I have been using Samsung R50 Since last six months which was bought in Germany. I have been using five different laptops in last 7 years and have never been 100% satisfied by any one of them. The brands which I have used are like HP, Sony, Dell, Toshiba and Samsung and the search still goes on. May be my expectations from my laptops are high. Here I will be comparing and reviewing Samsung R50 with other Laptops in the market. Please see that the same review appaers on ciao under my name.
Why I bought Samsung R50
Samsung is one of the Global leading brands in electronics. Samsung is comparatively a newcomer in the PC/laptop market. But I was aware that Samsung was a leading manufacturer and supplier to all major brands like HP,Dell,IBM etc. Samsung is one of the leading PC/laptop component manufacturer like LCD Screens, RAM memory, Hard disk etc. hence it made sense that the same company is assembling the laptops now. It made more sense to buy a laptop from a company which was also manufacturing the components. I was sure that they will try to use the best. This was evident when I saw Samsung R50, the LCD which is about 15.4 inch was very different and sleek. It stood apart from all other Laptop LCDs. One immediately notices the difference. Moreover it was pretty cost effective and one of the Best priced models.
The major factors for me to buy a laptop was weight, Battery power, Processor speed (I wanted Centrino), Screen size, video graphic card, Cost and support. The RAM and the HDD were pretty standard to most of the Laptops.
I wanted to buy a laptop which was cheaper in cost, was good for Audio video applications as well as for business applications.
Any Laptop can be a good Audio video Laptop if it has a very good Graphics card (this has ATI mobility graphic card with 64 MB RAM), It has a sleek wide screen LCD and for business applications like MS office and Emails, it has L2 cache of 2 MB. This satisfied my technical needs.
Features of the laptop
The R50 which i bought was a Intel centrino Processor (Intel Pentium M 740), 1.73 Ghz, 512 DDR SDRAM (max. 2 GB), 60 GB HDD, 5 in 1 card reader, 15.4 inch TFT LCD with max. 1280X800 resolution, wide screen, ATI Mobility Radeon with 64 MB RAM and other standard features like Stereo Sound card, Keyboard, Touchpad, Fax modem card, Ethernet adaptor, Wireless card, windows XP home edition, AV station, Easy box etc.
It has four USB slots, Stereo speakers, DVDRW/CDRW player dual, which means that you can read and write the 7-8 GB DVD. Other interesting thing is that it has a Memory stick slot which means that I can just put my SD card from my Digital camera into the Slot and can watch and edit my Photos or clips. This has reduced my pain of connecting the cables with my Digital camera and downloading the Photo/clips. It is cool indeed. I can also use dual screen as and when required. It has all the traditional slots like the LPT parallel port and serial ports
It comes along windows XP home edition and also with host of Samsung Software like AV station Premium where you can watch all the movies clippings and edit them as well. This is something like windows media player and windows movie maker combined. On AV station one can also create a album, view photos and edit them. They also have preloaded PowerDVD software to watch DVDs
Samsung R50 is also has a software called easybox, here one can do some system administration work like data de-fragmentation, security, desktop configuration and other system configuration. The same job can be done in Windows XP as well, but I think this is bit easier to handle and Samsung has loaded easybox for people who not at all technical.
There are also other standard software like battery manager, command centre, network manager, smart screen, Samsung Theme (where one can change the login screen format). These are all pretty standard software. Most of them I feel is not required.
You get few manuals along with the Laptop. One of them is the FirstWare Recover Pro.Along with the manual, there are two CDs where one is for System recovery mostly meant for Microsoft XP and related software for recovery in case of disaster and the other is called system software media where you can recover all the applications and drivers for Samsung R50. It also includes a licensed XP software certificate. Recovery Pro manual is in several European languages and gives most of the details in case of crash or emergency and how to recover them.
Warranty and support: The Laptop contains a Warranty manual in hard copy. There is one year warranty against defect in material or workmanship. Please note that this is return to base warranty which means that the buyer has to carry it to the Samsung support centre for any repairs. This is very bare minimum support.
There is another higher level of support called fastGuard which costs around 100 Pounds but it is free presently for one year if the buyer registers on the Samsung website within a month of purchase of the laptop. Samsung usually give 90 days of fastGuard service free. This sort of fast track for support or defects if required. This fast track is only applicable if you are resident of the same country where you have pruchased the laptop. For example if you are based in UK but have purchsed the laptop in US, then it may be difficult to get fast track support although you are under the warranty. For such customers there is a facility of global support.
Samsung R50 is very good for business applications as well as for Audio-Video applications like watching TV, movies, clips, Playing Games etc. It has a very advance TFT LCD which is very difficult to find in any laptop. It is quite cost effective as well