Review Samsung Q45 Notebook

The Samsung Q45 Aura T7100 Damali is top equipped with 200 GB hard disk, 2 GB main memory and Nvidia Geforce 8400M GS with 256 MB. It takes the lead of the 12.1" class. It seems to be a real insider tip, because of its real dumping price, good equipment, good looking design. Unfortunately, Samsung follows the new trend, which should actually be boycotted. Just read more about it in this review.

Case

Let's leave workmanship, equipment, pressure resistance etc. aside and get to the point: Whose idea was it to coat a notebook with a glossy surface? Five minutes after we removed the plastic film, the cover was littered with fingerprints and dust. We used a whole kitchen towel up for the pictures to this article. Unfortunately, some designers seem to have completely lost their sense for practice, just to represent glossy surfaces in advertisements and web-pages. These glossy surfaces neither improve haptics nor are there any functional advantages, furthermore, their appearance suffers from fingerprints, and also every scratch can be clearly seen. Unfortunately, not only Samsung follows the trend to glossy surfaces: Toshiba, HP, Nexoc. All join in. Even my Nintendo DS Lite always looks so dirty. Dear producers: Glossy surfaces are too sensible for use with mobile devices like mobile phones, notebooks, or handheld PCs. Now, let's vent some of my wrath about glossy surfaces on another notebook. Otherwise, there is no more room for the Q45's positive aspects:

We were pleased by stable hinges, a LED-battery charge status display, and a simple, pleasing design. The battery is not used as foot, so the notebook also stands balanced without battery. Unfortunately, this notebook is very sensible to pressure. It's easily possible to push the palm rest areas about 1 cm into the case. The flexural rigidity is average.

Front Side: Microphone, Headphones, Card-Reader
Samsung Q45
Left Side: LAN, DVD Drive, Express-Card, Firewire
Lenovo Thinkpad X61 T Anschlüsse
Back Side: AC-in, USB, Kensington
Lenovo Thinkpad X61 T
Right Side: Fan, USB, VGA, Modem
Samsung Q45

Input Devices

One of the strengths of the Q45 is its keyboard, which is well worked up. Typing is very soft with a clear point of pressure and it is always quiet and does not clatter. So, it is perfect for all who write much. However, first you must get accustomed to its layout: The right shift key is too small and too far right. So, you'll again and again hit  the < key, which is located between shift and -, when typing in the ten finger system. Furthermore, there is only one Windows key at the right and the Fn key is left beside the Ctrl key. The cursor keys are rather small, in turn the enter key is ideally big.

The touch pad is like the display in 16:10 format and pleases by its rough surface. For short time usage its a good mouse replacement. There is a small scroll zone at its right side, in front of it are the two mouse buttons.

The Samsung Q45 does not provide any hot keys. In turn its design is simple and pleasing. Besides: Be honest. Who utilizes the hot keys frequently or really thinks that he is slower without them?

Keyboard
Samsung Q45 Touch pad
Touch pad
Samsung Q45 Keyboard

Display

Color Diagram
Samsung Q45 display measurement

The Q45's display is a 12.1" Display with a maximum resolution of 1280x800 pixels, which rates high by a good stability to the vantage point.
The brightness would be sufficient for outdoor usage, but the reflecting display makes this hardly possible.

The color diagram depicts a nearly ideal red and green color curve. The blue color curve had to be clearly lowered to reach a neutral color representation. Subjectively, the picture calibrated with factory settings seems very homogeneous and artless.

The Q45's display does not blur, even not when playing fast action shooter games, so, its ideal for games too.

1) measurement 2) measurement
205.8
cd/m²
189.6
cd/m²
205.3
cd/m²
215.8
cd/m²
201.2
cd/m²
201.7
cd/m²
187.8
cd/m²
183.4
cd/m²
176.3
cd/m²
Information
Maximum: 215.8 cd/m²
Average: 196.3 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 82 %
Black: 0.6 cd/m²
Contrast: 335:1
Distribution of brightness
135.3
cd/m²
165.4
cd/m²
138.2
cd/m²
138.5
cd/m²
166.7
cd/m²
146.3
cd/m²
119.5
cd/m²
125.8
cd/m²
145.3
cd/m²
Information
Maximum: 166.7 cd/m²
Average: 142.3 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 72 %
Black: 0.8 cd/m²
Contrast: 208:1
Distribution of brightness

The measured minimum brightness of the display (black value) is 0.8 cd/m². Together with the maximum brightness of 166.7 cd/m² this gives a possible maximum contrast of 208:1.

Unfortunately, the actually sufficient brightness led to a somewhat too high black value. The contrast is sufficient, and is further intensified by the reflecting surface of the display. Unfortunately, it is, therefore, not possible to work outdoors.

Subjectively the display is better than measured. Especially, speed and reaction and brightness are very good.


Performance

Here is the Samsung Q45's real strong point. The very good office and game performance make it the currently most powerful 12.1" notebook. Even Doom 3 can be played at "ultra" settings without problems. Also, with Warcraft 3 in the highest settings it reached with 39FPS, a good result.

Of course DirectX 10 games might cause bigger problems. But, for nearly up-to-date games a combination of T7100, Geforce 8400M GS, and 2GB main memory is sufficient.

Of course also the office performance is very good and makes working without delays possible.

PC Mark
PCMark 054040 points
Help
PCMark 05 in comparison
Acer Aspire One 751 (min)
 Z520, Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 500
692
   ...
Toshiba Satellite P100-102
 T2400, GeForce Go 7600
4027
Toshiba Satellite A100-979
 T5600, GeForce Go 7600
4033
Samsung Aura Damali
 T7100, GeForce 8400M GS
4040
Lenovo ThinkPad R61
 T7100, Quadro NVS 140M
4047
Asus U50VG-XX057C
 T6500, GeForce G 105M
4087
   ...
Fujitsu Celsius H710 WXP11DE (max)
 2820QM, Quadro 1000M
13842
3D Mark
3DMark 051938 points
3DMark 06
 
1066 points
Help
3DMark 06 in comparison
Sony Vaio VGN-FS485B (min)
 740, Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 900
54
   ...
Acer Aspire V5-531
 967, HD Graphics (Sandy Bridge)
1054
Acer Aspire One 721-12B2ki
 K125, Radeon HD 4225
1060
Samsung Aura Damali
 T7100, GeForce 8400M GS
1066
Sony Vaio VGN-SZ71WN/C
 T9300, GeForce 8400M GS
1099
Sony Vaio VGN-SZ61WN/C
 T7500, GeForce 8400M GS
1105
   ...
Alienware M18x R2 (max)
 3920XM, Radeon HD 7970M Crossfire
29496
200 GB - 5400 rpm
Transfer Rate Minimum: 2.4 MB/s
Transfer Rate Maximum: 38.3 MB/s
Transfer Rate Average: 30.3 MB/s
Access Time: 19.7 ms
Burst Rate: 65.5 MB/s
CPU Usage: 7.1 %

Emissions

Loudness

In idle mode we measured a loudness of about 35.1dB. In quiet environments the notebook is decently audible.

Even under load the notebook is not very loud and reaches a noise level of only 37.8dB. The noise during DVD playback is also alright with 37.9dB.

Subjectively we felt, that the noise of the Samsung Q45 always stays the same, regardless of load, or hard disk access. Of course this is another strenghts of the Q45.

Noise Level

Idle 32.4 / 41.3 / 41.3 dB(A)
HDD 37.9 dB(A)
DVD 36.5 / dB(A)
Load / 41.3 dB(A)
 
    30 dB
silent
40 dB
audible
50 dB
loud
 
min: , med: , max:     (15 cm distance)

Temperature

The Samsung Q45's surface temperature is alright. It's neither specially cool nor striking hot. At the hot spot at the bottom side we measured 41.7°C, and a maximum of 34°C at the palm rest areas at the top side. So, working during a longer time should be free of troubles.

Upper side

palmwrist: 34°C max: 37.2°C avg: 34°C hotspot: 38.1

Bottom side

max: 41.7°C avg: 35°C hotspot: 41.7

environment: 27

Speakers

The Q45's stereo speakers are at the bottom side of the notebook. Basses and high tones are weak. The maximum volume is sufficient for DVDs and games, but, you have to live with the poor quality. Compared to other notebooks of this class the quality is above-average.

Battery Runtime

Samsung Q45 Akku

Also regarding battery runtime the Samsungs Q45 is good to average. 5h and 35min maximum runtime makes also a longer unplugged use possible. Under load a very good runtime of 2h 10min is reached. During DVD playback the runtime is 111min. So, you should reduce the display's brightness for a longer film.

Battery runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
7h 30min
WiFi Surfing
5h 04min
DVD
4h 00min
Load (maximum brightness)
2h 55min

Power consumption

Idle 8.6 / 12.7 / 13.4 Watt
Load 23.6 / 20.7 Watt
 
Key: min: , med: , max:         

Verdict

Samsung Q45
Samsung Q45

The Samsung Q45 is a top equipped subnotebook, which is sufficiently powerful for current games (at reduced details). Because of its good price-performance ratio, it's a beautiful, small, black notebook for school and university. However, if you do not want to play computer games, you can also choose the version, called "Duke", which costs 200€ less and is equipped with an integrated video chip and a smaller hard disk (160GB).
Furthermore, also outdoor operation is not really possible, because of the reflecting display. Although the glossy display and the glossy display cover look good, there are more disadvantages than advantages.  E.g., even our notebook had already scratches at the display cover and thanks to a glossy surface, you can only see yourself outdoors.

 

Many thanks to the company Planet Notebook, who kindly provided us with the reviewed notebook. Here you can configure and also buy this notebook.

Reviewed: Samsung Q45
Samsung Q45

Specifications

Samsung Aura Damali

:: Processor
:: Memory
2048 MB, DDR2 PC5300 667Mhz SDRAM, max. 4096MB, 2x1024MB
:: Graphics adapter
:: Display
12.1 inch 16:10, 1280x800 pixel, WXGA TFT, glossy: yes
:: Harddisk
200 GB - 5400 rpm, 200 GB 5400 rpm Toshiba MK2035GSS: 200GB, 5400rpm
:: Connections
2xUSB 2.0, Mic, Phones, Card Reader (SD/MS/xD/MMC), VGA, Modem, LAN, Firewire, PCMCIA, Kensington
:: Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 33.1 x 274 x 267
:: Weight
2 kg
:: Battery
, 6 Zellen Lithium Ionen Akku
:: Price
1400 Euro
:: Additional features
Intel 965M, HDD: 200GB, 5400rpm, Toshiba MK2035GSS, Realtek HD Audio, DVD+/-RW Double Layer,

 

The small black.
Samsung Q45
The Q45 looks good.
Samsung Q45
After opening: Simple, but, beautiful.
Samsung Q45
The workmanship is only partly alright. The Q45 is sensible to pressure.
Samsung Q45
In turn the keyboard is good - but, you'll need to get used to its layout first.
Samsung Q45
A glossy screen makes working outdoors impossible.
Samsung Q45
The glossy display cover is sensible to fingerprints, dust, and scratches.
Samsung Q45
Well done: Battery is not part of a foot and provides a LED charge status display.
Samsung Q45
The integrated 1.3 MP web cam pleases.
The display can be opened to full 180 degrees.

Pro

  • Top performance considering it is a subnotebook
  • Good price performance ratio
  • High-quality keyboard
  • Relatively quiet
  • Nice looking design...
  • Contra

  • ...,but, sensible glossy display cover
  • Reflecting display
  • Moderate Workmanship
  • Similar Notebooks

    Dell XPS M1210: similar powerful, but more expensive

     

    Price Comparison

    Ciao.uk

    Samsung Q45 "Damali"

    Rating

    Samsung Aura Damali
    08/31/2007
    J. Simon Leitner

    Chassis
    75%
    Keyboard
    88%
    Pointing Device
    84%
    Connectivity
    72%
    Weight
    88%
    Battery
    80%
    Display
    82%
    Games Performance
    72%
    Application Performance
    95%
    Temperature
    71%
    Noise
    80%
    Add Points
    79%
    Average
    81%
    82%
    Subnotebook *
    Weighted Average

    > Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Archive of our own reviews > Review Samsung Q45 Notebook
    Author: J. Simon Leitner, 2007-08-19 (Update: 2013-05- 8)