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Samsung R780 (NP-R780-JS02UK) review

Barry de la Rosa
11 Mar 2010
Expert Reviews Best Buy Logo
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.

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Specifications

17.3 in 1,600x900 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 1,600x900 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*****
ProcessorIntel Core i3-330M
Processor clock speed2.13GHz
Memory4.00GB
Memory slots2
Memory slots free0
Maximum memory8GB
Size40x411x273mm
Weight2.8kg
SoundRealtek High Definition Audio
Pointing devicetouchpad

Display

Viewable size17.3 in
Native resolution1,600x900
Graphics ProcessorNvidia GeForce GT 330M
Graphics/video portsVGA, HDMI
Graphics Memory1,024MB

Storage

Total storage capacity500GB
Optical drive modelTEAC DV-W28S-V
Optical drive typeDVD+/-RW +/-DL

Ports and Expansion

USB ports4
Bluetoothyes
Wired network ports1x 10/100/1000
Wireless networking support802.11n
PC Card slots1x ExpressCard/34
ModemNo
Supported memory cardsSD, MMC
Other portseSATA (shared with USB socket), minijack audio output, minijack microphone input

Miscellaneous

Carrying caseNo
Operating systemWindows 7 Home Premium 32-bit
Operating system restore optionbackup and recovery software
Software includedMicrosoft Works 9
Optional extrasExtra battery, £96

Buying Information

Warrantyone year collect and return
Price£671
Detailswww.samsung.com/uk
Supplierhttp://www.laptopsdirect.co.uk

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