Customer Review

53 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Top-end model of the range and a good choice for those with the budget, 27 Dec. 2012
This review is from: Samsung 350E7C 17.3-inch Laptop (Black) - (Intel Core i7 3630QM 2.4GHz Processor, 8GB RAM, 1TB HDD, DVDSM DL, LAN, WLAN, BT, Webcam, AMD Radeon Graphics, Windows 8) (Personal Computers)
This is the top-end version of this model and includes an AMD Radeon graphics processor with its own video RAM. The full complement of 8GB of RAM fitted is not therefore needed to supplement the video memory and the machine is therefore going to be fairly fast. The hard drive capacity has been boosted to a full 1TB. With an i7 quad core processor on board, the laptop is not going to be troubled by any software thrown at it. Although quite well featured, a touch screen is not part of its line-up although Windows 8 almost demands one or a substitute (see below).

The PC is slim when closed and the lid/screen much slimmer than is normal, although not quite to the level of the current MacBooks. The more basic model Samsung 350E7C 17.3-inch Laptop (Black) - (Intel Core i3 3110M 2.4GHz Processor, 6GB RAM, 750GB HDD, DVDSM DL, LAN, WLAN, BT, Webcam, Integrated Graphics, Windows 8), is not the lowest-specced in the range and shares many of its components but uses internal graphics rather than a dedicated GPU. The 15.6-inch 350V5C range is a smaller version and Samsung 350V5C 15.6-inch Laptop (Silver) - (Intel Core i3 3110M 2.4GHz Processor, 6GB RAM, 500GB HDD, DVDSM DL, LAN, WLAN, BT, Webcam, Integrated Graphics, Windows 8) was reviewed in some detail and is broadly similar other than in dimensions.

The keyboard is an excellent island design and is one of the best used by Samsung. The touch-pad is unduly large but not any larger than on the smaller 350V5C range. However, common to it the touch pad supports relatively few of the touch gestures recognised by Windows 8 and users wishing to better avail themselves will need to consider a peripheral. Currently, only Microsoft and Logitech offer touch gesture devices with varying degrees of support. Only one, Logitech's T650 touch pad offers full gesture support.

Falling within the important under £750 barrier (at Dec 2012) but certainly under £800, it is a moderately high-end laptop that could be used as a desktop replacement for those looking to replace an older PC.

Fully equipped with two each of USB 2.0 and 3.0, HDMI video output, Ethernet and Wi-Fi with Bluetooth, headphone and microphone sockets and a multi-card reader, it should support most users' needs. The only major thing missing is Blu-ray playback or recording capabilities which would raise the price, but external Blu-ray drives are relatively easy to obtain, some slimline and a good match for this laptop. Audio quality is reasonable but not outstanding and is an area that demands improvement, whether by a Bluetooth audio system, an amplified speaker system connected via the headphone socket or for the best performance (and probably highest outlay) a good 2.1 or higher speaker system connected via a USB audio/digital adapter.

Recommended for the more serious user or those with deeper pockets, but still well-priced and excellent value.
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Showing 1-7 of 7 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 28 Dec 2012 22:32:18 GMT
Last edited by the author on 28 Dec 2012 22:52:43 GMT
Jason says:
I'm used to having Application and Recovery discs with my machines... are these discs included? Or is it another DIY job that manufacturers are increasingly hoisting on customers.

In reply to an earlier post on 29 Dec 2012 08:20:05 GMT
Andy_atGC says:
No, but there is a Recovery partition and a facility to burn Recovery media, as is now increasingly common and these will include installed applications. I do not know of a brand that now normally supplies these disks, other than Apple.

In reply to an earlier post on 29 Dec 2012 08:48:29 GMT
Jason says:
Hmm... I don't like this trend at all. It's portrayed as a wonderful option: "You, too, can make recovery discs!" So now, if we require a proper recovery disc then we have to purchase it from the manufacturer - over £50 in the case of Acer. Rip-off: pure profit-driven greed. I almost like Apple now.

In reply to an earlier post on 29 Dec 2012 09:09:50 GMT
Andy_atGC says:
The sole difference between the disk(s) you can burn for yourself and those sometimes sold by the PC manufacturer is in the nature of the medium. There is no difference otherwise.

Windows 8 has its own backup and recovery solution which is in addition to the standard recovery medium.

In reply to an earlier post on 23 Jan 2013 18:26:36 GMT
Last edited by the author on 23 Jan 2013 18:28:30 GMT
Le Wrat says:
Actually the difference is more than that.
On my current laptop I created the recovery disks as recommended when I first got the machine. Upon need to restore from the disks it turned out that the manufacturer's utility for producing the disks was faulty and the recovery process errored during recovery.
A google search revealed that this was a known problem. The manufacturers response was to try and make me buy replacement disks from them!
Luckily I had made a disk image of the hard drive so was able to recover using that. I would much prefer to be supplied the original oem Windows discs to recover from, with a full license key included.
The difference is that there is an extra stage in the recovery process (the original creation of the disk) which is more likely to go wrong than being supplied with the disks ready to go.

In reply to an earlier post on 23 Jan 2013 19:00:51 GMT
Last edited by the author on 23 Jan 2013 19:08:14 GMT
Andy_atGC says:
Recovery solutions vary from one PC manufacturer to another and also from one series to another from the same manufacturer, and generally work as expected. My review was written at a fairly early date and whilst I know that the recovery process did work on the 350V5C, I did not attempt it with this - it isn't something I would use unless necessary. If the process did not work and you bought your machine from Amazon, I would have requested a return.

As equipment manufacturers buy licenses (not media) in bulk at a major discount, it is unlikely you will ever receive the media and a full license, which currently retails at around £160. I don't know of any mainstream manufacturer that supplies a standard Windows disk and only a few continue to supply a series-specific recovery disk. Most rely upon the Recovery/Utility partition set which is now increasingly common, access to which is normally available soon after boot up. The ability to create Recovery Media is a feature of many PCs and is usually fairly reliable but usually requires using DVD media compatible with the installed drive - suggested media may be named.

In a worst case scenario, you may be able to borrow the relevant Windows Installation disk and then use the CD-key from your laptop - it is legal and sometimes even suggested by Microsoft, but you will still need any machine-specific drivers and software which will not form a part of the commercial version.

In reply to an earlier post on 23 Jan 2013 19:12:31 GMT
Jason says:
As far as I'm concerned I've given up on hight St machines and am currently awaiting delivery of a custom laptop from PCSpecialist - they supply the app & driver recovery disk and Windows instillation disk, as well as being a whole lot cheaper for the same quality hardware.
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