If the screen isn't to your taste, you can always pipe the video signal to a TV via the HDMI or D-Sub ports at the left side. Doing so turns the Q210 into a pretty competent media centre -- the 320GB hard drive really comes into its own here, as it's able to store a couple of hundred movies at standard resolution, or dozens of high-definition films, or hundreds of thousands of music files.
The Q210 comes with an optical drive, but not just any optical drive. This one uses HP Lightscribe technology, so you can burn discs, then flip them over, place them back into the drive and laser-etch any image of your choice on to the chemically reactive label.
Wireless is an ever-present feature in Centrino laptops, and it's no surprise Centrino 2 models have even better support for cable-free Internet connections. This one has 802.11b,g and high-speed 300Mbps 802.11n wireless. Oh, and Bluetooth, which is a bonus.
All that Centrino 2 goodness helps the Q210 post some very strong benchmark figures. It achieved 5,184 in PCMark 2005, which is very good considering the Dell XPS M1730 gaming behemoth achieved 5,830.
The Q210 never felt sluggish in day-to-day use and should serve most users very well -- even in 3D applications. It's by no means the best gaming PC we've seen, but it will certainly try its hand at games, so long as you're willing to turn the detail levels down a notch. It racked up a 3DMark score of 2,086, which pales in comparison with the M1730's mammoth 8,870.
Battery life is another of the Q210's strong points. Its six-cell
battery helped it last an excellent 3 hours 14 minutes in our intensive
BatteryEater rundown test, which runs the CPU at full tilt. In the
BatteryEater reader test -- which simply involves scrolling through a
text document -- it lasted a whopping 5 hours 28 minutes.
The Q210 is another solid laptop from Samsung. It improves on the Q70 in many ways, offers solid all-round performance and even has good battery life. Anyone in the market for a portable machine should definitely take a look -- so long as they don't mind that splodge of red on the front edge.
Edited by Nick Hide