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I bought this laptop to replace my old trusty Sony Vaio which had seen better days after running flawlessly for nearly 6 years.
I regularly recommend laptops for friends/family and also at work. The main things I was looking for when I was looking for a new laptop were:
Processor Type and Speed - I'd recommend Intel Core 2 Duo (not the celerons) - the faster and more L2 cache memory on the processor the better. This one has a Core 2 Duo P7350 @ 2GHz 3Mb L2 Cache.
Screen - I watch a lot of movies and play online games so it had to be a widescreen with high resolution display - 1600 x 900 superbright LED on this one (not older LCD technology).
Graphics - Again, as a gamer and movie watcher onboard graphics is not going to cut it, a dedicated separate graphics card is a must have. This laptop has an ATI mobility HD4330 with an impressive 512Mb of dedicated memory.
Sound - if you are interested in using the laptop for playing music or watching movies this is more important than you might first think, often cheaper laptops can sound quite tinny or rattle when at higher volume - this laptop has decent speakers built in with a large Power Base Sub Woofer on the underside, to date its worked fine, I've never really seen a laptop with great speakers - output is 4 Watts.
Memory - The more memory and faster speed the memory runs at the better - but bear in mind if you are running a 32-bit version of windows (or any other operating system) you will only be able to actually use just over 3Gb of the memory, a 64-bit OS is needed to fully use it all - This laptop comes equiped with 4Gb (2 x 2GB) that runs at 800MHz (which is good for a laptop).
Hard drive - 320Gb of space to save your files, a good size and more than most will need.
DVDRW - BD ROM - can play DVD, CD and Blue-Ray, can burn DVD and CDs.
Ethernet - 10Mb/100Mb/1000Mb
Wireless - standard 802.11b/g allows you to connect to older wireless access points or newer G spec.
Bluetooth - note, not installed in this laptop, a bit disappointed with this as I used to bluetooth a lot between my phone and laptop.
Webcam - built in 1.3Mb camera, not something I will use much, quality is ok but no where near as good as the apple iSight web camera (see my seperate review of that)
Card Reader - handy for retrieving photos etc from camera memory cards, supported formats are SD, SDHC and MMC
Connections - 1 x HDMI, 3 USB (not 4 as advertised) , 1 x eSATA, Car Reader, Mic, Headphones, VGA and Ethernet
---Windows Vista or Windows 7---
Now...here's one bone of contention I have. When I bought this I was told that I would get a "free" upgrade to Windows 7 as it was shipped with Vista. On the first of December I could log on to Samsungs site and claim my free upgrade - turns out the "free" upgrade costs £17 (shipping and handling) which I think is pretty rediculous as the laptop cost £800 when I bought it and Windows 7 was on public release - one to watch out for, if you can get it shipped with Windows 7 go for it.
---Windows Experience Index Results---
Processor: Calculations per second = 5.5
Memory (RAM): Memory Operations per second = 5.8
Graphics: Desktop performance for Windows Aero = 4.5
Gaming Graphics: 3D Business and gaming graphics = 5.9
Primary hard disk: Disk data transfer rate = 5.5
I have ran from fully charged for almost 5 hours on a single charge, this will depend on what you are doing though. There is also a very handy battery indicator on the underside of the laptop that when pressed lets you know how much charge is left without having to switch on the laptop.
Not much to talk about here, you get a some trial software and some Samsung stuff thats really not worth mentioning.
Overall I am extremely impressed with this laptop, I have been using it now for a month and have upgraded to Windows 7 which runs a treat and is so much faster to boot up and load programs than Vista.
The first thing that I have to comment on is the screen, at just over 17 inches this display is pretty big for a laptop and its the best I have seen(and I work in IT so I've seen a few). The picture quality is simply stunning, its very sharp and the colours are very well defined. This is an LED not LCD display, the maximum (and recommended) resolution is 1600 x 900 - this allows you to watch HD movies at full screen and it also comes fitted with a Blu-Ray playing drive which is also a DVD writer.
The graphics card is a pretty good one for a laptop, it is capable of running most recent games and has 512Mb of memory built into the card.
The laptop if very sleek looking with a shiney Piano Black finish, one thing that I love about it is the keyboard which often gets overlooked on many reviews. This laptop boasts a full size keyboard with numberpad just like a desktop keyboard, the touchpad is also a good size and has a scrool function which I find useful when browsing up and down through documents.
This machine is very good for a laptop but I'd also recommend it to anyone thinking of replacing their desktop for a laptop - its simply that good.
Well I am not a big fan of Samsung atleast on the laptop arena but this new release in the newly formed R-Series is a great laptop to say the least. The best part I enjoyed about this one is the amazing LED display it has which has a very good anti-glare unlike the lower models in the R series. Also, a unique feature is providing absolute 16:9 ratio which actually means that you can watch a movie or play a game on the full screen, without any loss of detail or resolution. The laptop is available in different configurations for the different price ranges, but paying 750$ for a 4GB Ram for a sleek good looking laptop with a Core2Duo processor is a good buy. Its not an always carry around lap, with its size -17.3 inch screen makes it slightly cumbersome- its boon is also its bane but for once I do not have any complaints as the performance, atleast for the initial period has been far better than its predecessors as well as most competitors.