Samsung Q310, R610 laptops: Made for the mainstream

The 13-inch Q310 and 16-inch R610 laptops from Samsung feature middle-of-the-line components at low prices.

Samsung Q310

Tuesday's laptop announcement from Samsung includes specialized models for travelers and business users , but what about the average home user who wants a solid laptop at a relatively low price? That's where the 13-inch Q310 and 16-inch R610 come in: neither as flashy as the ultraportables nor as rugged as the business models, the Q- and R-series laptops provide middle-of-the-road components and feature sets inside of attractive cases (featuring Samsung's "touch of color" design) at prices from $1,000 to $1,250.

Though it has a 13.3-inch display, the Samsung Q310 is a bit more modest than the company's sleek X360 . Weighing 4.4 pounds and measuring 1.5 inches thick, the Q310's chunkier design and traditional LCD display help keep its price low, while its high-end looks will help it appeal to mainstream users who want an attractively designed laptop. Samsung is offering two fixed configurations of the Q310: a $1,199 version incorporates a 2.0GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T5800 processor and a 250GB, 5,400rpm hard drive, and a $1,249 version bumps the processor to a 2.26GHz Intel Core2 Duo P8400 and the hard drive to 320GB. Both models include integrated Intel X4500 graphics, 4GB of 800MHz RAM, and a built-in DVD burner.

For true media lovers, the Samsung R610 offers a 16-inch display with the 16:9 aspect ratio that's ideal for viewing HD video content. The laptop also has an ExpressCard/54 slot that lets you add a TV tuner. Otherwise, the R610 is a fairly typical budget entertainment laptop, with a 2.0GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T5800 processor, 4GB of 800MHz RAM, 512MB Nvidia GeForce 9200M GS graphics, and a 250GB, 5,400rpm hard drive. The single fixed configuration is priced at $1,049.

Both the Q310 and R610 will be available by mid-November at such online retailers as NewEgg,, CDW, and Amazon.

About the author

    Tech expert Michelle Thatcher grew up surrounded by gadgets and sustained by Tex-Mex cuisine. Life in two major cities--first Chicago, then San Francisco--broadened her culinary horizons beyond meat and cheese, and she's since enjoyed nearly a decade of wining, dining, and cooking up and down the California coast. Though her gadget lust remains, the practicalities of her small kitchen dictate that single-function geegaws never stay around for long.


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