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Samsung X520 review

Samsung X520
Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £612
inc VAT

Samsung's X520 is a bit heavier than we'd like, but its great battery life, comfortable keyboard and large hard disk make it a great choice if you want a comparatively light laptop with a large screen.


15.6 in 1,366×768 display, 2.2kg, 1.3GHz Intel Core 2 Duo U7300, 4.00GB RAM, 500GB disk, Windows 7 Home Premium 32-bit

At 2.2kg, Samsung’s X520 isn’t really an ultraportable laptop. However, considering it has a 15.6in screen and a built-in DVD writer, it’s a good 0.5kg lighter than most laptops of this size. If you can put up with its extra weight you’ll be rewarded with surprisingly long battery life – it lasted seven hours in our light-use test. It doesn’t feel as sturdy as previous Samsung laptops we’ve seen though. The black, grey and chrome casing feels lower quality – even cheap.

The keyboard has a number pad for convenient data entry in spreadsheets. Unlike many other laptops with numeric keypads, it doesn’t have any undersized keys and the pad shares the same standard layout as a desktop keyboard’s. The small touchpad and see-saw button doesn’t make use of the ample available space on the wrist rest. This is especially surprising considering it supports multitouch gestures which are easier to perform on a large pad, but at least it’s responsive.

Although the display isn’t as bright as others we’ve seen, it’s by no means dim. Colours look accurate as long as you stay within a fairly narrow viewing range and the 1,366×768-pixel resolution is high enough for most tasks.

The X520 is generously equipped with 4GB of RAM, although only comes with a 32-bit version of Windows 7. The large 500GB hard disk is welcome, though. The 1.3GHz Core 2 Duo U7300 processor isn’t substantially more powerful in our benchmarks than the Pentium Dual Core SU4100 processors in other CULV ultraportables. The Intel GMA 4500M HD graphics chip isn’t powerful enough for 3D gaming, but it can play 1080p video.

Samsung’s X520 may be a bit too big and heavy for carrying everywhere, but it’s a great choice if you want a reasonably light laptop with long battery life and a large screen. It has a comfortable keyboard, an integrated DVD writer and a large hard disk, all of which make it a great choice.

Basic Specifications

Rating ****
Processor Intel Core 2 Duo U7300
Processor clock speed 1.3GHz
Memory 4.00GB
Memory slots 2
Memory slots free 0
Maximum memory 4GB
Size 31x380x255mm
Weight 2.2kg
Sound Realtek High Definition Audio
Pointing device touchpad
Power consumption standby 0W
Power consumption idle 17W
Power consumption active 30W


Viewable size 15.6 in
Native resolution 1,366×768
Graphics Processor Intel GMA 4500M
Graphics/video ports HDMI, VGA
Graphics Memory 32MB


Total storage capacity 500GB
Optical drive model LiteOn DU8A2S
Optical drive type DVD+/-RW +/-DL

Ports and Expansion

USB ports 3
Bluetooth yes
Wired network ports 1x 10/100
Wireless networking support 802.11a/n
PC Card slots none
Modem No
Supported memory cards SDHC, MMC
Other ports none


Carrying case No
Operating system Windows 7 Home Premium 32-bit
Operating system restore option restore partition
Software included none
Optional extras none

Buying Information

Warranty one year collect and return
Price £612