By Gadjo Cardenas Sevilla
Samsung's SF510 notebook is a departure from the traditionally austere, and stark Samsung design ethos. Its wavy, almost whimsical enclosure and playful ivory white exterior and organic brown interior belie the notebook's serious assortment of specs and innovative features.
In terms of features a sealed-in long-life battery (good for 6.5 hours on a full charge) and powerful Intel Core i3-370M processor make it a sensible all-around work machine while its bright 15.6" inch LED backlit screen, Gigabit LAN and built-in 4-in-one media reader and HDMI out port focus on the connectivity and entertainment aspect.
It is interesting to see Samsung going exploring its industrial design and trying new things in the marketplace. the SF510's sealed battery enclosure and its look and feel make it feel more like a $800 work/leisure appliance than a business machine. Almost as if, this was designed to be the main home computer that can run Windows 7 smoothly, attend to all the business or school tasks and as well as provide on-the-go entertainment including movies and music.
To help improve the laptop audio experience, the SF510 notebook features Samsung's new True2Sound audio system, which delivers a more natural and realistic auditory experience by utilizing round speakers and a larger acoustic chamber.
Enhanced bass, crystal clear dialog and better definition control for maximum clarity is provided through SRS Premium Sound processing. The SF510 also offers the ultimate in convenience and connectivity the latest in Wi-Fi and USB Sleep & Charge technologies.
The SF510 is powered by an Intel Core i3 processor, capitalizing on Samsung's new lithium polymer batteries by offering up to an incredible 6.9 hours of battery life for users. The battery is sealed in, which means it isn't user accessible and there is no option of adding a second battery.
With Bluetooth 3.0 and a dedicated 512MB nVidia GeForce 310M Optimum graphics card, users can seamlessly and quickly get the job done. The SF510, at 5.3 pounds isn't the lightest thinnest or most portable 15-inch notebook we've seen but will travel reasonably well.
Also enhancing usability is Samsung's Fast Start feature, which easily allows the user to put their laptop or netbook in an advanced state of sleep, to reduce power consumption while the device is not in use. The user's session can then be restored in as little as three seconds.
The SF510 can communicate with other Samsung devices with Easy File Share, a simple to use peer-to-peer networking feature that allows users to quickly and securely exchange files, images, movies, and music wirelessly with any other laptop, netbook or wireless-enabled PC.
Samsung's AllShare technology features an intuitive interface that makes it easy to broadcast content over a user's WiFi network to Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) enabled devices like HDTVs and even mobile phones. With the right Samsung HDTV or monitor, the SF510 can beam streaming web video or photos wirelessly which is extremely convenient.
The Samsung SF510 Notebook is a bit expensive for an Intel Core i3 notebook since you can Core i5 notebooks for $650. What Samsung has going for it this time around is above average battery life, better connectivity and style and build quality. Aside from the 2.4GHz processor, you get 4GB of RAM, a 500GB Hard Drive and camera.
The SF510 feels solid, the chiclet-type keyboard is well spaced and although it isn't backlit, it provides a great typing experience. The trackpad seems small in relation to the rest of the notebook but is responsive and works well.
The SF510 is a harbinger of Samsung's new design philosphy and their investment on functionality and we like where it is headed, if it were priced in the $650 range, it would be extremely compelling.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5