The SF310 comes with impressive specifications and an excellent keyboard, but is ultimately let down by a fiddly trackpad. With a weight over 2kg and a battery that can't be swapped out, it is unlikely to endear itself to the business traveller.
Excellent keyboard; impressive specifications; stylish design.
Poor portability; sealed battery; terrible trackpad; pricey.
Intel 2.53GHz Core i5 460M processor, 4GB DDR3 memory, 13.3in display (1,366 x 768) with LED backlight, Windows 7 Home Premium, 320GB Sata hard drive, 3 x USB 2.0 ports, 4-in-1 card reader (SD, SDHC, SDXC, MMC), 1Gbit/s Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 3.0
The Samsung SF310 is a stylish laptop capable of catering to the demands of business and multimedia users, but it struggles to live up to the manufacturer's billing of being an ultraportable.
At 2.06kg, our review unit was far from lightweight and we suspect users won't want to be carry it around for prolonged periods.
Even worse, this is the first Windows laptop we've seen to have a built-in battery that can't be swapped out if it runs out of juice or has reached the end of its life.
On the plus side, the eye-catching design is one of the SF310's selling points, and the curves give it a very modern look. The ivory exterior is guaranteed to turn heads, and is complemented by the well laid out and attractive interior.
The system includes a 13.3in WXGA backlit LED screen and, although this has an impressive native resolution of 1,366 x 768, we can't help feel that Samsung could have made it a little bit larger for this size of chassis.
The glossy finish also means that it might reflect overhead lighting strongly in an office environment.
Our review unit shipped with the 64-bit version of Windows 7 Home Premium, but we were disappointed that only the Microsoft Office 2010 Starter edition was included, which is made up of limited-functionality versions of Word and Excel.
The SF310 achieves an overall Windows Experience Index (WEI) performance rating of 4.5, but we found that the performance of the laptop feels significantly better than this suggests.
Samsung has packed in a dual-core Intel i5-460M processor, which has a clock speed of 2.53GHz. The processor delivers a subsystem performance rating of 6.9 under WEI, and is more in line with where we felt the performance lies.
With 4GB of DDR3 RAM supporting the i5 chipset, there are no problems when it comes to running resource hungry applications and multi-tasking.
Samsung also ships the laptop with a generous 320GB hard drive spinning at 5,400rpm, giving even the most data-heavy users ample space to play with.
A number of ports are included and all but one have a protective cover. There are three USB 2.0 ports, one handily acting as a charger even when the device is off. VGA, HDMI, Ethernet and 4-in-1 card reader inputs are also present, as is a super multi DVD/RW drive.