Tuesday, August 30, 2011

New notebook....

Just a few days ago I bought a new notebook computer to replace my trusty yet aging Compaq Presario CQ40-107AU. That notebook served me well for three years, and it'll still continue to serve my purposes here at home, no longer as my main portable unit.

PhotobucketSo what did I replace it with? I replaced it, of all things, a Samsung. Yes, I admit, Samsung is not really a brand that comes to mind when talking about notebook computers. Until only a few years ago, they were all but unknown in the portable computing segment. Now, they seem set to be a force to be reckoned with in this product category, the same way they started out before virtually dominating sales of LCD TVs and mobile phones. And their tablets aren't that bad either, having owned a Galaxy Tab for several months now.

It's not that I set out from the start to get a Samsung notebook computer. I do my notebook shopping the same way I've always done...with a budget and set of specs in mind. Then I set out to find the most bang for my hard-earned buck. I've considered the usual suspects: Asus, Acer, Compaq, HP, etc. and even got close to choosing a particular MSI model with an Intel Core i5 processor and a Radeon GPU. Then I saw the Samsung. A Samsung NP 305V4A-S02PH.

PhotobucketThe specs are pretty impressive for P32,900.00. At it's heart is an AMD A6-3410MX APU. It's not just a CPU, it's an APU. It combines 4 Phenom II-class processor cores with 1 MB of L2 cache each, a Radeon 6520G GPU, a UVD3 video processor, a DDR3 memory controller, and a PCIe 2.0 controller all on a single die. It runs at a speed of 1.6 GHz, but can push the speed up to 2.3 GHz on individual processor cores when some of them are inactive (Turbo Core technology, in AMD-speak). This chip alone gives you a quad-core processor, a 3D GPU, and a HD video processor.

The rest of the specs outside the APU are not too shabby either. An AMD A60M chipset, a Radeon HD6470M GPU with 512MB GDDR3 dedicated video memory (giving this notebook 2 GPUs) 4 GB of DDR3 memory running at 1333 MHz, a 640 GB SATA drive, a DVD Super-Multi Drive, gigabit LAN, 802.11 b/g/n, a 14" LED display, a 1.3 MP webcam, and card reader, among others. Windows 7 Home Basic 64-bit is also preinstalled, and a recovery disk is included with the package.

Basically, this notebook is not only state-of-the-art (the A6 3410MX APU was only introduced about two months ago), it's chock full of features and affordable to boot. And if Samsung makes notebook computers as well as they make LCD TVs, mobile phones and tablets, I'd say we have a keeper. Well at least for another few years.

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