Samsung R560 review
Not so long ago, PC Pro’s labs were regularly dominated by 15.4in laptops. A little big for carrying around on a daily basis, they make a good compromise between a chunky desktop replacement and a daintier portable. Samsung’s latest, the R560, is a good example of the genre.
It may cost half as much as some of the laptops here, but it isn’t short on performance. With a similar core specification to its smaller stablemate, the Q310, the R560 hit a score of 1.19 in our application-based benchmarks.
We’re glad Samsung has stuck with the Intel Core 2 Duo P8400 processor and the 4GB of DDR3 memory, but we’re even happier to find that it has bumped up the storage and improved the graphics. The 320GB hard disk is on the generous side, but the real treat is the Nvidia GeForce 9600M GS graphics chipset. At Low settings, this helped the Samsung cruise to an impressive 55fps in Crysis. Stick to the screen’s 1,280 x 800 native resolution or below, and it will acquit itself surprisingly well with modern games.
Image quality is impressive, too. The glossy finish gives images a punchy, vibrant edge, and colour reproduction is spot-on. Only the narrow vertical viewing angles threaten to spoil the party.
Take a break from playing the latest games, however, and there’s still lots to like. The full-sized keyboard is delightful to type upon. The trackpad is accurate, with buttons that respond with a crisp, reassuring click.
Battery life is good, too, with light usage seeing the R560 fall just short of the five-hour mark. The 1hr 40mins it achieved under heavy usage is also impressive, and ably demonstrates the modest power requirements of Intel’s latest P-series processors.
So, what’s not to like? Well, the 2.66kg weight will dissuade many people from carrying it around. And the tinny speakers will have music lovers plugging in headphones.
But, as a modestly priced and sensibly proportioned desktop replacement, the R560 has a huge amount to recommend it.
|Warranty||1 year(s) collect and return|
|Dimensions||358 x 264 x 37mm (WDH)|
Processor and memory
|Processor||Intel Core 2 Duo P8400|
|Motherboard chipset||Intel PM45 Express|
|SODIMM sockets free||0|
|SODIMM sockets total||2|
Screen and video
|Resolution screen horizontal||1,280|
|Resolution screen vertical||800|
|Resolution||1280 x 800|
|Graphics chipset||Nvidia GeForce 9600M GS|
|Graphics card RAM||256MB|
|VGA (D-SUB) outputs||1|
|Hard disk usable capacity||295GB|
|Internal disk interface||SATA 150|
|Hard disk||Samsung HM320JI|
|Optical disc technology||DVD writer|
|Optical drive||Samsung TS-L633A|
|Replacement battery price ex VAT||£103|
|Replacement battery price inc VAT||£118|
|Wired adapter speed||1,000Mbits/sec|
|802.11 draft-n support||yes|
|Integrated 3G adapter||no|
|Wireless hardware on/off switch||no|
|Wireless key-combination switch||yes|
|PC Card slots||0|
|USB ports (downstream)||3|
|PS/2 mouse port||no|
|9-pin serial ports||0|
|Optical S/PDIF audio output ports||0|
|Electrical S/PDIF audio ports||0|
|3.5mm audio jacks||2|
|SD card reader||yes|
|Memory Stick reader||yes|
|MMC (multimedia card) reader||yes|
|Smart Media reader||no|
|Compact Flash reader||no|
|Pointing device type||Touchpad|
|Audio chipset||Realtek HD Audio|
|Speaker location||Above keyboard|
|Hardware volume control?||no|
Battery and performance tests
|Battery life, light use||288|
|Battery life, heavy use||100|
|Overall application benchmark score||79.00|
|3D performance (crysis) low settings||55fps|
|3D performance setting||Low|
Operating system and software
|Operating system||Windows Vista Home Premium|
|OS family||Windows Vista|
|Recovery method||Recovery disc|