Does this notebook design look familiar? Still, we're not complaining -- Samsung's QX range notebook is a lovely, lovely beast.
This notebook has undeniably taken design cues from the MacBook Pro, MacBook Air and HP Envy (which in itself was a bit of a rip of the MacBook Pro). It has a brushed metal lid and a metal keyboard surround / palmrest. It also has an LCD panel that's bonded to a flat glass plate across the screen, providing the same seamless edge-to-edge look as offered by the MacBook Pro.
It also has an 'island' keyboard, though as far as we could tell, the keys aren't fibre-optic backlit like the MacBook Pro.
The underside of the notebook is plastic though, with tones of heatvents all over the place as PC notebook manufacturers seem to like to do -- the bottom is certainly the least "Appley" part of it.
It'll be available in 13" sizes (QX31) and 15" (QX51), and it has a hybrid graphics system -- Intel HD Graphics, alongside the NVIDIA Optimus GT420M with 1GB dedicated memory.
It's decently trim at just 2.7cm thick (it's no waif, but it's a tad thinner than average; actual MacBook Pros are 2.4cm thick) and the 13" model is 1.99KG (actually marginally lighter than a 13" MacBook Pro, which weighs 2.04KG).
The range packs Intel Core i5 460M processors at 2.53GHz, coupled with 4GB RAM. The 13" model has a 320GB HD and an entry-level NVIDIA GT310M 1GB graphics (not much good for gaming except at the lowest detail settings), while the 15" model gets a nice size 640GB HD and a fast mid-range NVIDIA GT420M 1GB graphics chip which will handle most games well, even new ones like Starcraft 2 and Mafia 2 on high settings. Crysis will only play at low settings on it.
The screen only has 1366x768 resolution which looks a bit grainy on 15" if you ask us -- but it's pretty standard across notebooks, so Samsung is just following the pack on this one.
Samsung reckons the QX notebooks have a "bigger acoustic chamber" than normal which allows you to "blast your favourite tunes without need for speaker accessories". We didn't test this claim out but will definitely do so when we review them!
Another interesting claim is that takes less than half the time to charge the battery in this notebook than in other notebooks.
Finally, Samsung says it has a proprietary chip in the notebook which gives you a three second sleep resume -- with the ability to recover fully from a completely run-out battery. It sounds a lot like Apple's "Smart sleep" -- it always writes out a memory image to the hard disk when you sleep the notebook, but maintains power to RAM anyway and resumes using sleep mode if you have battery life remaining. This is definitely superior to Windows' standard hibernate mode, which takes ages to sleep, but also takes ages to resume as the entire contents of memory have to be copied from disk into RAM.
A VGA port is still hanging around this notebook like a bad smell (Samsung says in the past when they've tried to remove VGA, they got an avalanche of complaints) but it also has HDMI, which will allow you to connect it to your TV with a single cable, but also connect it to a DVI monitor with an HDMI-DVI adaptor.