Samsung R780 review
A huge screen, plenty of features and a mouth-watering price make this an ideal value choice
Review Date: 29 Apr 2010
Reviewed By: David Bayon
Price when reviewed: £672 (£790 inc VAT)
Features & Design
Value for Money
Few laptops challenge Apple in the style stakes, but the Samsung R780 gives it a go. With its dark red "Touch of Colour" gradients and swirling pattern finish, it leaps out among the crowd. Even without the styling, it's a laptop that's hard to miss, given its 17.3in screen.
You may have already noticed the price, which looks low for such a monster, but there are reasons. For a start, that screen isn't Full HD, with Samsung opting for a less costly 1,600 x 900 resolution. That lessens the appeal of the included Blu-ray drive - you'll be limited to 720p playback - but it isn't a huge issue, as colours are gorgeous, contrast is good and the LED backlight is even and bright.
That large chassis comes with an equally large keyboard, stretching virtually from edge to edge. The Scrabble-tile design keeps the keys consistent in size, and the firm backing and light travel make it comfortable to use. We're not wholly convinced by the trackpad, with a mottled coating that doesn't like greasy fingers, but four tiny corner LEDs signal its position in the dark, and the buttons are responsive.
The other main reason for the low price is the choice of processor. On paper, you might expect the dual-core Core i5-430M in the R780 to perform worse than all but the Core 2 Duo parts. However, once again Intel's Turbo Boost technology made a big difference in practice: it managed a decent 1.55 in our benchmarks, even edging older Core i7s in laptops such as the Sony VAIO F11. The Nvidia GeForce GT 330M graphics averaged 29fps in Crysis at Medium settings, showing solid gaming potential too.
Battery life is unspectacular, lasting 3hrs 36mins when idle and a mere hour when pushed, but the Samsung remains portable. It weighs 2.85kg despite its size, and comes with 802.11bgn wireless and a 500GB hard disk. The slight disappointment is the choice of Windows 7 Home Premium 32-bit, meaning not all of that 4GB of RAM is recognised.
It may not be a true powerhouse like the Acer Aspire 8942G, but the £672 exc VAT price is far lower than you'd expect. The R780 is a joy to use, it's more portable than it looks, and it's streets ahead in terms of value for money.
Author: David Bayon
Have tried to source both Samsung R780 and R590 but sites just indicate 'no stock' or 'discontinued'
Whats going on?
By Dogmaels on 17 Nov 2010
I found a shop in Devon of all places where they have a limited stock of refurbished ones with 12 month warranty!
Got mine for £549 inc VAT.
It's a lovely locking laptop. This makes my 3rd Samsung laptop in a row. The just keep going and going!
By storm311 on 2 Dec 2010
Oopps.. Forgot the website address I found was www.cc-sw.co.uk. I remember phoning them as it wasn't on the website.
By storm311 on 2 Dec 2010
Ordered a R780 i5-460M with windows 7 64-bit from Debenhams extra on the 30th November and it arrived on the 3rd of December.
By Fifer67 on 8 Dec 2010
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