We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
Laptops Reviews
15,670 Reviews

Samsung Q40 ultraportable laptop

£1,299 inc VAT

Manufacturer: Samsung

Our Rating: We rate this 4 out of 5 User Rating: Our users rate this 4 out of 10

There's lots to like about the Samsung Q40: it's a neat and trim 12.1in laptop with a brushed aluminium finish that weighs a scant 1.2kg, making it worthy of the term ultraportable.

There's lots to like about the Samsung Q40: it's a neat and trim 12.1in laptop with a brushed aluminium finish that weighs a scant 1.2kg, making it worthy of the term ultraportable.

See our Laptop Advisor website for expert reviews of today’s best laptops, plus read our essential advice to make sure you choose the right specs

The Samsung Q40 doesn't look as expensive as some models we've tried but it feels robust enough and you don't end up leaving telltale greasy finger marks all over it.

More importantly, the Samsung Q40's keyboard is springy and responsive and the keys sufficiently large for the average user to tap away comfortably.

Samsung kits out the Samsung Q40 with Vista Home Premium running on a 1.2GHz Intel processor, a 60GB hard drive and 1GB of RAM. This resulted in a dreadful WorldBench speed score of just 26 – one of the poorest performance scores we’ve seen in quite some time.

However, the Samsung Q40 is incredibly strong in other areas. It draws far less power than any of the other laptops tested using the Prodigit energy monitor we borrowed from reuk.co.uk and it was able to last an hour and 58 minutes on a single charge under heavy use.

The Samsung Q40's standout feature, though, is the inclusion of an HSDPA (high speed data packet access) module hidden in its base. Using this, you can access the web at blistering fast speeds – at least by laptop standards – and do so where other wireless means of internet access may not be available. HSDPA connections are faster than 3G (up to 3.6Mbps) and some industry experts could HSDPA largely leapfrog it.

Although the Samsung Q40 is pricey at £1,299, this feature is still a rarity and isn’t usually found on models under £1,500. You’ll need to supply your own HSDPA SIM, however.

We expected to find the lack of an optical drive a drag (Samsung supplies one as an external add-on, which means you don't need to lug it with you if you don't need it), but instead we found the lightness of the Samsung Q40's frame liberating. Rather than thinking twice about whether or not to take a laptop with us for fairly routine meetings or to and from the office of an evening, we were more than happy to do so regularly. This, presumably, is the point of an ultraportable: it's not just something that occasionally proves its worth - it's a practical tool that you soon come to depend on.

Samsung Q40 Expert Verdict »

1.2GHz Intel CPU
60GB hard disk
12in screen
128MB Intel GMA950 graphics chip
Windows XP Pro or Windows Vista Home Premium
  • Build Quality: We give this item 8 of 10 for build quality
  • Features: We give this item 8 of 10 for features
  • Value for Money: We give this item 6 of 10 for value for money
  • Overall: We give this item 8 of 10 overall

While the very poor performance score meant we couldn’t give the Samsung Q40 a PC Advisor Recommended rosette, we hope to see more well-constructed, truly ultraportable laptops like this one. A faster processor and twice the RAM would have made a huge difference to our final verdict on this desirable piece of kit.

  • Samsung Q1 Ultra HSDPA review

    Samsung Q1 Ultra HSDPA

    The Samsung Q1 Ultra HSDPA is a great device if you just need to stay online while you're on the move, but it's not really equipped for anything more taxing.

  • Hi-Grade Notino D2200 ultraportable laptop

    Hi-Grade Notino D2200 ultraportable laptop

    Let's deal with the obvious first: yes, the Hi-Grade Notino D2200 is a pink ultraportable laptop, and yes, there's every chance Hi-Grade sent us this version to review since we're female.

  • Samsung Q70 laptop

    Samsung Q70 laptop

    The Samsung Q70 is an excellent laptop that will be equally well suited as a business or an entertainment laptop. It’ll blend beautifully into any corporate environment thanks to its glossy finish and nimble 2kg frame, while the fast speed and excellent screen will please gamers and multimedia users.

  • Samsung Q35

    Samsung Q35

    Complete with Vista Home Premium, the Q35 is the smallest and easily the most portable Vista laptop we've reviewed.

  • Samsung Q1

    Samsung Q1

    Imagine our excitement when a brand-new Q1 from Samsung – one of the much-hyped Origami devices that have been in the news so much – arrived at PC Advisor.

IDG UK Sites

Why I think the Apple Watch sucks and you'd be mad to buy it

IDG UK Sites

Swatch launches a colourful smartwatch

IDG UK Sites

New Apple TV 2015 release date rumours: TV streaming service delayed, hand gesture interface being...