Along with Samsung's great design and build quality, the R620 includes a Blu-ray drive – that's a great bargain
The R620 has beautiful, clean lines and rounded edges, and the deep black glossy lid and case adds a touch of class. It’s an understated design, with the only decoration being a narrow brushed-metal strip above the keyboard that covers the speakers. Samsung is clearly aiming for something that looks at home in the living room, because the R620 has a Blu-ray drive and an HDMI output, so it’s ideal as a portable media centre.
The screen can handle 720p content, and it’s incredibly bright and colourful with only a slight unevenness in the backlighting. Just bear in mind the glossy finish tight vertical viewing angle, which can make it tricky to avoid reflections. The built-in speakers are surprisingly loud, although lacking in bass. There’s an HDMI output but no S/PDIF audio output.
While the graphics chipset can handle 1080p, it’s not so good at 3D games, managing only 15.5fps in our Call of Duty 4 benchmark. At 1,024×768 without anti-aliasing it managed a more playable 25.5fps, but it’s not suitable for the latest 3D action titles. General performance was average with an overall benchmark score of 65, which is fine for office and internet applications but not ideal for intensive video or photo editing.
There’s no support for Bluetooth, but otherwise the R620 is well equipped, with 80211.n WiFi, a full-sized ExpressCard slot, an eSATA port for external hard disks, and an SD card reader. The full width of the case is taken up by the keyboard and numberpad, both of which are full-sized. The keys are flat-topped but adequately spaced, and have a crisp action that gives excellent feedback.
It’s strange that the touchpad is so small, especially as it supports multi-touch gestures. The buttons are set away from the edge of the case and recessed, so your thumb often hits the edge of the case, but at least the action is light.
With a pleasant design, comfortable keyboard, bright screen and decent performance, the R620 is a decent laptop; with a Blu-ray drive and a collect-and-return warranty, it’s excellent value. Gamers on a budget will prefer the Mesh Edge15, while mobile workers will appreciate the 10.5 hours battery life of the Asus UL50Ag, but for sheer value the R620 can’t be beaten, and it wins our Best Buy award.
|Intel Core 2 Duo T6500
|Processor clock speed
|Memory slots free
|Realtek High Definition Audio
|Power consumption standby
|Power consumption idle
|Power consumption active
|ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4330
|Total storage capacity
|Optical drive model
|Optical drive type
|DVD+/-RW +/-DL, DVD-RAM, BD-ROM
Ports and Expansion
|Wired network ports
|Wireless networking support
|PC Card slots
|Supported memory cards
|eSATA (shared with USB socket), minijack audio output, minijack microphone input
|Windows 7 Home Premium 32-bit
|Operating system restore option
|Cyberlink DVD Suite
|one year collect and return