Samsung Series 5 NP540U3C review

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The Samsung Series 5 NP540U3C (Samsung Keyboard )doesn’t pull up any trees, but unless you throw taxing video encoding jobs at it, it copes just fine. It has a 1.8GHz Intel Core i3 processor – the low-voltage kind reserved for slim, portable laptops such as this – and a very generous 6GB of RAM, which is more enough to keep plenty of apps and browser tabs running at the same time.

There is no dedicated graphics card, just Intel’s competent but limited integrated kind. But Samsung combines a 500GB standard hard drive with a 24GB SSD – dubbed ExpressCache – to improve boot speeds without sacrificing actual storage space. It works a treat. The Samsung Series 5 NP540U3C starts from cold in between 10 and 15 seconds and from sleep in four or less  (Samsung Keyboard ).

Samsung Series 5 NP540U3C

In our PC Mark benchmark it scored a solid, but unspectacular, 3,262. That makes it 25 per cent slower than the recently tested Toshiba Satellite U940 – another 13.3-inch Ultrabook, albeit a cheaper one without a touchscreen. The difference, in this case, is the Toshiba has a faster Core i5 processor. In real world use it’s not a serious issue, but better performance for less is tempting  (Samsung Keyboard ).

Intel’s integrated HD 4000 graphics chip doesn’t totally preclude 3D gaming, but it will limit you severely. In our low intensity test (the fun and free TrackMania Nations racing game) the Samsung Series 5 NP540U3C managed 45.9 frames per second (fps) at medium settings. We recommend a minimum of 30fps, so it does fine here and it’s fast enough for higher settings, too. Our more taxing Stalker: Call of Pripyat benchmark, also run at medium settings, averaged 24.3fps. That sounds playable, but bear in mind it’s an average that includes dips into the low teens, which we’d deem unplayable  (Samsung Keyboard ).

Published on Laptop accessories

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