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Samsung R620 review

Verdict

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)

Overall Rating
4 stars out of 6

Features & Design
5 stars out of 6

Value for Money
4 stars out of 6

Performance
5 stars out of 6

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

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