Samsung R620 review
Samsung's latest squeezes every last drop from its budget to include Blu-ray, dedicated graphics and a 16in panel
Review Date: 12 Oct 2009
Reviewed By: Sasha Muller
Price when reviewed: £583 (£670 inc VAT)
Features & Design
Value for Money
Samsung has developed a creditable habit of providing impossibly good specifications in its budget laptops, and the R620 is no exception. This laptop packs in not only a 16in screen, but also a Blu-ray drive - both surprising inclusions in such a reasonably priced laptop.
Alas, these luxuries aren't partnered with an especially striking display. While large, its resolution of 1,366 x 768 pixels means it doesn't make the best of bedfellows for HD movies, or any serious multitasking. You can sidestep the issue thanks to the HDMI port at the side, but we'd have preferred a higher-resolution display in the first place.
Image quality isn't stellar, with muted colours and weak contrast failing to capitalise on Blu-ray's strengths. And the weak, tinny speakers certainly don't help matters.
That 16in screen means it's a chunky old laptop, but it isn't a stout one. There's quite a bit of flex in evidence, both in the base and the screen itself. And, while we normally get on with Samsung's laptop keyboards, we weren't especially impressed by that of the R620. The light build extends to the keys themselves, which feel hollow under the finger. There isn't much wrong with the layout, and the numeric keypad is welcome, but it isn't a patch on its main rivals.
As you'd expect for the price, the Samsung doesn't boast the latest and greatest components. It does, however, make the best of what it has. The Intel Core 2 Duo T6500 processor is joined by an ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4330 graphics chipset, and it scored a middling 1.05 in our application-based benchmarks. Gaming performance was very capable too, with our basic 1,024 x 768, low quality Crysis benchmark returning an average of 41fps.
The R620 squeezes in a lot for its price, but it isn't quite the killer budget package it ought to be. If you need a keenly priced desktop replacement, forego the Blu-ray and opt for Samsung's cheaper and more balanced R720. Its battery life is marginally better too.
Author: Sasha Muller
- Nokia Lumia 2520 tablet sales halted over faulty charger
- Microsoft slashes custom XP support price
- Amazon Phone: does anyone want a 3D handset?
- Virgin email fiasco hits thousands of users
- Chrome Remote Desktop now available on Android
- Google posts "average quarter" with slow growth
- What's on this week's PC Pro podcast?
- BBC iPlayer lets Android devices download shows
- Google's Project Ara modular phone arrives in January
- Hackers harvest LaCie card data for a full year
- Windows 8.1 Update: an abject surrender
- The insane economics of Sky Now TV
- No such thing as a free app... so pay up if you want quality
- Time to outlaw crapware-laden installers
- Windows Phone 8.1 video: hands-on
- Office for iPad: key information
- Why every PC buyer owes Richard Durkin a debt of gratitude
- HTC One M8 vs Samsung Galaxy S5: 2014's big-hitters compared
- Windows XP end of life: key information
- Cut out the broadband jargon? What jargon?
- The great iPhone ripoff and how it works
- Heartbleed: what you need to know and do
- Data recovery: inside the clean room
- Best tablet PCs to buy in 2014
- How much RAM do you really need?
- News of the weird: the strangest ever tech stories
- Five hyped technologies: disruptive or not?
- Piracy's dying: why we're all going straight
- Office: should you buy it, rent it - or dump it?
- Make the most of your mobile data
- Make your mobile battery last longer
- Small steps into handling Big Data
- Nexus 5: does it really run stock Android?
- How to get broadband to a garden office
- How to write your company's IT security policy
- Raspberry Pi and Wolfram: a must-have for every child
- Could you get by with Office Web Apps?
- The best Android antivirus apps for 2014
- Headings vs headers: how to use both in Word
- Windows Server 2012 R2: how the Datacenter edition could change SMBs