Samsung X420 review
Samsung's X420 is slim, light and relatively inexpensive, but it's far from perfect.
Review Date: 4 Jan 2010
Reviewed By: Sasha Muller
Price when reviewed: £504 (£592 inc VAT)
Features & Design
Value for Money
Going by the number of slimline ultraportables around at the moment, Intel has really been pushing its Consumer Ultra-Low Voltage platform. That's no bad thing, since it allows the likes of Samsung's X420 to bridge the gap between the upper echelons of netbook society and expensive ultraportables.
Compared to many £500 laptops Samsung's X420 is a seriously portable proposition at just 1.77kg, and its slim figure is alluring too. The silver lid sparkles attractively and contrasts well with the stylish matte-black interior and chrome-effect frame. The overall effect is sharp and stylish.
Build quality, however, is uninspiring. Both the chassis and lid are flexible, and the chassis feels insubstantial. This is disappointing for a laptop designed to spend much of its life on the road, particularly given its ability to manage 7hrs 24mins of light usage.
The somewhat creaky build is doubly disappointing as, even with the display cranked up to its brightest setting and the processor running flat out, the Samsung still managed an impressive 3hrs 24mins.
On a positive note, the 14in screen is bright and clear, and the keyboard not bad, either. The keys have a light action, there's plenty of travel and the layout is sensible.
Again, though, scratch the surface and things aren't quite so rosy. Image quality, for example, looks fine in isolation, but we started to have our doubts when we viewed our array of test photos and videos. Colours err on the side of coldness; a trait that robs images of their vibrancy and leaves skintones looking excessively pale and blue.
Performance, too, is as underwhelming as you'd expect from a low-voltage processor. It's quick enough for the everyday tasks required of it, as a result of 0.71 in our benchmarks suggests, but it's no speed demon. Gaming is almost completely out of the question due to the modest Intel graphics.
Go back a few years, and finding an ultraportable for £496 exc VAT would have caused a stampede. Now, however, with CULV-equipped laptops popping up all over the place, there's a huge amount of competition, and Samsung's X420 just isn't worthy of your hard-earned cash.
Author: Sasha Muller
When did a 14" laptop become an ultraportable? I've always understood it to mean one of 12.1" or less - although I accept that slimline 13" models such as the Dell Adamo could be included.
By davidbryant4 on 5 Jan 2010
- Samsung tempts the selfie market with A5 and A3 smartphones
- Internet tax: what it is and why it failed
- Android co-founder Andy Rubin leaves Google
- Windows 10 trackpad shortcuts: Microsoft takes a leaf out of Apple's book
- Promo: Using IBM BlueMix to create successful business apps
- Why the Microsoft Band could be a game changer
- What's on this week's PC Pro podcast?
- Microsoft Office 16 set to launch late next year
- HP's vision for the future of PCs: the 3D Sprout
- How Google X plans to detect cancer and heart disease using nano-magnets
- Google Glass: mugger bait, pub problem and other lessons learned from two dangerous weeks
- Twitter, please don't fiddle with my feed
- How Satya Nadella can get some pay-raise karma
- Windows 10: a step back to go forward
- Michael Dell: Cloud infrastructure is the roads, bridges and highways of the 21st century
- How to check your identity hasn’t been sold to the hackers
- Tim Cook: this is how much TV has changed since the 70s
- Westminster wins the .London battle
- 20 years of PC Pro: from deep pan pizza to virtualisation
- Five reasons why the Apple Watch leaves me cold
- Five smartwatch features we’ll see by 2015
- How to wipe an Android phone or tablet
- iPad Air 2 vs Nexus 9: Apple and Google's latest high-end tablets compared
- Five things that are actually new in the iPad Air 2
- Bendgate, Antennagate, and why Apple doesn’t care about bad news
- iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 release date, specs and UK price rumours
- Office Online vs Google Docs: which free online office suite is best?
- iPhone 6 Plus vs iPhone 6 design comparison
- How to speed up an Android smartphone
- Nexus 6 release date, specs, UK price and leaked images
- How to sell more ebooks on Amazon
- 10 ways to make your business more secure
- Top five VoIP mistakes
- How to add in-app purchasing to an iPhone, Android or Windows app
- Remote-control ransomware: TeamViewer and software hardball
- Why laptops with serial ports matter to the Internet of Things
- Make your mobile battery last longer
- Small steps into handling Big Data
- Nexus 5: does it really run stock Android?
- How to get broadband to a garden office