The 15.6-inch Samsung 600B5B certainly isn't the most attractive laptop on the market, but, with decent specs and various security options, it could be a good choice for business types or those who are subject to a brutally strict IT department.
Our model, the 600B5B-S01UK, packs a dual-core Intel Core i5-2520M processor and 4GB of RAM. It's available for around £770.
Design and build quality
The 600B5B aims to be the perfect business companion. It doesn't, therefore, try to impress you with fancy swirling patterns and bright colours that will melt your eyeballs out of your face if you stare at them for too long.
When closed, the 600B5B has a very professional look, thanks partly to its all-black design. The only thing that breaks up the surface of the shell is the subtle Samsung logo. The chassis is made from plastic, with a rubberised coating that we're quite keen on. The laptop's exterior isn't what you'd call interesting, but it would match a sharp suit and black leather briefcase well.
Although made of plastic, the shell doesn't feel flimsy in the slightest -- we prodded and poked it and found very little flex in the lid, wrist rest or keyboard. It feels very well put together and will easily put up with being carted off on a business trip or hauled between different meeting rooms.
At 2.5kg, this machine is just about light enough for you to carry between desks without having to warm up with some squat thrusts. Measuring 370 by 35 by 248mm, the 600B5B should also fit in most briefcases.
Keyboard and trackpad
The keyboard doesn't pack the isolated keys we like so much, instead opting for the raised, edge-to-edge variety. That makes the keyboard seem slightly outdated.
At least the keyboard is pretty comfortable to type on, even for long periods, so, if you're pulling an all-nighter in a Premier Inn in Stockport ready for the presentation to the board in the morning, your fingers won't be screaming in pain as you pass the 11,000 word mark.
The trackpad is a decent size and has the same rubberised coating as the keyboard surround. It's fairly comfortable to slide your finger over. There's also a track point plonked in between the G, H and B keys for you to navigate with, complete with an extra set of buttons above the trackpad.
The 15.6-inch screen has a matte coating, so it won't show a load of distracting reflections under bright light. It also has a resolution of 1,600x900 pixels, which is really pleasing on a screen this size. The resolution is slightly under a Full HD resolution of 1,920x1,080 pixels, so you won't be able to enjoy 1080p movies at their best, but documents will look crisp and clear, so you don't need to worry too much about eye strain.
If it's your turn to give the PowerPoint presentation, you can use the HDMI or VGA ports to hook the laptop up to a bigger display or projector. Around the side, you'll also find two USB 3.0 ports, a USB 2.0 port, a USB/eSATA port, and an Ethernet port.