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Samsung RV520 review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £475
inc VAT

A simple laptop with a budget processor, integrated graphics and half a terabyte of hard disk space for just £420; catch it while you can

We’ve long praised Samsung for its stylish laptop designs, and the RV520 – the 15in cousin of the RV720 – is no exception. It has a smart matt silver case with a pinstripe texture on its two-tone lid and a glossy black keyboard panel. Most of its edges are tapered into smooth curves and, despite its plastic construction, it feels sturdy. Apart from the reduced screen size and resolution, there are very few differences between this and the Samsung RV720.

Samsung RV520

While none of its parts is particularly exciting, the RV520 is certainly more than the sum of them: the budget Intel Core i3 processor, 4GB of RAM, 500GB hard disk and integrated graphics are what we’d expect at this price. There aren’t any new technologies to surprise us here. Even its three USB ports conform to the older USB2 specification.

Samsung RV520

Even so, you’re getting the same processor and hard disk that you’d find on other laptops here, but for about £80 less. However, it’s not all smooth sailing. Firstly, its screen has a strong blue cast that dulls flesh tones and makes it more suited to working with documents than watching movies. It’s bright and has decent contrast, although its backlight is a bit uneven, and the glossy finish can reflect overhead lights. Coupled with tight vertical viewing angles, this means that you’ll have to adjust the screen’s tilt carefully to get the best picture.

Second is the keyboard. Despite the inclusion of a numberpad to the right of the main keyboard, Samsung has left a centimetre on each side; we’d have preferred larger keys instead. They do have a light action, though, and despite a slight wobble they provided adequate feedback. The layout is standard too, with the Control key having been placed in the bottom left corner and the Function key modifying the F1-F12 keys to activate shortcuts.

Samsung RV520

The RV520 has a large touchpad, which we found to be responsive and smooth. It supports scrolling areas and multi-touch gestures, and has two separate buttons set close to the edge of the case.

Sadly, there’s little left to talk about. There are only three USB2 ports, and the memory card slot only supports SD cards (although these are the most popular kind, admittedly) rather than Sony’s Memory Stick or older MMC or xD cards. Battery life, at five hours and 45 minutes, is average for this price, but you’re unlikely to carry the RV520’s 2.4kg very far from a power socket anyway.

Samsung RV520

The RV520 is becoming rarer by the day, so if you fancy one then don’t delay. It’s fantastic value, especially at its current low price, and so wins our Budget Buy award.

Basic Specifications

ProcessorIntel Core i3-2330M
Processor clock speed2.2GHz
Memory slots2
Memory slots free0
Maximum memory8GB
SoundRealtek HD Audio
Pointing devicetouchpad


Viewable size15.6 in
Native resolution1,366×768
Graphics ProcessorIntel HD Graphics 3000
Graphics/video portsVGA, HDMI
Graphics Memory64MB


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

Ports and Expansion

USB ports3
Wired network ports1x 10/100/1000
Wireless networking support802.11n
PC Card slotsnone
Supported memory cardsSDHC
Other portsminijack audio output, minijack microphone input


Carrying caseNo
Operating systemWindows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Operating system restore optionrestore partition
Software includedCyberLink Media Suite 8, Microsoft Office 2010 Starter

Buying Information

Warrantyone year collect and return

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