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back to article Samsung Series 3 NP300E5A 15in notebook

Samsung’s NP300E5A-A01DX is the Core i3 model in its Series 3 family of notebooks and is priced accordingly, at around £400. Unashamedly aimed at the cost conscious end of market it has plenty of company including Acer’s Aspire 5749 that Reg Hardware reviewed late last year. Samsung Series 3 NP300E5A 15in notebook Samsung …

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'nothing too inspiring'

Ye glods. Is ther no end to this tank-commander visibility? Smack another 50quid on the price & give us more pixels, they'd sell loads.

Agree with you about non-shiney==good.

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You do realize...

You can get a used IBM Thinkpad with better quality and a _new_ battery for a fraction of that price. It'll have a somewhat longer usable lifespan, and a better battery life.

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Re: You do realize...

IBM Thinkpad?

They haven't made them for years :/

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Re: You do realize...

That's why I said "used".

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Re: You do realize...

Lenovo bought IBM's laptop business in 2005. Even a budget laptop will take a long, relaxing slash on a 2005 machine.

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Re: You do realize...

Yes, but there's still plenty of older used stuff left. You don't need to buy a new one.

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Re: You do realize...

Shame that people picked up on the incorrect moniker of "IBM" vs "Lenovo" in your post, rather than the prinicple you were looking to put forward.

http://www.tier1online.com/Product/5356-6474AH5?CAWELAID=977623244.

Lenovo T400. still a highly serviceable machine, Yours for £250, new extended battery ,£50

Comes with a licence for Vista, so add the price of a windows 7 licence (64bit). (£70 new, not sure on upgrade from vista price)

£370 without potential Ram upgrades and a new hard disk which would be sensible options to get the most out of a second hand machine.

Doing this sort of thing for yourself is a considerable amount of effort, you're not getting a machine with a warranty (or much of one left). It's not a course of action I would recommend to anyone that wanted me to support them, however you will end up with a machine that is far more likely to be useful in 10 years and still going strong with this method.

(Webcam controller, FTP server, uploader, small DMZ controller)

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Manufacturers give customers what they want.

This sort of laptop isn't my cup of tea, but I have been giving advice to people who want to buy something like this lately. We are talking the sorts of people who use a computer quite a bit for light office and web tasks but aren't really quite technical. What I have found is that such people really want 15 inch screens - a big screen appeals. Also, they don't seem interested in the number of pixels on the screen., at all.

I have tried to suggest that either (a) if they are going with that screen resolution, they might want to consider a 13 inch or even a 14 inch rather than 15, as that will give them a much more portable machine for the money or (b) paying a bit more for a higher screen resolution at 15 inch. However, one then discovers quickly that most manufacturers don't do any other screen resolutions in their budget laptops and a laptop with a higher resolution screen will actually cost hundreds of pounds more. Such a laptop will actually be better in a lot of other ways too and will likely be a sound purchase, but you are by that point way out of the price range of your buyer. Further investigation indicates that the buyer doesn't care *at all* about the screen resolution anyway, meaning that they would not have paid even an extra 50 quid for a higher resolution. So I end up recommending something like the reviewed laptop. (Samsung are good value. Better build quality than some of the others at that price point).

And you know what? These buyers seem to usually end up happy anyway. Often they like to watch DVDs on the laptop as well as the other uses, and the extra screen real estate certainly does help for that. Of course, they would get much better picture quality by, well, buying a TV, but once again they don't seem to mind. And this is fine. You are actually getting a lot for your money in a laptop at that price range.

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Re: Manufacturers give customers what they want.

In short, there are many people afraid of computers. They only want a combined DVD-Player/TV/wordprocessor/browser. That's unfortunate, but the result of stopping to educate people about what computers actually are.

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Re: Manufacturers give customers what they want.

What computers sold through retail outlets "actually are" (save for the relatively few that are used by bitheads) are consumer devices for communication and consumption of content via the internet.

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Re: Manufacturers give customers what they want.

I'm surprised computer manufacturers haven't jumped on the TV marketing bandwagon and marketed their screens as HD/ Full HD. I'm sure you'd see a huge uplift in sales just through people now no longer wanting to settle for "half" as good.

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Re: Manufacturers give customers what they want.

Why is any of this unfortunate? If people knew how many things you could use a screwdriver for, they'd be selling like hotcakes! And I'm only talking about the blade-end of things! And yet there are people without them. I don't think there's anything really unfortunate about that though.

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Anonymous Coward

Price

Is that the real price or Samsungs price fixed price?

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Re: Price

RRP

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Price

Real Ripoff Price. Got it. Thanks

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Price

What's wrong AC? Did that nasty Samsung steal your lunch money?

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"non-reflective screen, which is a welcome change."

Hallelujah! Sammy has seen the light brothers and sisters! On a slightly more serious note I have to say that it is about time. They are selling into the budget workhorse end of the market and I think they (and the other OEMs) can afford to spare their customers eye-strain, rising irritation and possible migraine. If I want to shave I use the bathroom mirror, not my lappie.

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Re: "non-reflective screen, which is a welcome change."

Just bring back 16:10 ratio (the perfect for a large-screen laptop, IMO) and I'll be doubly hallelujahful.

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Help!

Can anyone recommend a simple 15" laptop that has a better screen resolution that doesn't cost "£100's" more? I don't want to do gaming, just programming so I don't care whether it has an Intel graphics

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Re: Help!

You'd be better looking for something 2nd hand if processing power and graphics aren't a concern.

Or look on one of the manufacturer refurb sites.

Personally I'd be looking for a 2nd hand business grade mobile workstation, budget for a new battery.

The benefit of this is there is a lot of stuff with 1200p screens about.

When you get it, strip it down, clean it and put it back together.

Wipe the HDD (properly!), Re-install the OS, even if the seller says they have and use your own media!

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WTF?

Gosh

"To help keep the cost down there’s no discrete GPU, instead it relies on Intel’s integrated HD 3000 chip. Needless to say that gaming is more of a dream than a reality"

All PC/Laptop reviewers immediately jump to gaming as though it's the be-all of owning a computer. I, a bit like Frederic Bloggs above, just want a strong workhorse that does the job well without being filled with extra power-sapping 'features' like another GPU just so it gets better reviews from people who play games on tech sites!

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You'd be better of with the Toshiba Satellite Pro R850, which currently falls under the Toshiba Reliability Refund Guarantee scheme.

What's that?

If it goes wrong in the warranty period (can be extended to 3 years), they will fix it AND give you the money you paid for it back.

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Trollface

Considering the reliability and quality of Toshiba kit, that's almost a good deal.

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Unhappy

pig in a poke

I do hope i have done the right thing in buying this laptop or is it a notebook?

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Samsung's keyboards... why do they do that ?

Don't buy this laptop.

Samsung has once again made a fairly good looking laptop with the most infuriating keyboard problem. It has two Fn keys on it. So, if you regularly use any other keyboard, and can jump around words with CTRL and a cursor key, with THIS keyboard, that'll result in you accidentally hitting Fn and the cursor key. And on my Samsung laptop (which I despise) this sometimes rotates the entire Windows display by 90'.... annoying as hell, if you busy working away in Word.

That, plus the cursor keys just merged in with the other keys in the keyboard, no gap to separate them or anything, and this is another bad Samsung laptop to avoid.

Strangely, they have corrected these problems on higher end laptops.

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Re: Samsung's keyboards... why do they do that ?

It's not just Samsung. How hard would it be for manufacturers to agree on a standard keyboard layout? Rather than taking random keys out of a bag and fitting them into the space like it's a game of Tetris.

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no gaming needed!

I see I'm not the only one who was going to say that I don't need or care about gaming capabilities. I've practically never played a game on a computer, I don't use it for that, don't need those capabilities at all. I'm not saying it's all work and no play, but everything's got its relative priority, right? I'd be interested in knowing how a computer does at: email, generic website access, Excel, Word, YouTube, and occasional content creation or editing with some photo editing software. In that order. That's the nut to be cracked for most people with a brain, and without kids.

Otherwise it's like watching Top Gear reviews of "regular" cars. Even though buying a car today that is far more decent than anything offered 10 years ago is pretty much like shooting fish in a barrel, Jeremy and the boys will have you thinking that if you pick the wrong one, you're not gonna be able to get around Hammerhead quickly enough.

Who cares?

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Re: no gaming needed!

I bought a sub-£350 laptop just after Xmas 2011. It has a very similar spec to this machine (Core i3, 4GB RAM, Windows 7 Home Premium, DVD rewriter, big feck-off hard disk, USB 3 port, HDMI). It is an utter JOY to use and has replaced my previous XP-based desktop completely.

Windows 7 was a pleasant surprise, particularly when I plugged in my HP all-in-one printer / scanner and it just grabbed the drivers via Microsoft.

The most demanding tasks I use it for include video transcoding for an iPod Touch and running Propellerhead Reason. Both tasks piss all over the old machine. Transcoding takes a fraction of the time and Reason rarely climbs above 20% CPU usage, even with loads of tracks and modules running simultaneously.

I also use it as an HD video player over HDMI and it never breaks up or skips frames.

It's STUNNING what you can get for your money these days. Cheap Vista machines just weren't up to the job in hardware terms, but yer average entry-level Windows 7 box in 2012 gives you a pretty slick user experience.

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Holmes

Love the £400 laptop reviews.

They read like a car review.

"For your £14000 the Ford Focus doesn't have a carbon fibre chassis, paddle gearbox, ostrich leather seats, ceramic brakes or a 10 cylinder twin turbo engine!

Well that's disappointing! I was hoping for more.

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Re: Love the £400 laptop reviews.

We see the same mindset at work when reviewers/pundits give the Android OEMs the benefit of their enormous wisdom. Along the lines of "in order to compete with Apple they have to significantly undercut Cupertino on price whilst at the same time compete on hardware and build-quality". For some reason I cannot help feeling that that advice has somewhat limited utility!

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