Samsung R730 review

Kat Orphanides
14 Apr 2010
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Samsung R730
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
inc VAT

Well designed, with an incredible screen and decent battery life – a great choice if you need an inexpensive desktop replacement


Samsung's recent laptops have really impressed us, so we were hoping that the company could continue its fine form on a tight budget. Fortunately, we weren't let down by the 17.3in R730. For starters, it looks gorgeous from the outside and looks much more expensive than its budget price.

As soon as we turned the computer on, we were impressed by the display. Bright and evenly lit, with excellent contrast and stunning colour reproduction, this screen is one of the best that we've seen. Its glossy coating may not be to all tastes, but it helps boost colour vibrancy and contrast. Its resolution of 1,600x900 means there's loads of space for the Windows desktop and applications.

Fortunately, the quality continues throughout the laptop. We found that it was a capable all-rounder. Thanks to the 4GB of RAM and 2.1GHz Intel Pentium Dual Core T4300 processor, the R730 managed an overall score of 61 in our benchmark tests: it will cope with most tasks well. The only slight disappointment is that the 32-bit Windows 7 Home Premium can only use 3.5GB of the laptop's maximum 4GB of RAM.

At this price you can't expect dedicated graphics, and the Intel GMA 4500M chip isn't up to 3D gaming. It will decode HD video, and you can plug the laptop into an HD TV using the HDMI output.

Of course, decent performance is nothing if a laptop's uncomfortable to use, but the R730 didn't let us down. We found the size of the laptop meant the wrist wrest was large enough to offer decent support when typing. The large keyboard is excellent and we found that we could type quickly and accurately. The touchpad is accurate and conveniently placed in the centre of the laptop. It lies flush with the case, but the edges light up when the touchpad's active helping you find it in the dark.

The R730's built in speakers can output plenty of volume. Like most laptop speakers, they lack bass, but their audio output is clear and undistorted even at maximum volume.

The 320GB hard disk isn't bad at this price and should give you plenty of room for all of your media files and documents. There's no eSATA port for fast external storage, but there are three USB ports to connect external storage or peripherals. The memory card reader supports SD, SDHC and MMC formats, which allows you to use the most common digital camera memory cards.

There's a 10/100 wired Ethernet port, while the integrated wireless adaptor supports fast 802.11n Wi-Fi. Battery life of just over three-and-a-half hours is pretty good. While you're unlikely to lug the R730's 2.8kg weight around with you, it's useful being able to move away from a power socket around your house or in your garden.

Budget laptops are often a product of severe corner cutting, but the R730 doesn't do that. Provided that gaming isn't important, this laptop has everything you need: a comfortable keyboard, fast processor and gorgeous display. For the price it's an absolute bargain if you're looking for a cheap desktop replacement.

Basic Specifications

ProcessorIntel Pentium Dual Core T4300
Processor clock speed2.1GHz
Memory slots2
Memory slots free0
Maximum memory4GB
SoundRealtec High Definition Audio
Pointing devicetouchpad


Viewable size17.3 in
Native resolution1,600x900
Graphics ProcessorIntel GMA 4500M
Graphics/video portsVGA, HDMI
Graphics Memory32MB


Total storage capacity320GB
Optical drive modelTSST TS-L633C
Optical drive typeDVD+/-RW +/-DL

Ports and Expansion

USB ports3
Wired network ports1x 10/100
Wireless networking support802.11n
PC Card slotsnone
Supported memory cardsSD, SDHC, MMC
Other portsnone


Carrying caseNo
Operating systemWindows 7 Home Premium 32-bit
Operating system restore optionrestore partition, burn own restore disc
Software includedCyberlink DVD Suite 6, Cyberlik YouCam 2, Microsoft Works 9
Optional extrasnone

Buying Information

Warrantyone year collect and return

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