The Samsung P530 is Samsung's business laptop, so it's not festooned with unnecessary illuminations or tarted up with bling.

It has a straightforward, no-nonsense design yet remains attractive thanks to subtle use of texture which offers the added advantage of increasing your grip on the Samsung P530 laptop when carrying it.

If you intend to be carrying it a lot, then you'll appreciate the lightweight construction of the Samsung P530. At 2.36kg it's noticeably lighter than any of the other 15.6in laptops yet still feels reasonably rugged and tough. The keyboard comes with dropped cursor keys and a full numeric keypad and is easy to type on, even with fingernails, thanks to its sculpted key caps.

The Samsung P530 system is powered by a 2.13GHz Intel Core i3 Processor, the same used in our sample of the Mesh Dynamo i3V. It delivers good performance, although it's beaten quite convincingly by the Packard Bell EasyNote TX86. It comes factory fitted with a rather underwhelming 2GB of system RAM and a 320GB hard drive. This helps it along to a 93 point score in WorldBench 6.

A total of three USB 2.0 ports are provided with the Samsung P530, and the usual VGA and HDMI sockets are included for external monitors. As you would expect, you get 802.11b/g/n wireless networking although there's no Bluetooth, which is a perhaps disappointing for a more business-styled laptop.

Its office credentials are boosted however, by the inclusion of Windows 7 Professional rather than the Home Premium version supplied elsewhere; and the fact that you also get a Windows XP Pro disk included in the box.  

Samsung's easy system recovery solution is activated by pressing the f4 button at boot time, allowing a complete system re-install without the need for the user to first create their own recovery discs.

Unfortunately, at 228 minutes, the battery life isn't as splendid as we might have liked – especially for a business laptop.

See also: Group test: what's the best Budget Laptop?

See also: Group test: what's the best laptop?

NEXT: our expert verdict >>

Samsung P530: Specs

  • 2.13GHz Intel Core i3 330M
  • 15.6in matt LED-backlit, 1366x768
  • Windows 7 Professional 32-bit
  • 2GB DDR3-1066 RAM
  • 320GB 5400rpm SATA 3Gb/s HDD
  • Intel GMA 4500MHD, HDMI, VGA
  • Stereo speakers, headphone jack, mic input
  • 3x USB 2.0
  • Super Multi Dual Layer
  • 802.11b/g/n
  • 10/100Mb/s
  • SD/SDHC
  • webcam
  • 44Wh Lithium Ion, removable
  • 379.8x255.5x29.9-36.2mm
  • 2364g
  • 2.13GHz Intel Core i3 330M
  • 15.6in matt LED-backlit, 1366x768
  • Windows 7 Professional 32-bit
  • 2GB DDR3-1066 RAM
  • 320GB 5400rpm SATA 3Gb/s HDD
  • Intel GMA 4500MHD, HDMI, VGA
  • Stereo speakers, headphone jack, mic input
  • 3x USB 2.0
  • Super Multi Dual Layer
  • 802.11b/g/n
  • 10/100Mb/s
  • SD/SDHC
  • webcam
  • 44Wh Lithium Ion, removable
  • 379.8x255.5x29.9-36.2mm
  • 2364g

OUR VERDICT

While its ergonomics are certainly to the credit of the Samsung P530, you may be swayed by the higher specification of something like Mesh's Dynamo i3V which also happens to cost more than £100 less.

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