The Bottom Line
- Long Battery Life
- Excellent Wireless Connectivity Including WiMAX and WiDi
- Integrated Graphics
- Poor Trackpad
- Annoying Hard Drive Partitioning
- Intel Core i3-370M Dual Core Mobile Processor
- 4GB PC3-8500 DDR3 Memory
- 500GB 5400rpm SATA Hard Drive
- 8x DVD+/-RW Dual Layer Burner
- 15.6" WXGA (1366x768) LED Backlit Display With 1.3 Megapixel Webcam
- Intel GMA 4500MHD Integrated Graphics
- Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11a/g/n Wireless, WiMAX
- Three USB 2.0, HDMI, VGA, 4-in-1 Card Reader
- 13.7" x 9.7" x 1.3" @ 4.7 lbs.
- Windows 7 Home Premium, Office Starter, Cyberlink DVD, Norton Internet Security
Guide Review - Samsung SF510-A01US 15.6-inch Thin And Light Laptop PC
Nov 12 2010 - Powering the Samsung SF510-A01 is a more budget oriented Intel Core i3-370M dual core mobile processor. This is one of the higher clocked models that actually provides performance not that far behind the much used i5-460M by many slightly more expensive 15-inch laptops. Performance should be just fine for most applications but it will suffer a bit on demanding tasks such as desktop video. The 4GB of DDR3 memory help it run the Windows 7 OS smoothly and shouldn't impact multitasking much.
Storage features are fairly typical of a mid-ranged laptop. It comes equipped with a sizable 500GB hard drive but this spins at the more traditional 5400rpm rate that means it not as fast as some using 7200rpm drives. Samsung does partition the drive into an OS and a data drive that is a bit annoying. A dual layer DVD burner handles all playback and recording of CDs or DVDs. There is a media card reader that handles the most common types of flash memory cards.
Graphics are one of the areas where the Samsung SF510-A01 with its relatively low price tag suffers the most. The 15.6-inch display panel features a typical 1366x768 resolution and glossy coating found on most consumer laptops. Viewing angles suffer a bit much especially in the vertical axis where colors shift pretty dramatically. Rather than using a dedicated graphics processor, the system relies on the Intel GMA 4500MHD integrated solution. This is fine for HD video streaming or basic web use but lacks any real 3D performance for even casual PC gaming. It does include the Intel WiDi wireless display technology for displaying to an HDTV via wireless to an optional WiDi compatible receiver.
One of the more surprising aspects of the Samsung SF510-A01 is the battery. Rather than a traditional lithium-ion pack, it uses an internal lithium polymer unit similar to Apple. In DVD playback tests, this internal battery was able to yield a surprising four and a quarter hours before going into standby mode. This puts it well above the average 15-inch laptop and could potentially yield up to Samsung's claim of seven hours but I suspect six would be more likely with traditional usage.
Another unique feature to the Samsung SF510-A01 is the inclusion of WiMAX 4G wireless support. This allows users to connect to CLEAR wireless 4G high speed wireless networks for additional connectivity options. This of course does require a service plan with the company but it is a nice option for those who travel frequently.
Samsung continues to use a chiclet or isolated keyboard design. The keyboard itself doesn't have much flex and offers solid accuracy. The trackpad on the other hand is another in the integrated button designs. It is large and one tends to brush it while typing causing the cursor to shift. This also happens frequently when trying to depress one of the button regions.