The back of the system is devoid of connectors, because it's the location for the battery pack. The standard 2,600mAh battery sits flush to the system while the 5,200mAh extended-life battery (which is an optional extra) protrudes by about 25mm and adds a little to the weight. Both batteries have a button that fires up indicator lights showing how much charge remains.
The left-hand side carries external monitor, modem (RJ-11), Ethernet (RJ-45), USB 2.0 and FireWire ports, plus microphone and headphone connectors. There's also a single Type II PC Card slot here. On the right-hand side sit two more USB 2.0 ports and the mains power connector. At the front, just to the right of the mouse buttons, there's a card reader that accepts Memory Stick, Memory Stick PRO, MMC and SD cards.
In addition to the AVStation Now software, Samsung provides Norton AntiVirus, Nero Express for writing to CD and DVD, and FirstWare Recover Pro, a system recovery tool that provides both incremental recover functionality and complete recovery from a system crash.
The Samsung X1 is built more for portablility and battery life than for speed, but that said, its 1.2GHz ULV Pentium M 753 with 521MB of DDR2 RAM will handle mainstream business applications and undemanding multimedia programs quite easily. Its MobileMark 2002 productivity score of 166 with the standard battery fitted is on a par with Dell's Latitude X1 (177), although both of these ultraportables are well behind the fastest laptops we've tested, which score well over 200.
Battery life is good -- and in our tests exceeds Samsung's claimed timings. With the standard 2,600mAh battery fitted, the X1 lasts for 3 hours and 14 minutes (Samsung claims 3 hours), while with the optional 5,200mAh extended-life battery it keeps going for an impressive 6 hours and 45 minutes (Samsung claims 6 hours). We tested with the system in desktop mode and with the screen at a middling brightness level -- with more stringent power management settings, you should be able to get even more battery life from the system.
The standout features of the Samsung X1 are its superb wide-aspect 14-inch screen, good multimedia features and lightweight, stylish design. The top-loading optical drive is novel, and has some plus points, but we found that the lack of a wrist-rest made fast touch-typing a little uncomfortable. If you carry both the standard and the optional extended-life battery, you'll have a highly portable system that lasts for around ten hours -- a full day's work and then some -- away from the mains.
Edited by Charles McLellan
Additional editing by Nick Hide