means that performance can be called not acceptable, but good. This retail price of Samsung X420 with processor Celeron Dual-Core SU2300 will be only 720 dollars.

Summarizing, we can say that the advantages of a laptop is much greater than the disadvantages. Unfortunately, the flimsy case (and the consequent fears of a long-term reliability) does not allow him to award any of editorial awards.

Advantages

  • Lightweight;
  • Long battery life;
  • Excellent keyboard;
  • Absence of noise and heat;
  • The ability to play virtually any HD-videos;
  • Conveniently located ports.


Disadvantages

  • Too bright blue indicators;
  • Enough hard shell.

1 COMMENT

  1. can you please tell me where i can find a battery for samsung x420 ? or if u could post the product number for the battery in the review. Thanks

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