As far as bundled software goes, there’s a slew of Samsung Utilities, for backup and file sharing over DLNA, as well as a limited AV trial from Norton, Microsoft Office Starter and CyberLink DVD suite. There’s also Elan Smart-Pad, a control panel that offers customisation of trackpad multi-finger gestures to get the most out of the trackpad, if at all possible.
SRS audio treatments can work wonders, but can't perform miracles
Sonically, the SF310 boasts SRS Premium Sound. Now I rather like the tricks that SRS processing is capable of, but Samsung appears to expect miracles from the 2 x 1.5W speakers lurking inside this laptop. While I’ve no idea of the diaphragm dimensions, I’m thinking pennies here. SRS relies on psychoacoustics to trick the brain into imagining lower bass frequencies – that the speakers aren't actually capable of reproducing – using harmonics generated by TruBass, and various filtering techniques create the 3D surround elements, but if the speakers lack a half-decent frequency response, then there's a limit on what can be delivered.
Certainly you can tell that something’s going on with the soundscape and there’s plenty of volume there, but I spent a good while tweaking the SRS settings to get a beefy, well-defined sound and I failed. The speakers just don’t cut it as far as weight is concerned, and as sound engineers are wont to say: you can’t polish a turd.
Deceptive bends: when most laptops are getting thinner, those curves actually fatten it up
At just over 2kg the Samsung SF310 isn’t too much of an imposition to lug around. It’s certainly capable, with a good battery life and attractive too. Earlier, I likened the styling to a classic American car, but it transpires this is no Cadillac, it’s more of an Edsel. Yes, that trackpad is a serious problem, so much so that instead of giving away an HD webcam with this laptop, Samsung should really have done a deal with Microsoft to offer a free mouse. ®
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Samsung SF310 13.3in notebook
"Get a mouse" is right. Been there, seen it, done it and I have the T-shirt.
As for which side you plug it in, try getting an MS Wireless mouse 3000 or equivalent with a USB micro-transceiver. You can leave this plugged in all the time and it doesn't matter where the USB port is. One AAA battery seems to last the thick end of forever.
My reason for this was getting right, royally hacked off with my sleeve brushing the trackpad while typing and changing the focus on the screen. That one seems to be a problem on every laptop I have tried. Add a mouse and check the option for "no trackpad when mouse found" in the trackpad driver and all is well.
Off-centre touchpads are an abomination that really infuriate me every time I have to use them. Common on bigger laptops with numeric keypads to the side of the main keyboard, I suppose the idea is that the touchpad lies centrally beneath the main keyboard... but it's a retarded idea.
The problem is that if you're typing away on the main keyboard, you're not using the touchpad. When you do want to use the touchpad, your hands will almost certainly naturally fall to the middle of the laptop along the bottom edge, NOT the middle of the main keyboard (which might as well not exist for the time you're using the touchpad.)
Between this and the use of a single strip instead of two buttons, it's enough to have me ready to take a sledgehammer to the things...
the number of games available for mac as a percentage of games available for Windows is a rounding error.
And this thing's a whole lot cheaper than a MacBook Pro.
I'd be much happier buying onto Optimus if linux was publicly supported.
nVidia under the hood thank you Samsung...and a note to nVidia....
The use of nVidia is a great thing to see. Good for Samsung.
Not sure about this hybrid Optimus tech yet though. Most buy nVidia to NOT have Intel graphics.
Note to nVidia, Linux drivers are needed. I see a backlash coming if none are ever provided for this Optimus tech due to the probability that a large number of manufactures will use Optimus in note books. There are more users of Linux than ever and this tech shuts them out of using nVida on notebooks entirely. Not a good thing.