Review: Samsung NP-X460

It’s a good thing you took all of your money out of stocks in August and invested heavily in wheat futures, because now all those Wall Street schmucks are lining up for your bread, and you’re making a killing. Because now, rather than trampling an octogenarian at Walmart for a $350 Daewoo laptop, you can kick down a little more for a luxury notebook. In everything but name, the Samsung X460 is just that: a bourgeois piece of tech for the upper crust. It looks good, performs well, has nice battery life, and it’s a lighter than many 14.1-inch widescreens. But people are just going to have difficulty coughing up 1,600 smackers for one — except maybe you, Rockefeller.

This swanky machine has a velvety black and crimson styling befitting a smoking jacket, so it’ll go well with yours — and looks good in the study sitting on your virgin teak and gorilla-skin laptop table. Its 2.26-GHz Core 2 Duo is speedy and its 320-GB drive roomy, so you’ll have no problem editing your photos or video from your latest safari or night out with Clooney and Pitt. The Nvidia GeForce 9200M GS offers pleasing game performance, especially for a borderline ultralight. The keyboard is reminiscent of the MacBook Air’s, and it’s quite solid and comfortable, so you needn’t worry about the RSI that often afflicts the working class. And the card reader can accommodate not only SD but also Memory Stick and xD, so you use the cards directly from your Canon, Sony or Olympus — no cables are necessary (not that you can’t afford a cable).

Regretfully, if Samsung is going to go all out, it should pull out the stops. If you are going to pay a premium price for a laptop, you should at least get Blu-ray, but it’s not even offered as an option here. And while 3-plus hours of battery life is decent, one cannot expect civilized people to plug in midflight, even if the servant in first class will do it for you.

In reality, most of us are wiping the still-wet ramen noodles from our beards, as we scour Craigslist for our next gig while our severance or unemployment rapidly dwindles. This is just not the economic climate to throw money around on a notebook that almost gets there. The Samsung is a good notebook, but it’s not great, it’s way overpriced, and it doesn’t even have a big brand to artificially inflate its worth. If you’re loaded, shouldn’t your notebook be, too?

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