on November 7, 2010
I bought this laptop couple days ago and am very satisfied with it. I thought the design might look ugly just looking at the pictures, but the design is very nice.
Anyways here are the pros and cons
Pro: nice sleek design, comfortable keyboard, good performance, reasonable graphic card, cheap price (at least based on my price), light weight, and does not get very hot
Cons: lack of bluetooth (which i hardly use), lack of some ports such as memory card reader (which again I hardly use), sound quality is not very good, arrow keys kinda smooshed together with the rest of the keypads (not really a problem), lack of hoktkeys (which means you have to hold the "fn" button to control the volume and etc)
I really think this is a decent laptop for decent price (unless they raise the price up). Even though there seems to be a lot of cons, i think those are really minor issues (at least for me) and the pros outweight the cons. So if you are look for a decent laptop for a cheap price, I recommend this product.
on November 25, 2010
Initially I was going to go for a more expensive laptop, and then I stumbled upon the Samsung q430 in a best buy as I was browsing that section of the store. Typically I'm wary of any pc's that are in the local stores as they usually get the watered down versions of laptops where you can find the better, more advanced models online.
While not on sale anymore, it was still relatively inexpensive compared to a lot of the other laptops that were no faster. icore5 2.4 GHZ processor, 4GB of memory, 500GB hard drive, 512 MB Nvidia video card, built-in SD memory card reader, DVD-burner...what's not to like!
Also, while it's easy to overlook something as simple as keyboard layout...it was one of the bigger selling points for me in finding a new laptop. I used to have a powerbook titanium G4 which had a nice keyboard layout, and even now the mac book pros have in my opinion the best keyboard design available in any laptop. The q430's keyboard is quite similar, with the raised, solid, black keys that are responsive, spaced out nicely and provide nice feedback. So once I made the decision to go with a non-mac laptop, I was hoping I could find something comparable in the keyboard area. And the Samsung q430 I think is the closest you can get to having a mac book pro keyboard on a pc laptop. I love this keyboard perhaps with the exception of a smaller than usual shift key, I love it.
If there was anything I would change about the laptop, perhaps it would be to not have a glossy screen as sometimes the reflection can be annoying. But nevertheless the screen is bright and strong when I need it to be and I notice it less and less.
Wireless works great, 3 usb ports, decent built in webcam, fairly lightweight and has HDMI out! I have even dropped it once already, transport it a lot and everything seems to be going smoothly with no issues. For the price, and even price aside, I think you can't go wrong. I truly feel this is a solid laptop, especially when coming from the world of sturdy, apple quality laptops previously.
It's a winner!
on December 16, 2010
I have been trying this laptop for two days now and I am very satisfied by it.
1. Light for its size. I had a Dell XPS M1330 before and this feels lighter than that even though its a 14 incher !
2. Fast processor. The turbo boost on its Core i5 really makes it snappy for everyday work and also for photo and video editing. The new Office 2010 runs smoothly on it.
3. Looks expensive. The aluminium on its lid and around its keyboard give the product a distinct look.
4. Graphics management. The intel HD and nVidia 310m graphics switch seamlessly according to the programs needs. Runs 1080p HD video (native and flash) smoothly without any hitch.
5. The Keyboard is this laptop's strong point. Its chiclet style and good to type on.
6. Heat management is great on this laptop. The CPU and graphics card temperature didn't exceed 65C even after several hours of (moderate) use. The outside also felt cool.
1. Touchpad could have been better. The scrolling seems incosistence. (I am not sure if the touch pad or Windows 7 is to blame)
2. The battery life could have been better. It is giving me 3.5-4hrs on a charge with moderate use.
Its a steal. I was looking at the Envy 14 before this but with this laptop's price, features and looks, I am glad I got it.
on January 1, 2011
READ TO LEARN ABOUT SOLVING ISSUES REGARDING THE PROBLEMS ON SOME REVIEWS.
This laptop had all the necessary components you would need. The design, processor, and graphics are the best in its price range. Considering that I was able to buy it for $649 including the $100 Amazon promotional code. The Intel i5 IMO is the best processor since it balances battery life and performance unlike i3(lacks performance) and i7(short battery life). On the graphics, It can play most of the latest games at low-medium settings only. Design...just look at the pictures. Everything else are just average for a laptop (screen, spekers, etc.) The things that bothers me is the Wireless Card and the wrong description of Amazon about having a Fast-Start feature.
Pros: Intel i5-460m, Nvidia 310m!!(laptops with dedicated graphics are worth $700+), Design (looks like a Mac)
Cons and Solutions:
*The Wireless Card is below average and as what some reviews says that it disconnects occasionally is actually true. It happened to me but I was able to solve that problem. To repair it update your driver by downloading it on wikidrivers not on samsung site
*The Samsung Fast Start Feature is not available on this laptop. I tried downloading the software but it says that this laptop does not support it. Is there anyone who can confirm this?
*Trackpad issues, not true. Mine work perfectly except for the two finger scrolling which is not important since there is a traditional scrolling at the side that works fine. Some reviews says that the mouse is too sensitive, that is because the Momentum feature is turned on. Configure your mouse settings to remove undesired features.
*Battery Life sucks! 2-3 hours of battery life on power saving mode. Wifi-on, Lowest brightness, and internet browsing. If you don't mind staying near a power outlet this laptop is fine for you.
*Issues in streaming videos like youtube during full screen, don't use the update in samsung site. Search for Nvidia 310m driver 266.58, it will solve your problems. If your too lazy too search just look for the link in the comments.
To sum it up, this laptop is worth $650-$750(considering specs and quality) based on my several months of researching and comparing. I'm telling you right now that I did the best way of knowing the worth of a laptop and this one is a really good deal if your budget is really tight. I even checked the prices during Black Friday but no deal matched the "Specifications to price ratio" of this laptop if it would remain at the $600-$650 range. I definitely recommend this laptop for Students with tight budget and desires average gaming capabilities. Btw, I owned this laptop since December 16 2010 and reliability test is still ongoing.
on December 21, 2010
I bought this yesterday while it was on lightening deal (699) with free 1 day shipping. And it arrived today at noon.
I've bought and sold (on ebay) many laptops due to my gadget addiction. So I think I know a thing or two about laptops.
For the people who are considering this. Things that I couldn't find it from other reviews.
(i) it's pretty big. The picture on amazon makes it look like 13 in notebook at best. But when you actually take it out of the box, it's pretty large. I've owned laptops from 10in to 15in laptops before. By far, this 14 in (wide) is very nice. 13 in macbook was even small for me. And 4*3 15in laptop was just not right. So this is bigger than what the pictures make you think.
(ii) Feel? Cover is blackish graphite aluminum and inside (palm rest too) is brushed aluminum. It's not too heavy (compared to macbook pro 15in, this feels lighter). This look elegant. Does this match up to Macbook pro? Probably not. I just don't like latest gen black keyboard macbook pros. Know that this samsung's bottom is plastic. Which I don't mind. If you have macbook pros, you know it's gonna get scratched up in a month. I like this computer.
(iii) keyboard: I hate thinkpad keyboard (some maniacs love it but I just can't understand that. How can you like buttons that are stiff and require more strength to type on? I never went back to Thinkpad). I love dell keyboards (that of notebooks). They give you not to soft but spring response which makes typing easier. So if you know some of the keyboards, this Samsung is in between thinkpad (talking about feeling, not the way it's made) and dell. That should clarify the feeling.
*Someone said in a review that these keyboards are rubbery and he likes it, but there is no rubbery feeling. This is as plastic as it gets. That review was kinda misleading to me.
(iv) I used it one day. Battery came at 60% (charged), so it took about 1hr to reach 100%. And it took about 2hrs to run it down to 10%. It's not great of course. But these days, schools & hotels all provide multijacks so no problem.
(v) cord; no one talks about this probably because they are not in the context of school. I'm doing my Doctoral next year. So length of powercord matters. It's not long. I've seen some wacky long ones to shortest (macbooks). This thing is about macbook (or pro)'s powercord. It's not long. And for students, you just need to get seats near the power outlet.
(vi) screen. it's cover to cover glass. So it looks and feels nice. I never had screen like this. But this is better. It's like iphone without cover. Think that way. iphone in INCASE and bare iphone. If you know what I'm talking about. There is difference. Shade or cover around the screen (by incase) makes screen look different. This is a plus. Very nice. Resolution is not super (my eyes are used to iphone4 or super amoled of phones). Don't expect that from this. But it's standard.
(vii) fast start (not cold boot, but from sleep to wake up; that's what samsung calls it); it's pretty fast. Definitely a plus.
(viii) Sound; is pretty big. Just watching youtube but had to turn it down.
(ix) fan noise; again something important for students who study in libraries. This thing makes audible fan noise when you install programs etc. But in normal MS word typing situation, it does not. So This unit won't make others mad in the library.
*forgot to tell you about touchpad. it's small compare to macbooks. Actually tiny. But it's ok. This thing doesn't have Bluetooth. So I again have to pay for Nano receiver mouse or something.
(x) The reason why I went Samsung this time for the first time was because Samsung makes memories and LCD/LEDs. Never owned Korean made laptops until now. Tired of Taiwan made. Sick of American made (I had multiple Dells and a HP. Don't know why I keep going back to Dell though it breaks down usually). Sorry. Time to go Korean. When Apple advertises that they make both hardware and software, it's misleading. They make body and assemble parts themselves. But you will find their harddisk is from toshiba. LCD from Samsung etc. This unit (just checked) has Toshiba hard, Atheros wireless. Both I hate. Both gave me failures before so I remember. This time the hard disk does not make as much as noise like old harddrives made by Toshiba. But you can still hear it. Wireless is so far so good. Don't know about memory and LCD. I have two LCD tvs. Samsung and Vizio. Someone said all LCDs are the same? No. It's not. That's why I wanted to try Samsung.
*i5 vs i7. I have i7 XPS Dell desktop. I can't feel the difference. All these processors, to me, don't make much difference. I bet I am not feeling difference between XP/celeron and this premium one. So don't worry about i7 and how it's better for multitasking. Also I did 1080p youtube. It take time to load but once it's loaded, there is no hiccup like in netbooks.
(xi) Windows 7 is a great OS. I've had everything from Linux, Jolicloud (same as Chrome OS; almost), Vista, XP, Apple OS X..this thing is not bad. Not bad. Start up time is fast around 20-30 sec. People; don't believe Apple never crash myth. Apple freezes all the time. Just go to mac store. "genius" appointment and see how many units they bring back to repair. If you are like some people (mac is blacktie, pc is jean), I have nothing to say. It's all about looks for some people. But you don't have to type on macbook pros to make it bestsellers. You know who are real deals? People who have macbook pro17. Most others just buy it just to try out or to feel better about themselves. (I went Mac after Vista; that thing is just a horror story isn't it. As hardware improves everything has to be faster. But somehow they make more memory consuming OS. So after 10 years, with i5 i7 processors,pc is still slow and lagging. Right? You don't feel much difference between your pc from 8 years ago and now; only thing you can feel is the hard disk size. That thing is a good. 500GB? Wow that's great. My first toshiba had 5gb hard disk) Remember, John Farve writes on a dell and became youngest speech writer for president.
Nor I suggest you buy cheap pcs. You get what you pay for. I think this unit is reasonable. I probably will sell this after 1.5 years (that's how long I keep laptops). But so far, this is not bad as a pc. it's 699 now! What? After selling this as a 4hr lightening deal, amazon dropped the price down on all pcs since yesterday. If that were the case, I "could" have gone to 15.6 in samsung. But soon I have to travel to Orlando to study and I don't regret.
This is a good buy. Buy it while it lasts (don't know about this seller, notice it's not amazon selling this now). Not bad. Not bad Samsung.
on December 22, 2010
This is a great value for a midrange notebook. It has a higer end Core I5 processor, plenty of memory and disk space, and a discrete Nvidia graphics card for under $700. Its' well constructed aluminum body, nice keyboard and bright screen make it look more like a premium high-end notebook. The only thing missing is an eSata port and possibly a few more USB ports, but for the money these shortcomings are easy to overlook.
Very respectable Windows Experience Indices:
Gaming graphics 5.9
Primary hard disk 5.9
on February 11, 2011
I was originally going to buy a different laptop, an asus 13.3" core i3, 4gb ram, 320gb hard drive but after considering for a few days, when i went to buy it the price had gone up $60! So i was kinda bummed, then i clicked the similar items thingy on amazon, and saw this samsung for the same price i was going to pay for the asus, but a 14" screen, i5 and 500gb hard drive, so slightly better specs for the same price. I own a samsung Galaxy s, and have been impressed with the quality, and also when i bought my last laptop, i was checking out a samsung next to it, and almost bought that then, but went with an asus last time because of a 2 year internationl warranty, so i remembered the feeling of quality when i was considering this one. So i checked out lots of reviews, called samsung and confirmed that this has an international warranty (although only 1 year vs. 2 year on asus) actually, they told me that all their technology products have an international warranty, and on the info sticker on the laptop it says international warranty as one of the marketing points, although its not mentioned here on amazon. (i travel a lot so its important to me)
So what i can tell you guys is that is a really awesome laptop. The keyboard is a joy, really nice to type on, 100s of times better than the generic crap you find on your run of the mill dells etc. i love the seperation between the keys.
my last laptop had and core 2 duo 9400 running at 2.4ghz, and this is defintely a bit snapier and faster. it has ddr3 type ram so im sure that helps.
samsung manufacture their own lcds, and this screen is really nice and bright and clear. and it looks super sexy with its edge to edge glass, and makes it easy to clean when you get your retards coming up and poking your screen (what the hell is with people anyway?) i dont get paranoid that im going to damage the lcd, because its not the lcd directly that im rubbing with a cloth.
im always plugged in really, so i cant comment on battery life, but samsung include a utilty to keep the max charge to 80% should u choose, which apparently increases battery life.
some have complained about the touch pad, i guess when you compare it to the massive glass ones you get on an apple it is small, but its pretty average for a pc, and fine for me. it recoginses multi touch gestures, which isnt mentioned here either, and that is way cool too. scroll documents and the web with 2 finger swipes, browse your pics with 3 fingers, pinch to zoom, rotate. pretty cool stuff.
the over all feel and apperance of the laptop is of real quality. it looks nice, it feels nice and it does everything with a nice speedy snappy feel. I ran the adobe cs5 suite all just to see how it rendered pics etc, and its smooth, fast, sexy baby!
Also, just to see if it could, im playing left for dead 2 on it at max resolution, and some other settings at medium approx, and its smooth and fun and very playable. i plan to see if i can run call of duty black ops on it, im hopeful!
Im really happy with the 14" screen. its so much nicer than having a run of the mill 15.6", its dainty, delicate, utilitarian. my last laptop was a 17" beast, and when i put this in the 14" bag i got, i feel all warm inside thinking how clever i am for getting such a portable pc, and it feels really light!
So if you're wondering, i say buy it, you wont be sorry. as nike says, just do it!
on January 12, 2011
I have been using this laptop for a month now and thought it is right time to share my experiences. I bought this laptop for $649 with $100 Amazon credit, which is awesome because we buy lot of stuff from Amazon, so AMZN Credit = Cash for us. First, I'll list the pros and cons and then explain them.
Discrete Graphics with Optimus technology
Cheap wireless card
Screen - poor viewing angle
So so touchpad
I'll start with the cons first. Although I never experienced any dropped connections, the wireless card on this machine is a cheap quality one, which doesn't give you the full 300Mbps wireless n speeds. It is limited at 150Mbps, and in reality, you get less than that. I tried various drivers. The screen looks great, but viewing angles are not so good. Particularly at vertical angles it looks really washed out. Ethernet, come on Samsung, even the cheaper laptops now a days are shipping with gigabit cards, which is very useful when you transfer large amount of data via network (this may not be a con to many). No in-built bluetooth, again a minor con. I bought IOGear BT dongle for $4.99 from Mwave, which works really well. Touch pad is not the best, its not horrible either, it just works. I prefer the bluetooth mouse.
Now the Pros, the price is really slick for a sleek, i5-460M, NVidia 310m with Optimus, 14" laptop. Regular price of $649 is really good, particularly if you don't have to pay tax and CA recycle fee. $100 Amazon credit makes it sweeter. Build quality is good, but the lower part feels plasticy. Island style Keyboard is really nice (like a mac), keys are placed spaciously and very quiet. The best part is the NVidia graphics with Optimus technology, which allows you to control which graphics to use (Intel HD/NVidia). You can set it to auto, or configure on application basis. I am not a gamer, so I cannot comment on gaming performance. I ran 1080p videos and they played very smoothly. I can see the performance boost in Photoshop compared to my old Core2Duo machine. i5 processor is fast, and I removed all the junk Samsung included except Easy Display Manager (although less bloatware compared to other brands) to make it really snappy. After the initial setup, there were 70+ processes running and after removing all the unnecessary things, I have about 50 processes running. I removed McAfee and installed Norton (not the best, but much better than McAfee, and uses less resources compared to other AV products).
If you are on a budget and want to get the best available machine in 600s (including taxes & CA eWaste fee), this is the one. Get it and you won't repent!
on April 14, 2011
i bought this laptop for my junior year teenage step-son.
everything about this comp is smooth and elegant, and the quality is top notch.
looks wise, its smart and professional, as it is sexy and slim. performance to price wise, its top of its class. when it comes time for me to buy something, especialy online, i obsess over learning everything there is to know about the product, its quality/specs and its competition. i ebay, i wiki, i amazon, i google, and i do some field interviews and browsing (at employees from and at stores like walmart, best buy, computer repair shops... etc) before i settle down on any product/merchandise that is considered an investment. in short, i am very militaristic when it comes to getting the best bang for buck. in the end it came down to acer, asus and samsung. samsung won in reviews,specs and price.
i was lucky enough to get this computer on amazon used for 600 (now adays it may hover around 500 dollars used). I expected to see some wear and tear when it arrived... but was overjoyed when it arrived at my house in full original packaging and in mint new condition.
this comp runs an i5 processor that goes from 2.53 ghz to 2.8ghz. the starting ghz and that jump ghz jump is a big deal, coupled with a 4gb ram and a likewise powerfull and energy saving nvidia geforce gpu... its everything you need. the only shortcomings is lack of bluetooth.
yes, i am jealous of my step-sons new computer; but i rest easy knowing that i got him something that he can take with him and will find invaluable when he decides to move on to college life and what not. its ultra portable, very attractive, and it can be considered a gaming laptop. that says alot, since gaming laptops are all by nature high performance laptops, and as a result big and heavy and expensive. a huge plus is that this laptop does not go with the new trend of moving the touchpad/trackpad to the left. sorry, i am an old timer, i like my laptop touchpads to be centered under the keyboard. another huge plus is the island style keyboard, typos are reduced significantly and allows for faster more confident typing.
you will not regret this purchase; it will do all your everyday tasks, play almost all high end games and movies and its specs insure that it will last the next 3 to 5 year technology race, and you can take it anywhere hassle free do to its 14inch screen, lightweight frame and lightweight power cable.
on December 16, 2010
I've done a lot of research and I've been looking for a good 14 inch laptop for a while and this Samsung seems to be the perfect fit for those of us on a budget. Also to note, this is the Q430, which is not exactly like the Q410 sold at Best Buy. The ports are in all different places and the Q430 doesn't have the "scoop" that raises the palm rest like the one at Best Buy. It also has a 500GB hard drive as opposed to the 640 GB in the Q410 at BB. Other than that, it's the same thing. And the Q410 one is $150 more.
I love the size of this laptop. It's small and light and just perfect for your lap while sitting on the couch. 14 inches seems to be the perfect compromise between the larger 15.6" laptops (which add weight and unnecessary numberpad which throws off the centering of the keyboard) and the smaller 11 and 13 inchers which sacrifice screen real estate for the lighter weight.
The screen is bright and crisp, no complaints. Boot time is very good, especially coming back from sleep. The look of the laptop is great, nice and sleek and well designed aesthetically. The brushed aluminum gives it a solid feel and a professional, stylish look.
They keyboard layout is perfect for me, the keys have a nice tactile feel to them and seem to be spread out just right. I wish the keyboard were backlit, but that's not a negative.
Battery life is not awesome. I seem to get about 3-4 hours of "active" use out of it, like having Firefox open with about 15 tabs, a word processor open, and maybe a couple other apps running (other than what running in the system tray). I'd be interested if Samsung offered and extended life battery for the Q430.
I rarely use the mouse trackpad, so I can't really comment on it other than it seems to work normally for me. Who can stand using those things anyway? So...... slow..... I just use the Logitech VX Nano Cordless Laser Mouse for Notebooks anyway wherever I am. So much faster and easier to use than the touchpad.
I wish it had a backlit keyboard, bluetooth, and a blu-ray drive, but that's why this laptop is as inexpensive as it is. I can live without 'em.
Overall it's a very decent laptop at a great price.