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The F7 and F8 keys are now a different colour (why?). F7 activates the Samsung Magic Doctor software and F8 selects between three operating modes: silent, normal and speed. This appears to change the fan operating rules. There is no longer a function key to select the SRS audio mode. Shame! This was something I used.The Synaptics touchpad is good, but could have been made slightly large within the available space. One consequence of the small size is that, even with the pointer speed set to maximum, it is difficult to get across the full width of the screen with one finger movement.In front of the touch pad are two microphones. There is a noise cancelling function to combine the two signals and reduce machine noise in the audio.

The bottom of the X60 contains the socket for a 120 pin docking station and has two removable covers. One cover is for the RAM slots, which also exposes the Wireless network card and a place where the terrestrial DMB tuner (for Korea only) would be. The other cover is for the hard disk drive, which the manual says is not user replaceable. The battery has a charge status indicator. The RAM cover is metal but the HDD cover is plastic. Perhaps it is considered that a slightly flexible HDD cover improves impact protection. There are also several air vents on the underside as can be seen in the photo below. These are in the area of the CPU and GPU. The underside of the battery contains a shallow groove which conveniently forms a finger-grip when carrying the computer.

Overall, the port layout is good. Apart from anything plugged into the right side USB port, only the optical drive competes for the mouse space. However, a mouse mat will interfere with the optical drive opening. It would have been useful to have one or two more USB ports at the back of the right side where there is an unused space. The hot air from the CPU is discharged at the back of the left side.The front, with the 5-in 1 memory card slot on the front and infra-red remote control receiver. For some reason, the centre front of the palm rest area is slightly higher than at the sides. The centre rubber pad on the display is slightly thinner than the ones at the sides to compensate for this.Audio QualityThe X60plus has high definition audio and two 2W speakers in the area behind the keyboard. These (combined with SRS) provide good audio quantity and quality by notebook standards. However, the audio will sound better through good headphones or external speakers with a reasonable bass unit. Overall, the built-in speakers are good enough for DVD watching but become tiring for music.Processor and PerformanceThis model of the X60plus came with the Intel Core Duo T7200 CPU and 1GB (2 x 512MB) of DDR2-667 RAM. The CPU is a significant step up from the T2300 in my previous X60, with 20% faster clock speed and internal improvements.

The X60plus includes the TS-L532M optical drive which supports DVD-RAM and both +R and ?R dual layer. It also includes Lightscribe support. I haven?t yet tried this capability. Lightscribe media are much more expensive. Nero reports the following information about this drive:WirelessThe X60 includes the Intel 3945abg wireless chip on a module under the memory slot cover. The performance is good. There is a hardware wireless switch in the right side of the computer. Fn+F9 is also, in theory, a wireless toggle switch but brings up this message:Bluetooth (version 2.0+EDR) is also provided and works well with my Logitech bluetooth mouse.Display QualityThe display of this model of the X60plus is a ?SuperClear? glossy 1680 x 1050 resolution (WSXGA+). The specification in the manual lists WXGA and WXGA+ (1440 x 900) as being other options. This display is noticeably brighter than the WXGA display on my previous X60. Brightness settings down to about 2 (of 8 steps) are usable when running on battery.

The horizontal viewing angle is good and the vertical viewing angle reasonable. However, I find that for photos or DVDs the best viewing is close to 90?° both vertically and horizontally. I can?t see any dead pixels on the display.I bought the computer with some uncertainty about how I could adjust the high resolution display to be compatible with my old eyes. After some fiddling with font settings, I have found the best (so far) solution is to change the display DPI setting at Display Properties > Settings > Advanced. I?m using a custom DPI of 113% (108DPI). Some things, such as dialog boxes, don?t display correctly except at the normal setting of 96DPI.

Fortunately, the slight difference I am using is not enough to cause serious problems. Coincidently, my display setting is very close to what would be 96DPI on a 1440 x 900 display, except I have better defined characters on account of more and smaller pixels. I have also enabled ClearType which makes a further improvement in visual quality. Previously, on lower resolution displays I had found that the grey pixels used in anti-aliasing reduced contrast and legibility, but at this resolution it works very well.Battery and Power SupplyThe 6 cell battery is rated at 11.1V, 5200mAH, 57.72WHr (but my new battery is showing 1% wear and capacity of 56.61WHr). The manual does not make any claim about the running time.

Quiet mode (called etiquette model on the previous X60) slightly raises the fan trigger temperature range to reduce fan operation at the expense of having a hotter computer. The left palm rest gets significantly warmer under this mode of operation.Warranty and Customer SupportSamsung provides a one year limited international warranty as standard. I haven?t determined what the ?limited? really means, but Samsung has fewer global service locations than many other computer manufacturers. Warranty extensions for one or two years can be purchased. I opted for a two year extension. The standard warranty is a collect-and-return service.ConclusionsThe X60plus should be on the shortlist of anyone looking for a powerful but lightweight 15.4? widescreen computer (subject to the regional availability constraints). Build quality does not appear to be compromised by the low weight. The model reviewed represents, for the UK, very competitive pricing for the overall specification.So far, I have no regrets about my purchase which seems to satisfy my original objectives. At present, my disappointment is that power consumption is slightly higher than the old X60. I think the cause is probably the driver software for the GPU which currently lacks the ATI PowerPlay module. The CPU may also assume more power when idling along.

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