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Packaging and Accessories
Depending on where you bought this laptop will depend on the type of packaging, I bought mine from in store and so if you order this online it may arrive differently. The Samsung rv515 comes in a large cardboard box. On top of the box is a picture of the laptop. On the bottom of the box there is some information about the laptop along with the technical specification of the laptop itself. On the sides of the box there is some samsung branding and not much else. The box is pretty standard and is recyclable, it isn't presented to well but it is a strong and durable box and it protected the laptop well in transport.
When you open the box there is the laptop protected by plastic material. When you lift out the laptop the cardboard box splits up into different compartments. There is a power supply and plug which is also protected in plastic and also there are some booklets containing information about the Samsung rv51. The last thing in the box is the battery which is also protected in plastic. As I said before everything is well packaged and is well protected in the box.
Design and Build
After you install the battery into the laptop if you look on the bottom you will see the switches to lock the battery into place and then there is a few vents and the compartment where you can upgrade your ram if you choose to. There is also all of the screws that holds the laptop together. On the top of the laptop the lid is a silver colour with lines running through it. There is also some samsung branding on the top written in silver.
On the back of the laptop there is nothi except for the bracket which allows you to lift the screen up and down. On the right side of the laptop the is the Kensington lock which allows you to lock the laptop. There is also a usb port and then there is a full sized dvd reader with a button to open and close it. On the left hand side there is all the connections such as a headphone and microphone jack, a sd card reader, a vga output socket, there is a hdmi port and two more usb ports. Then there is also the plug for the power supply on the right as well. All of the usb ports as far as i am aware are usb 2.0 ports and I don't think there is a usb 3.0 port on the rv515.
When you lift up the screen there is the webcam and microphone at the top of the screen. There is also the 15.6 inch screen and then there is nothing else. On the bottom you will find the full qwerty keyboard with a number pad and media buttons. Here is a trackpad and two physical buttons which work like a mouse. The only other thing that is on the laptop is some led lights for things such as hardware activity and charging.
The actual design of the Samsung rv515 is in my opinion excellent. the black and chrome colour scheme works well and makes the laptop look smart and sleek. There are some bad things about the design though, one is that crumbs and dust collect around the top of the laptop, this is easily cleared however dust and crumbs also collect around the keyboard and because the keys are very slim it is quite hard to clean it.
There is some good spacing between the keys and they are quite large, the laptop is built with some strong plastic and it feels strong and durable when you are using it. The Samsung rv515 isn't that heavy considering that it has a large battery and a full disc drive, I wouldn't recommend holding it with one hand though. the overall build quality of the laptop is excellent with only a few improvements that I could find, for the price I think that Samsung have done a good job of making a high quality laptop.
AMD Dual Core E-Series E-350
500GB Hard Drive
AMD Radeon HD 6470M
15.6 inch, 16:9, 1366x768 pixels,
The Samsung RV515 comes preinstalled with windows 7 which is one of the newer operating systems that windows has made, Windows 8 is the newest operating system. The laptop comes pre installed with some other good software which comes free when you buy the laptop. Such as Microsoft office starter which is a very basic version of microsoft office, you can only use word and excel and you do not have all the features but it is free.
Windows 7 also has all the other previous features such as passwording the account or having multiple accounts on one computer. you also have the shortcuts such as Task Manager and the media buttons. Windows 7 also benefits from having more options when you click shortcuts as different menus will pop up which will allow you to click multiple things. Windows 7 works well and isn't very complicated.
Windows 7 has some upgrades compared to the older operating systems and it is a smoother and newer look on the old operating systems. The layout hasn't changed much as you still have the windows buttons, program folders, my documents and also the icons on the computer screen such as recycling bin and the internet explorer. The operating system is very easy to adapt to as if you have used a windows computer before then it is basically the same thing with newer features.
The Windows 7 operating system works very well on the samsung RV515 and it is much better than the previous operating systems in my opinion. Windows 7 responds and works smoothly and I have had no problems using Windows 7 on the laptop. The Laptop also benefits from good technical specifications which means that the operating system has almost no lag and I have never had a time where the laptop has frozen.
One of the good things with Windows 7 is the amount of external software that you can buy for the laptop, along with security software you can also get games, video editing and photo editing software and also many other different types of software. Windows 7 benefits by supporting loads of software.
One of the downsides of Windows operating systems is that you have to buy security software otherwise the laptop could have viruses which steal your information or stop your computer from working properly. The software is not that expensive but it is good to have as it protects your computer, you can also get free basic versions of antivirus software. Also some software is also incredibly expensive such as some of the animation software, or even microsoft office is extremely expensive to put onto the laptop.
One thing that I am extremely impressed when it comes to the Samsung rv515 is the battery life, it is incredible. I have been using this laptop for a long time but the battery still gives the same charge length. When you fully charge the battery it will last around six hours without having to recharge the battery in between. It does take a while to charge the battery but if you are like me and only use the laptop for a few hours at a time then it will last a few days.
Another great feature about the battery is that it comes with different modes to save battery life or use more. I usually leave mine on power saving or economical as the battery lasts the longest however battery life does depend on what you are using the laptop for and so if you are running some very heavy applications then the battery may not last six hours for example if you are using the laptop to play video games.
Like I said the only Downsides is a larger battery means more weight and a longer charge time but that doesn't bother me as I only have to charge the laptop up every few days. Overall I think that the battery life is excellent and this is a laptop that you should consider if you want a laptop that lasts a long time on a single charge.
The Screen is a hd screen as it is 720p however it is not a full hd screen as the resolution is not 1080p. The screen does however have some very nice colours, they are rich and deep and it makes it a very nice experience looking at images on the screen. The colours also means that watching videos on the laptop is very nice. The Screen is also 15.6 inches which means that you can do more such as reading without scrolling. The Screen means that you cannot watch full hd video which is a downside but most of the time it is more than enough.
The Webcam is 0.3 Megapixel which means that the quality isnt that good however if you are looking for a webcam just to take some video and some pictures then it should be more than enough to satisfy. The video quality is not HD which is a downside but then i do not use the webcam at all anyway so to me it is fine.
The Keyboard and Trackpad works very well, the keys are very responsive and they work very well. They are very slim and the keys have a very nice response and feel to them. the keys are also quite spaced out which means that it is harder for the wrong key to be hit. The Keyboard also has a full number pad on the right of the keyboard which means that certain tasks become easier. The trackpad is also very nice and it is also very responsive and had a nice feel, you do have to sometimes hit the keys more than once but this doesn't happen to me that often.
The speakers and the microphone on the laptop also work very well. The microphone picks up most of the sound and when you are talking it also seems to pick up some background noise but not much. The speakers are loud and the sound is nice, however they are not high end and when the volume goes up the sound also becomes distorted, also you cannot hear all of the instruments and vocals in the songs or videos.
There is built in wifi in this laptop which means that you can use the laptop on the internet anywhere as long as you have a wifi connection, there is also a ethernet port which means that you can also use the internet on a wire if you prefer that. The connectivity on the laptop is also very good, there are plenty of usb ports on the laptop, there is three and in my opinion that is plenty as i have never used more than two at once, they are also very quick and easy to use.
The Samsung RV515 comes pre installed with 4gb of ram which uses a single ram slot, the laptop however does have two ram slots which means if you want to increase the ram and the speed of your computer then you can buy another 4GB ram dimm and then you will have 8gb which will then increase the speed of your laptop.
The Laptop also comes pre installed with some software such as Microsoft office 2010 starter which like i have previously said is a very basic version of word. When you buy the laptop there is also some other software such as i got Norton internet security 60 day trial for free. There is also some very good other software that comes with it for free.
The 500gb hard drive is also more than enough for me as i do not keep anything on the hard drive other than the programs that i install, however for some people the hard drive may not be enough, i am unsure whether or not you can upgrade the Hard drive without breaking the warranty or anything like that. Also the hard drive is not actually 500gb it is actually around 450gb as the operating system and other files take up some of the hard drive. I think that 500gb is quite generous although many hard driver go up to 1tb, i do not use that much storage but i think that it is still a great hard drive and it works well.
The Laptop does have built in shortcuts such as task manager and other things. the laptop also powers up relatively quickly although it is not really fast. The laptop does not get too hot either as there are plenty of ventilation and there is also plenty of fans to keep the airflow moving. the laptop is also very quite and it does not make much noise at all.
the RV515 does have a VGA port on the left hand side and also a HDMI port on the left as well. this means that if you have the right cables then you can hook up the laptop to a TV or a computer screen and you can use the laptop on the computer screen, this is a very nice feature if you are watching a film and you put the laptop on to the TV as you can watch it on the TV. I have used this a few times and i think that it works very well.
The one feature that this laptop has which i think is a nice addition is the full disc drive. There is a full disc drive that pops out when you click the button, this is good if you have software which you need to install by a disk however i haven't used it as pretty much everything that we use now you can either download online or it doesn't come on a disk, however i do think that it is a very nice addition for anyone who needs it. many laptops nowadays do not include a disc drive and although i don't use it i think that it must be really useful for some people.
The Samsung RV515 does has some impressive specs and does come with a dedicated mobile graphics card which is the Amd Radeon 6470M which has 2gb of dedicated memory. however the computer does lack the proper specification to run a lot of games. This laptop is not built as a gaming laptop and so I would not recommend this laptop if you are looking for a gaming laptop.
The graphics in this laptop along with the ram and cpu means that you can run some games which do not need much to run, it also means that the laptop can easily put up HD videos and pictures as the graphics card also powers the screen. However if you are looking to play high end games on this laptop I do not think that it will work.
If you are looking for a laptop to do some casual gaming or if you need a laptop which has a decent graphics card to use some software then this is a good laptop to buy. I do not play games on the RV515 and so I cannot comment on how they run, I also do not use any graphic heavy applications or software, I can say that if you are looking for a laptop to use like most users for internet browsing and other things then the graphics will easily hold up. The dedicated graphics card I believe has its own fan but it does not create much heat or noise unless it is under a lot of strain which for me it almost never is.
The Processor is a dual core AMD Processor which is pretty powerful, it is not the top end processor and it doesn't perform well under very heavy tasks but overall it performs very well. It seems to be able to run everything very well and the operating system and all of the software that I use works perfectly on it. When I am using the laptop there is almost no lag and I have never had a time where the laptop has completely frozen. Generally AMD is not as good as Intel in my own experience but I have had no problem with this laptop so far and so I cannot complain, everything runs smoothly and I have had no problems.
The Only thing that i consider to be a bad thing with this laptop is that there is no indicator to show when the caps lock is on, this means that when you are typing if you accidently hit the caps lock then you have to retype it all as you do not know whether or not the caps lock is on.
Other than that i don't think that there is any other problem as far as i know, the price is great for what you get and i think that The Samsung RV515 is a great laptop.
Overall I think that the Samsung RV515 is an excellent laptop for the money that I paid for it and I would rate it 5 out of 5 stars. The Battery life is excellent, as if the software and the operating system that comes with the Laptop, The screen and speakers are all very good and I have found that for casual use and for some certain tasks such as light gaming the laptop performs very well. I have used the laptop for a long time now and I can say that it is an excellent laptop. There are a few things that I feel could be improved such as there being a caps lock indicator but other than that i don't think that there is anything wrong with this laptop.
I think that for the cost this laptop is very good, it is much cheaper than many other laptops but it is still built very well and it still contains some great features.
I think that I would recommend this laptop to anyone who is looking for a reliable and durable laptop to use for standard use such as web browsing and music and so on. I would not recommend this laptop if you are looking to game on it or use it for very graphical application or heavy processing applications as the laptop may not be able to cope.
Where to buy
You can buy this laptop from many major retailers such as PC World and Currys however I have found that if you order the laptop online then it seems to be the cheapest, I searched and I found that the cheapest price was on Amazon which is around the £350 Mark however this does go up and down.
Thank You For Reading My Review
My previous laptop had just had its fifth birthday. In human terms, not that long - but a lifetime for a laptop. I was looking for a replacement with two quite polarized requirements; it needed to be cheap but also decent. Multiply these requirements by the fact I'm not that tech savvy and I was facing quite a tough purchasing decision. I've become quite attached to Samsung of late, with a Samsung TV and Samsung phone - I decided I take a look at Samsung for laptops firstly. I like the build and quality of the Samsung products I already have - so figured their laptop range would not only be of similar semi-decent quality, but it was a brand I'm starting to trust.
First I looked at Amazon.co.uk, searching 'Samsung laptop' after a brief run through the results - totting up average reviews versus price I quickly found a 5* right at the lower end of my price range
At £319 for the 15" model I made a quick decision. Now, I looked at the spec, and you can too - and if makes sense to you, great - but if you're like me, you'll want to know how it actually performs hands on. (the only bit I understand is the harddrive at 500gb, a decent size and more than enough for me)
Out of the box and with minimal set up its running Windows 7. I'll admit, it didn't at first feel as lightening quick as I hoped - fairly responsive but a little sluggish. A bit of a let down. Conversely to this, despite taking a little while to do things it looked great doing them. The screen is super vibrant - the colours are bright, smooth and watching a movie on it in bed feels like a premium experience. Another boon is the keyboard, its full sized and crammed with little bits if innovation making for an nicer, more intuitive experience. A function key sits on the bottom left row of keys, and when pressed with other keys on the right hand can control brightness, volume, screen lock etc. It feels like a lot is to hand with minimal fuss. The same can be said for trackpad and mouse keys. Just the right size in just the right place, very little getting used to - it felt as if I'd been using this set up for years after only just a few hours. Battery wise, it's solid but not revolutionary. 3-4 hours on the lowest settings away from the charge.
I'll finish on a big negative; its feels cheap. The screen almost bends when you open it, not that firmly attached and the casing feels sub-par.I wanted basic functions done well. Fast browsing, decent for watching movies and a bit of word processing. It's safe to say it can do all these great - but its hardly a lot to shout about. Good for the basics - but next time I think I'll splash out.