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Samsung R780 (NP-R780-JS02UK) review

Samsung R780
Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £671
inc VAT

An attractive design, solidly-built case, large bright screen and great all-round performance justify every penny of the R780's price, and it's a deserving award winner.


17.3 in 1,600×900 display, 2.8kg, 2.13GHz Intel Core i3-330M, 4.00GB RAM, 500GB disk, Windows 7 Home Premium 32-bit

Samsung’s R780 is a 17.3in widescreen laptop that’s been designed to replace a standard desktop PC, providing power in both standard Windows applications and games. We’re happy to report that it pulls it off.

Performance from the 2.13GHz Core i3-330M processor and 4GB of RAM was excellent, with an overall score of 77 in our benchmarks. This means that this laptop can handle pretty much any job that you’d want to throw at it.

While this processor has integrated graphics, Samsung has decided to go for dedicated graphics instead. It’s a good choice as the Nvidia GeForce GT 330M managed to power this laptop to smooth 29.2fps in our Call of Duty 4 test.

While that’s not a score that would impress a desktop gamer, for a laptop it’s pretty good, and it means that you’ll be able to run the latest games, albeit at lower settings than you would on a desktop PC. Action games such as Crysis will have problems, and you’ll have to turn off most of the eye candy to get a good frame rate, but adventure, strategy and role-playing games, especially those optimised for internet play, will run smoothly and look great.

Despite all of this power, not to mention the size of the screen, we were pleasantly surprised by the battery life of just over three hours. That’s plenty for using this computer around the home.

The screen has a glossy finish, which means that overhead lighting can be easily reflected, and vertical viewing angles are restricted. We also noticed a red cast, which reduces the accuracy of colours but makes movies and pictures feel warmer. The backlight is bright and even. The main benefit of a larger screen is that you get a higher 1,600×900 resolution, which is perfect for working on multiple documents.

The keyboard sits in a small cut-away area so that the keys look more exposed, and the “chiclet” design – flat tops, rounded edges and a nice gap between each key – enhances this effect. The keys’ action is light, but with just enough resistance at the top of the stroke to provide feedback for touch typists. The layout is standard, although the arrow keys aren’t well differentiated and push other keys out of their normal positions. A four-column numberpad sites on the right side.

The touchpad consists of a translucent textured area below the keyboard, and Samsung has added a small blue LED in each corner to help delineate it. It’s large and responsive, but the seesaw button below it is flush with the case and has little travel. Thankfully it also has a light action and is quite comfortable to use.

Sound from the internal speakers was clear and loud, but lacked bass, and you’ll want to connect to a home cinema or hi-fi system if you’re serious about using the R780 for movies or music. There’s an HDMI port for audio and video output, but sadly no S/PDIF digital audio output. There’s also a shared eSATA port if you want to connect external storage when you’ve filled the large 500GB hard disk, and a 34mm ExpressCard slot.

The R780 is a fantastic desktop replacement laptop. It’s quick in both desktop applications and games, and is a pleasure to use. It wins a Best Buy award.

Basic Specifications

Rating *****
Processor Intel Core i3-330M
Processor clock speed 2.13GHz
Memory 4.00GB
Memory slots 2
Memory slots free 0
Maximum memory 8GB
Size 40x411x273mm
Weight 2.8kg
Sound Realtek High Definition Audio
Pointing device touchpad


Viewable size 17.3 in
Native resolution 1,600×900
Graphics Processor Nvidia GeForce GT 330M
Graphics/video ports VGA, HDMI
Graphics Memory 1,024MB


Total storage capacity 500GB
Optical drive model TEAC DV-W28S-V
Optical drive type DVD+/-RW +/-DL

Ports and Expansion

USB ports 4
Bluetooth yes
Wired network ports 1x 10/100/1000
Wireless networking support 802.11n
PC Card slots 1x ExpressCard/34
Modem No
Supported memory cards SD, MMC
Other ports eSATA (shared with USB socket), minijack audio output, minijack microphone input


Carrying case No
Operating system Windows 7 Home Premium 32-bit
Operating system restore option backup and recovery software
Software included Microsoft Works 9
Optional extras Extra battery, £96

Buying Information

Warranty one year collect and return
Price £671

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