Despite its run-of-the-mill graphics abilities, the Intel 945GM chipset gives the Q35 solid performance and features elsewhere. You get seven-channel audio, although the laptop only has two audio ports, so there's not much flexibility when connecting surround-sound speakers. The chipset supports fast DDR2 memory, and Samsung has made the most of this by providing a total of 1.25GB RAM. The extra 256MB of memory hard-wired to the laptop comes in handy alongside the 1GB SODIMM added by Samsung, as the graphics adaptor can chomp up to 128MB of memory for its own use.
The memory runs in conjunction with a dual-core Intel T2300 Core Duo processor clocked at 1.66GHz. This is a good solution for such a small laptop, and you'll find it ideal for munching through just about any application thrown at it. At the time of writing, Samsung informed us that the T2300 chip in our review sample has been upgraded to a T2400 chip running at 1.83GHz, at no additional cost.
The Q35 also has strong connectivity. There's no Gigabit Ethernet adaptor, but most people will be satisfied with the standard 100Mbps LAN port. This is a third-generation Centrino laptop so you get full Wi-Fi support and compatibility with 802.11a, b and g networks. The Q35 also has an integrated Bluetooth adaptor so you can synchronise or transfer files using a Bluetooth-enabled mobile phone, or use one as a wireless modem. It doesn't have a regular 56Kbps modem built-in, however.
The addition of a PC Card slot is handy in case you want to connect a 3G data card for going online at near-broadband speeds whatever your location, but we were disappointed at there being only two USB ports. If you prefer to use a USB mouse instead of the touchpad, you'll only have one spare for connecting a USB memory stick, so you may want to invest in a USB hub to increase the number of devices that can be connected simultaneously.
Storage is taken care of by an 80GB hard drive and a TEAC DV-W28EA DVD rewriter that supports DVD-RAM, DVD+ (including dual-layer) and DVD- formats, which is more than ample for such a small device.
The Q35 offers very strong performance in most areas. It achieved a PCMark 2005 score of 2,618, which puts the Sony Vaio TX2XP's 1,327 to shame. 3D graphics performance was rather poor, as expected for an ultra-portable laptop, but it scored 107 versus the TX2XP's 49, and ran Doom 3 at 8 frames per second versus the Sony's 7.2fps. Though the Q35 wins in this category, it's obvious that both laptops are utterly useless at running 3D games.
Where the Q35 excels, however, is with its startlingly long battery life. It ran for well over 6.5 hours (383 minutes) on its 4,800mAh battery, which is the longest we've seen for any laptop. Compare this to the Vaio TX2XP's 4 hours 53 minutes and you'll appreciate just how amazing a performance this is.
Edited by Mary Lojine
Additional editing by Nick Hide