Samsung R780 review
An upgrade that fills the remaining gaps in what is now a great-value desktop replacement
Review Date: 17 Sep 2010
Reviewed By: David Bayon
Price when reviewed: £948 (£1,114 inc VAT)
Features & Design
Value for Money
For those who'd rather enjoy a big screen and plenty of features than carry a laptop around all day, Samsung's spacious R780 ticks all the boxes. It's been a popular choice with us since we first saw it around six months ago, with its slick Touch of Colour finish really setting it apart from the brash chrome-and-lights styling of most 17.3in desktop replacements.
It's had a couple of updates since, but none of that design has changed. The wavy fingerprint lines give it an organic look that's unbroken by anything but the black Scrabble-tile keys - the speaker grilles are as discreet as we've seen, and even the mouse buttons keep that red gloss intact. The multitouch touchpad has four little blue corner LEDs so you'll know where you are at a glance, and the slightly mottled coating - while not kind to sweaty fingers - gives a nice amount of friction and feedback.
As you'd hope, that keyboard is huge, with none of the miniaturisation that plagues smaller laptops, and with room for a full set of Function keys and a numeric keypad. The backing has a little bounce to it, but the keys have the ideal amount of travel and there's plenty of wrist-rest to keep you comfortably typing in any position.
Look up from there and you're greeted by a 17.3in screen with an even, bright backlight and plenty of vibrancy to its colours. It's glossy, but not disruptively so, and viewing angles are as wide as you'd hope given its potential for watching movies in a bedroom or a hotel room.
This is where it first stumbles, however, as Samsung has stuck with a 1,600 x 900 resolution. It isn't a bad desktop experience, and the sharpness is perfectly acceptable, but as Samsung has chosen to add a Blu-ray drive to enhance the R780's media credentials, we'd have much preferred a Full HD screen to go with it.
The i7-620m is dual-core.
By Mickyb on 18 Sep 2010
My brother in law bought the Core i5 version, which I had to set up for him. It is a very nice machine, but the glossy finish is horrible to work with.
I bough a Sony Core i7 F series, with Full HD display and a textured wrist wrest.
With the Sony, those stupid stickers peeled right off the textured wrist rest, with no problems. On the Samsung, it took me over an hour to get all the residue from the glue off the shiny surface - at one point, I thought I'd ruined the surface, but it was just stubborn glue.
The B-i-L found the lower resolution display excellent, he is older, wears glasses and the full HD on my Sony was too small for him.
He certainly liked the performance, but he was coming from a 1Ghz Celeron laptop, so it was hardly surprising...
The Samsung is a very nice machine, but personally, I'd go with the matt finish of my Sony every time.
Also, as Mickyb said, the i7-620m is dual core, with hyper threading, the i7-620QM (as in my Sony) is quad core, with hyper threading). ;-)
By big_D on 19 Sep 2010
You're absolutely right, it's dual-core. Now corrected. Now if someone could nip round to Intel and punch the chap in charge of naming processors, that would be lovely.
By DavidBayon on 20 Sep 2010
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