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Old August 20, 2011, 08:46 PM
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JD JD is offline
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Toronto, ON
Posts: 8,055

My System Specs

Default Samsung QX412

Even though my thread here was leaning towards the Sony, I ended up grabbing the QX412 off Best Buy instead for $1199.99 + tax. Specification wise, it was better in everything but the screen resolution and was much cheaper.

Although 1600x900 would have been much better, 1366x768 is livable. The display quality is lacking in contrast it seems, but I never expect much from glossy laptop screens. Thankfully it has a single piece of plastic (glass?) over the whole screen to make it easier to clean since there's no bezels to have dust get stuck in.

My only real qualm is the bilingual keyboard, but that's pretty much standard in Canada for the most part. I mainly hate having a "small" right shift key. The chicklet-style keyboard will take some time getting accustomed to as well and the key presses seem a little "hard" compared to other keyboards.

As for upgrades, the only accessible compartment is the hard drive and RAM area. Nothing else. The battery isn't removable either which could be problematic in the future. However that's not to say it's impossible...

It only came with an Intel Centrino-N 1000 adapter, which wasn't good enough for me. No 5GHz support. I proceeded with buying a Centrino-N 6230 adapter from Canada Computers for $27.99 which also includes Bluetooth. Works great and links up at a solid 300Mbps to my 5GHz N network. Bluetooth also seems to work fine with my mouse.

Since there was no access panels to the mini-PCIe slot, I had to tear apart everything. I believe there was 12 screws that had to be undone and then the plastic bottom casing had to be unsnapped from the upper deck. One of the screws was already striped before I started, so that took some effort to remove. Seems the standoff is not threaded properly and I guess the machine used to put the screws in just forcefully did it. Also when I was putting it back together, the head broke off one of the screws. So now 2 screws are MIA but it doesn't seem to matter since everything snaps together and the remaining screws hold it tight enough.

While I had it open I also put some MX-3 on the CPU and GPU. No harm done and maybe lower temperatures. Not sure really as I forgot to test before.

Here's some internal pictures:

The included SSD is pretty fast, faster than I was expecting actually. It's only SATA 3.0Gbps though.

The NVIDIA Optimus technology works exceptionally well. As far as I can tell the Intel graphics are using for any desktop purposes and the GT520M kicks in when you open up a game. Rather surprisingly it can handle Crysis 2 (patch 1.9, no DX11 textures/tessellation packs) decently. If there was "medium" settings, I'm sure it would be entirely fluid, but since there's only "high" settings I end up around ~20FPS. It's playable for the most part.

Noise levels are kept to a minimum, especially when the graphics aren't in use. The fan actually tends to turn off entirely and coupled with the SSD that means a totally silent machine. When you're on AC power though, the fan does ramp up pretty loud once you get intensive CPU/GPU tasks going which is to be expect. On battery however, it seems to keep the noise down more so but yet the performance seems similar.

Compared to the Dell XPS m1330 that it's replacing, it's basically about the same weight and height. It's slightly wider though, but at the same time shallower. Considering the Samsung is 14" and the Dell is only 13.3", that's quite the feat. Having a bigger screen in the same chassis size is awesome.

All and all, seems to be a well built laptop which will hopefully last me another couple years like my m1330 did.
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