Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Review: Samsung NP350V5C-S06IN Laptop – Sheer Performance Delivered!

For: Performance, Screen, Build Quality, Looks
AgainstExtremely poor web camera, heats up a bit upon playing games on dedicated graphic card.



The Samsung NP350V5C-S06IN is a high  performance laptop featuring 3rd  gen Intel Core i7 processor rated at 2.3 GHz with Turbo Boost Upto 3.3 GHz, 8GB DDR3 RAM, 1TB SATA II HDD, AMD Radeon HD 7670M 2GB DDR 3 dedicated graphics card, 15.6 inch anti reflective LED HD display and Windows 7 operating system (now upgraded to Windows 8). This laptop was purchased by a friend in May 2013 for Rs. 49000. Overall this notebook is an awesome machine and highly recommended for power users. Let’s have a closer look at the laptop.




Design, Build Quality & Display

Having reviewed many Samsung devices in the past I was not expecting much in terms of design and build quality of this laptop. My perception regarding any Samsung product – be it a mobile phone or laptop is poor build quality but I was surprised by its amazing build quality and sturdy chassis.  My perception about Samsung's infamous build quality changed a bit after having my hands on the Samsung NP350V5C-S06IN laptop. It’s surprisingly beautiful in design, has a sturdy chassis and bezel with metal finish LED screen panel. At 2.45kgs it is quite light considering it’s a 15.6 inch machine.





The exterior LED panel is in glossy metal finish which gives it a nice premium look. The notebook is available in metal silver color which also enhances its character. The back chassis is made of good quality plastic. On turning it down you will find few cooling exhaust ports, a removable 6 cell battery and couple of stickers.

Switch on the machine and one will easily fall in love with the beautiful 15.6 inch matte HD LED screen offering resolution of 1366 x 768 Pixels. Colour production, image quality, color saturation, sharpness, contrast ratios are just perfect. Every image, video looks so crisp and nice. Even after extended usage there was hardly any strain on user’s eyes. 




A 0.3MP web camera is integrated on the top of the display panel. Sadly the camera is of extremely poor quality and even a 30k machine houses a better camera than on this laptop. Web camera is very disappointing. If you are a serious video caller then better buy a good quality external web cam!

 Speakers, Ports, Keyboard & Drives

The speakers offers excellent sound quality and fairly loud without any distortion even at maximum volume. Bass & treble are quite respectable. The stereo speakers features HD Sound Alive Audio, which enhance the quality of sound and this will be an added advantage for movie freaks. This Samsung laptop has two USB 3.0 ports, two USB 2.0 ports, HDMI port, RJ45 slot, WiFi, SD card slot, VGA port, mic in/3.5mm audio port and a lock port for security purpose.







The keyboard has set of flat and well-spaced keys along with dedicated num pad. It’s very easy and comfortable to type on the keyboard with good speed and efficiency. No complaints related to ergonomics at all with the keyboard. However there are no LED indications for caps lock, num lock etc which can be inconvenient at times.  The touch pad is three figure gesture and scroll supported. Pointing/touch response could have been a little better. I would rate it above average only. It supports additional functions like swiping through images/screen with the  touch pad.It has a DVD SuperMulti Drive with dual layer support for all those DVD movie playback and DVDs/CDs burning needs.


Performance, OS & Battery life.

The Samsung NP350V5C-S06IN is equipped with 3rd  gen Intel Core i7 processor rated at 2.3 GHz with Turbo Boost Upto 3.3 GHz, 8GB DDR3 RAM, 1TB SATA II HDD, AMD Radeon HD 7670M 2GB DDR 3 dedicated graphics card, 15.6 inch anti reflective LED HD display and Windows 7 operating system (now upgraded to Windows 8).  The chipset is based on Intel Mobile HM76 Express. The quad core processor has four physical cores and eight logical cores. CPU cache is 6MB. Windows Experience index rating for this machine is quite good with processor rated at 7.8, RAM at 7.8, Graphics at 6.5 and Hard disk at 5.9. The overall rating of 5.9 rating could have been a notch better if Samsung provided a 7200 RPM hard disk with this laptop.



The performance of Windows 8 on this machine is extremely fluidic, fast and responsive. Working on Windows 8 is now getting used to. I must say that Windows 8 is highly optimised as compared to previous version and works flawlessly minus the inconvenience of missing Start button. The system boots up in no time and opening/closing applications is butter smooth. 8GB of RAM is quite sufficient for handling multiple programming IDEs like Microsoft Visual Studio, Eclipse etc along with heavy games likes GTA, FIFA 14, F1 2013, Far Cry etc.





 Even with two 3D games loaded in background I was able to easily navigate and switch between applications. With battery power, graphics are handled by Intel HD graphics and when powered by AC adapter, AMD Radeon HD 7670M 2GB DDR 3 dedicated graphics card comes into action. There was no lag at all and most of the games were played over 25 fps. There is no heating as such but upon playing heavy games, user may get annoyed by little heating near the touchpad area as it gets a bit uncomfortable to keep hands over there. Rest for day to day general use there is no heating issues at all.





The Samsung NP350V5C-S06IN is powered by a 6 cell battery which the company claims to give upto six hours of backup time but in real world situations it will vary between 3-4 hours depending on usage. Heavy gaming on battery power will return back up time of around two hours and with normal usage like MS office, internet etc backup will be around 4+ hours.

Conclusion

If you are a power user who likes to play latest heavy games, work on software development IDEs and applications like Adobe software suites then this laptop is perfect for you. If you are in market these days for a new laptop and have budget of Rs. 50,000, then this high performance notebook from Samsung is highly recommended. 

Ratings (out of 5 stars)

Build Quality *****
Screen *****
Performance *****
Value for Money ****

Overall *****