Product Type: Samsung laptops
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Samsung RV510 - Competitive Spec And Price, Stylish And Ergonomic
Member Name: hotrock4
Date: 21/08/11, updated on 22/08/11 (294 review reads)
Advantages: Quick, Decent Looking, Windows 7 Home Premium
Disadvantages: Lack Of Scroll Bar On Mouse Pad
After saving hard for quite some time I decided it was time for a new laptop so started to shop around and have a good look at what was available at the lower end of the price range. After not finding anything that really suited for the little I wanted to spend because I specifically wanted a full size laptop rather than a netbook I started looking at free laptops with mobile broadband without much luck so decided to hold fire for a while. My main reasons for wanting a laptop over a netbook was the need for a built in CD/DVD drive along with preferably a full size keyboard and a decent size screen.
Whilst browsing in my local 3 mobile store for my recently purchased HTC Wildfire that I have also recently reviewed, I checked out their mobile broadband deals. I was soon drawn to the "free" laptops with mobile broadband again as my current contract had actually come to an end and I could get a laptop along with 15GB of internet usage and a new dongle for just £15 a month more than I was paying for my current contract. Meaning that I could keep my wad of hard earned cash in my pocket, have a decent amount of internet usage each month, and walk out with the Samsung RV510 that I am reviewing I was sold and walked out more than happy with my new smartphone and laptop.
Once I had my laptop home it really was as simple as getting it out of the box clicking the battery into the back and turning it on. There was enough battery to get it through the initial start up which at a guess I would say lasted around 15 minutes including setting the time, date and passwords then also have an explore of the computer. During this process Windows 7 initialised and I was also pointed to the pretty comprehensive instruction manual that is installed on the computer for future use. I only really give this a cursory glance as the laptop was pretty straight forwards to begin to use and get the hang of. Recovery discs can be made at this point or put off until later if like me you just want to enjoy the new purchase. The initial start-up is as it sounds and is only a one time operation, after this the computer just heads straight into Windows 7 every time it starts up in pretty quick time.
Looks and Style:-
This Samsung comes with a glossy black lid with just "Samsung" written on the top in white and not overbearing lettering. The inside consists of a black and silver colour scheme with a full keyboard where pretty much all the keys are full sized, along with a full size number pad on the right hand side just like a standard keyboard. The keyboard is also very sturdy with no movement or flex in the middle like other laptops that I have used that feel like they could break over time if a little heavy fingered with typing, no such problem here. There is plenty of space in front of the keyboard allowing for an area to rest your wrists making it quite comfortable to type with.
The mouse pad has a matte silver finish which I do prefer to shiny with the usual two left and right mouse buttons. The only thing I think it is missing is a scroll bar by the side of the mouse pad to allow quick scanning through webpages and the like, but this is a small price to pay for an otherwise decent looking and stylish laptop. There is a feature that allows you to tap and hold your finger on the mouse pad and scroll down without using any buttons but I have found this to be a bit hit and miss as to whether it works properly and prefer just to use the mouse buttons and the on-screen side/bottom bars.
Overall a sleek and decent looking laptop I know the rage know is for the textured lids for laptops but in my personal opinion I do like the glossy shiny black finish with the only disadvantage being that it does attract or rather show up dust like nothing else I know. The gloss finish just needs a quick wipe over with a cloth though and it looks like new again. The overall dimensions aren't too bad either with the totals measuring approximately 38x27x3.6cms, the weight is around 2.5kg which does seem a little heavy at times but when you think this is roughly equivelent to 2.5 litres of water dosen't seem too bad for what you get.
Spec and Performance:-
This is by no means a top spec laptop or the best in the RV510 range however it does everything that I expect it do well, but would probably lack the power to play games or complete tasks that require and demand a lot from the system, I get the feeling it would start to run slowly at times.
I will just provide the basics on the processor and technical bits and bobs as I am by no means a computer buff but will do my best to give a decent overview. The laptop come provided with an Intel Celeron T3500 dual core processor, with a speed of 2.1GHZ which I am aware is by no means the fastest. Intel however is a brand I trust and not really heard anything bad about, the main thing I was concerned about here though was getting a dual core processor knowing that this would be more than be quick enough to suit my needs.
Not being top spec meant it come with 3GB of RAM rather than the 4GB in the more expensive models available in the same range, I have found this to be plenty and the laptop has always run fast enough for me, having me into my computer within 30 seconds of hitting the on switch and opening programs quickly. It does complete tasks such as using multiple internet windows very well, streams television from popular sites without any stuttering or loading times, and also downloads at a decent enough speed getting me a music album on my hard drive usually within 2 minutes of being purchased.
The screen is large clear and bright, measuring 15.6 inches from corner to corner, with LED HD technology in built giving excellent image quality and making viewing DVD's, TV and the like easy on the eyes not leaving them feeling strained and tired after just half hour of viewing. The only disappointment I had here was that the laptop doesn't have a HDMI out port so I cannot connect to my TV in HD but again not a major problem just a minor grumble.
At the top of the screen hidden discretely between the rubber tabs that stop the monitor closing onto the keyboard is a webcam. This produces nice clear images and there is no pixelation distortion or delay in images unless moving about really quickly, again another feature of this laptop that is well appreciated and works well enough to satisfy the at least the average consumer and probably more on top.
There is a standard monitor lead connection on the side which does allow this laptop to be connected to my TV or a bigger screen which is handy for catching up on programs or watching films when it isn't only me that wants to watch it. Sound does not transfer through this connection mind so a decent set of computer speakers may be a good investment here being simply connected through the standard headphone jack. The speakers do offer a decent quality sound but as with most laptops do struggle a bit at full volume with louder sounds, shouting, loud guitars etc do become a little tinny and grating on the ears. At this point I will quickly mention there is a microphone in port also connected by a standard size jack allowing the use of headsets for the use of Skype and voice recognition typing programs.
This laptop come pre-installed with Windows 7 Premium which was another important consideration as I will be paying for this laptop over time and wanted the most recent operating system I could lay my hands on so that it didn't become outdated as soon as I got my laptop home and out of the box. Another bonus I was not expecting was that a Microsoft Office Starter kit was included with Word and Excel provided free as far as I'm concerned these are the only Office programs I use so saved me further investment once I had my laptop. I will not go to in depth on the operating system as this review is of the laptop, however I will say it is supplied with everything needed to make the laptop useable from the offset such as, Media Player, Skype, the fore-mentioned Office Starter and the usual array of windows games, minesweeper, solitaire etc.
Connectivity wise there are 3 USB ports which are handy as one always has my broadband dongle plugged into it which leaves me with a couple available usually for a printer and memory stick or camera when sorting through and printing pictures. The automatic hardware recognition works well and I have not had to search for a single driver when it comes to installing products, on top all products that have come pre-installed with their own drivers have worked without a glitch.
There is a decent wireless connection that I have only had to use on a few occasions whilst at my parents' house and to transfer the odd file, their house is pretty large and I didn't manage to get out of signal from their broadband router, and when transferring files I needed from their computer to mine the connection was both simple to set up and give a decent file transfer time. It is also possible to transfer files to and from the computer using the Bluetooth facility which is most handy when using the laptop alongside older phones or those that do not have wireless capabilities, saving the need for unnecessary wires hanging about.
There is also a wired connection port to allow connection to laptops or PC's that do not have wireless capabilities. Unfortunately I cannot really comment any further on this as I have never had the need to use it.
The CD/DVD drive was an essential piece of kit for me as I do prefer to use copied CD's when taking them out in the car as I am not the most organized of people and find that once the originals are in my car they are often not seen in the house again having been lost under a seat in the glovebox or footwell, only to be scratched and ruined beyond any sort of use whatsoever. I also like to keep a library of my originals on my laptop for when out and about or staying away from home.
When writing files onto CD's and DVD's I have found the drive to be quick enough. By no means the quickest I have used but by the same token nowhere near unbearably slow, perfectly acceptable for a laptop of this sort of spec. There is also an SD slot handy for transferring pictures especially from our camera onto the hard drive, unfortunately no MicroSD slot though so most phone memory cards cannot be read. The pre-installed program supplied with Windows 7 for reading MicroSD cards works well and quickly and has never caused me any problems whilst transferring various types of media.
This leads nicely onto the hard drive which on my model is 320GB minus what the operating system and few extras take up. For some this may be considered as quite small but was not a major concern for me when choosing my laptop as 500GB external hard drives can now be picked up in the £40-£50 price range, a small investment for a lot of extra storage.
Last but by no means least the battery life on the laptop seems to offer on average around 3½ hours depending on what being used for. I find that if I use it solely for playing music or watching TV over the internet this can drop to around 2 - 2½ hours but still a pretty respectable battery life compared to other laptops I have used that can scarcely last an hour. When it comes to charging the battery tends to take around an hour just over to reach full charge from completely empty, again nothing to complain about here.
Overall a great all round laptop with nothing really to complain about other than a couple of issues, those being the lack of scroll bar on the mouse pad, and no HDMI output. I do however feel these are such small issues and that they are more things worth mentioning rather than complaining about and do no way detract from the overall usefulness of the laptop as a whole.
A great looking laptop now available on the spec reviewed for around the £260 mark offering great performance and style for the price as far as I'm concerned. I feel that this laptop fulfils my needs well for the reasons stated in the review and I would not hesitate at all to recommend a Samsung Laptop especially this model the RV510 to anybody at all.
If your willing to spend out £100 or so more the top spec crammed into the same model as this is pretty impressive and I should think will run as quick as anybody using a laptop could really expect it to, not that I have had any problems at all with the spec I have and it still runs at pretty quick speeds as far as I am concerned.
I do apologise for such a long review but wanted to get everything in as I understand a laptop is a major purchase for most people. I just hope everthing included has been of help and interest to those reading and/or considering a new laptop purchase.
5/5 Dooyoo Stars From Me.
Summary: Great All Round Laptop
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