Samsung’s Centrino Halfbreed: Part Desktop Replacement, Part Mini Laptop

The Samsung X50 is like a runway model at first glance, all good looks and an attractive exterior. But you wonder: when this model opens his or her mouth, will complete sentences come out? With this new Samsung X50 laptop, you should be pleasantly surprised, as it offers more than just sleek beauty.

The X50 packs a 15.4 widescreen into a 5.3 pound (2.41 kg) package, but more impressive than that is the screen’s resolution. Samsung geared the screen with 1,680 x 1,050 resolution, offering more workspace than a 19-inch LCD-based desktop monitor. That makes the Samsung notebook the perfect laptop for a one-computer family (or individual), if you want near desktop-replacement capabilities out of a notebook along with the latest in mobility.

You can’t achieve this combo of qualities without primetime hardware. The X50 does not disappoint here either. For near-desktop computing power, Samsung packed the X50 with the second-best Intel Pentium M (2 GHz), 512MB of PC3200 DDRII memory, and 80 GB of hard drive space. To supply the latest in laptop mobility, Samsung inserted the Intel Centrino microprocessor chipset. More importantly, this includes the Intel Pro/Wireless 2915, which supports nearly all the letters in the wireless alphabet: 802.11a, 802.11b, and 802.11g. Samsung also made sure that the new laptop is Bluetooth compatible, which, if you’ve owned past Samsungs, you know is a big improvement.

Does Samsungs “model” new notebook sound too good to be true? Well, it may be. At about $2,616 (£1,489), it fits into the price range of the latest high-end Centrino-based notebooks. But at the same time, it lacks some of the fineries of this price range. Its graphics card, for instance, is the Mobility Radeon X600 chipset. This doesn’t quite make it the laptop of choice for gamers.

Then again, the Samsung X50 offers a fingerprint reader for security. There are also ports galore, for memory cards, FireWire, Type II PC Card, USBs, and Ethernet. Plus, Samsung throws in a multiformat DVD writer. All in all, the laptop may not be a supermodel of the notebook world, but I wouldn’t throw it off my desk.