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Samsung R540 review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £527
inc VAT

A smart and well-built laptop, the R540 is powerful enough but lacks a dedicated graphics processor

The R540 is a gorgeous-looking laptop. It may be made of plastic, but the glossy brushed-metal effect on the lid and keyboard panel look really classy, even if they are prone to picking up greasy fingerprints. Its beauty isn’t skin-deep either: inside, there’s an Intel Core i3 processor and a generous 500GB hard disk.

The processor is the latest Core i3-370M, running at 2.4GHz, and it helped the R540 to a score of 87 overall. In fact in each test, the R540 managed to beat all the other laptops equipped with a Core i3-370M. Thanks to Intel’s Hyper-Threading technology it doesn’t slow down much when you run multiple applications.

There’s no dedicated graphics chip, however, as the R540 relies on the Core i3’s integrated graphics chip. This can handle HD video, but in our Call of Duty 4 test it only scored 11fps. Even with the settings turned down you’re unlikely to be able to get a playable frame rate in a modern 3D game.

Samsung R540 ports

We were a bit disappointed with the R540’s expansion potential. While you get the obligatory HDMI port, which lets you output both audio and video to a larger screen, there are no eSATA ports and no ExpressCard slot. You do get three USB ports – the bare minimum – and support for 802.11n WiFi, but Bluetooth isn’t installed and the network port runs at 100Mbit/s. The memory card slot accepts only SD and SDHC formats, so if have an older digital camera you may need a USB reader.

Samsung R540 Side

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Basic Specifications

ProcessorIntel Core i3-370M
Processor clock speed2.4GHz
Memory slots2
Memory slots free0
Maximum memory8GB
SoundRealtek HD Audio
Pointing devicetouchpad


Viewable size15.6 in
Native resolution1,366×768
Graphics ProcessorIntel GMA HD
Graphics/video portsVGA, HDMI
Graphics Memory128MB


Total storage capacity500GB
Optical drive typeDVD+/-RW +/-DL

Ports and Expansion

USB ports3
Wired network ports1x 10/100
Wireless networking support802.11b/g/n
PC Card slotsnone
Supported memory cardsSD
Other portsminijack audio output, minijack microphone input


Carrying caseNo
Operating systemWindows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Operating system restore optionbackup and recovery software
Software includedMicrosoft Office 2010 Starter
Optional extras£61

Buying Information

Warrantyone year RTB

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