it comes to making a laptop, striking the right balance between power and
portability is a delicate task. The good news for us is that Samsung seems to
have pulled it off with the 13.3-inch, ultra-portable Q330, while managing to keep the laptop just under
the £600 mark.
It may have a low price tag, but the Q330 looks far from cheap. Samsung has given the plastic chassis a clever makeover with a brushed metallic effect that gives it a slightly more premium look. It's light, at just 2kg, and relatively slim, too. The rear of the machine measures 32mm and tapers off to just 23mm at the front. This means it's small enough to tuck comfortably into your luggage without taking up too much valuable space.
Equally important is the Q330's build quality, which is sound. It takes excessive force to ripple the screen and the chassis doesn't creak when you move it around like some cheaper laptops. Subsequently, we'd expect the Q330 to put up with all the knocks, bumps and bruises it's likely to suffer in the hands and bags of frequent travellers.
Port of callIt's only expected that an ultra-portable laptop is going to have a limited range of ports compared to a larger desktop-replacement model. The Q330 actually doesn't fair too badly on this front, all things considered. While it does only have three USB ports, one of those is a sleep-and-charge port, perfect for charging peripherals like cameras and mobile phones when the laptop's turned off. Alongside the VGA port, Samsung has managed to add an HDMI socket, which makes it possible to connect the laptop to an HD Ready TV. Sadly, the networking port is not Gigabit Ethernet-enabled, but there is 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity.