It's powered by a 2.5GHz Intel i5-2520M dual-core processor and this does an impressive job of handling everyday applications as well as more demanding software programs. A dedicated nVidia NVS 4200M graphics card also ensures that graphics-intensive applications aren't a problem for the Samsung NP600B5B-S01UK. This is a professional version of the nVidia GeForce GT 520M, and in our tests it could muster 36fps playing F.E.A.R. at Maximum detail.

As the Samsung NP600B5B-S01UK laptop is not vying for attention in Dixons, it doesn't sport attention-grabbing memory and storage figures. Its 4GB and 500GB respectively are average specs for consumer laptops but ample amounts for any office task. See also: Group test: what's the best laptop?

While the construction of the Samsung NP600B5B-S01UK isn't bad - it's certainly rugged enough to overcome an accidental bump or two - it is on the bulky side, weighing 2.7kg. And with a particularly thick lid it isn't the most portable laptop around.

We measured a good battery life of around 6 hours (370 mins in MobileMark 2007). So it has some endurance for taking on the road, even if the chunky weight might mean you'd rather not. The screen is probably the outstanding feature of the Samsung NP600B5B-S01UK - it has a non-reflective finish but still manages to give sharply defined lines and rich colours. But for a professional machine, the resolution is poor at just 1366 x 768. That's the kind of pixel count we'd expect of a consumer 11in laptop, not a 15in business notebook.

The thick lid means that the Samsung NP600B5B-S01UK is well protected too. The keyboard is versatile, with keys of a decent size and a numeric keypad to the right. However, the numeric keypad feels a bit cramped and doesn't lend itself well to accurate data input - Samsung could have left it out and given the rest of the keys some more room.

There is a trackpoint steerer, should you favour this mode of cursor control, and two sets of buttons for left- and right-clicking.  For connectivity there are two USB 3.0 ports - reasonably generous when some other Windows laptops only have one. The lesser-spotted eSATA is also included.

For connecting a projector or second monitor, VGA and HDMI are catered for. The Samsung NP600B5B-S01UK will connect to networks using the 802.11b/g/n wireless or via the gigabit ethernet port. There are a couple of common business notebook extra additions - a fingerprint reader, and an ExpressCard slot, which is becoming increasingly rare.

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Samsung NP600B5B-S01UK: Specs

  • 2.5GHz Intel i5-2520M dual-core processor
  • 15.6in (1366 x 768) matt anti-glare display
  • Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
  • 4GB DDR3-1333MHz RAM
  • 500GB 5400rpm SATA hard disk
  • nVidia NVS 4200M graphics card with 512MB VRAM
  • DVD±RW DL drive
  • 802.11b/g/n
  • Bluetooth 3.0
  • gigabit ethernet
  • 2 x USB 3.0 ports
  • 1 x USB 2.0 port
  • 1 x eSATA/USB 2.0 combo port
  • VGA
  • HDMI
  • stereo speakers
  • headphone jack
  • mic input
  • SD/xD/MS Pro card reader
  • ExpressCard 34 slot
  • fingerprint reader
  • 66Wh removable lithium-ion battery
  • 370 x 244 x 35mm
  • 2.7kg
  • 2.5GHz Intel i5-2520M dual-core processor
  • 15.6in (1366 x 768) matt anti-glare display
  • Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
  • 4GB DDR3-1333MHz RAM
  • 500GB 5400rpm SATA hard disk
  • nVidia NVS 4200M graphics card with 512MB VRAM
  • DVD±RW DL drive
  • 802.11b/g/n
  • Bluetooth 3.0
  • gigabit ethernet
  • 2 x USB 3.0 ports
  • 1 x USB 2.0 port
  • 1 x eSATA/USB 2.0 combo port
  • VGA
  • HDMI
  • stereo speakers
  • headphone jack
  • mic input
  • SD/xD/MS Pro card reader
  • ExpressCard 34 slot
  • fingerprint reader
  • 66Wh removable lithium-ion battery
  • 370 x 244 x 35mm
  • 2.7kg

OUR VERDICT

If you're after a solid, functional and quick laptop for work there is the Samsung NP600B5B-S01UK. It isn't the most portable model around at 3.7kg so you should think twice if you need to carry every day. The screen is decent and though the keyboard is fine it is let down by a numeric keypad we just found too squashed.

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