Samsung 600B5B review
Samsung’s latest laptop has much more of a business focus than its other models, but that doesn’t mean the rather sleek design would look out of place in the living room. A slightly rubberised black finish, angular edges and a sturdy hinge should mean it will survive more punishment than the average laptop, but the Core i5 processor and dedicated graphics should appeal to anyone interested in performance.
The Intel Core i5-2520M processor runs at a rapid 2.5GHz, some 200MHz faster than the chips we’re used to seeing in mid-range laptops. It can also Turbo Boost higher, up to a lightning-fast 3.2GHz for increased performance in certain tasks. Paired with 4GB of RAM, it sped through our multimedia benchmarks with an overall score of 56, slightly higher than the average we’ve come to expect from the base Core i5 chip. This should easily be enough for almost every task, or some heavy multitasking.
One thing that sets the 600B5B apart from other mid-range laptops is its dedicated Nvidia graphics card. Whereas most machines will use the more mainstream GeForce chipset, Samsung has opted for the business-centric NVS chip. The NVS 4200M installed here has 1GB of dedicated video memory and drivers certified to work properly with workstation-class applications such as Adobe After Effects and 3D Studio Max, but that doesn’t mean it’s well-suited to games. In our Dirt 3 test, it couldn’t manage a smooth frame rate at our default settings, producing a jerky 13.7fps. Even so, it’s capable of playing 1080p high definition video on an external display over HDMI, or 720p on the laptop itself.
Thankfully, Nvidia’s Optimus technology is compatible with NVS cards as well as GeForce ones, so the 600B5B’s battery life doesn’t suffer from having a dedicated card on board. It did exceedingly well in our light-use test, managing just under eight hours on battery power alone. You should be able to get a full working day out of a single charge if you stick to basic word processing.
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