Samsung R610 review
Some offers just have to be too good to be true. Take a look at that price, then look at how much the Samsung R610 manages to pack in – you’ll struggle to find such a well-specified laptop for so little money.
Let’s begin with the Full HD display. Like the MSI EX620, the R610 touts a 16:9 ratio display, but this one packs a huge 1,920 x 1,080 resolution into its 16in frame.
Some backlight leakage along the panel’s edges and muted colours give away its budget origins, but overall the quality is impressive. Blu-ray discs provide video that bursts forth from the screen, and the huge desktop makes light of working with multiple applications.
There’s nothing wrong with the rest of the R610’s specification either. The 2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T5800 processor is backed up by 3GB of memory and a 250GB hard disk. It isn’t the most powerful configuration here, but a result of 0.99 in our benchmarks is more than good enough. Meanwhile, Nvidia’s GeForce 9200M GS chipset takes the weight off the CPU for decoding Blu-ray movies and managed 20fps in our least demanding Crysis benchmark.
Of course, packing so much into such a tight budget does lead to some compromises. The first of these is build quality. The R610 looks good thanks to its gloss-black lid and burst of red along its wristrest, but feels more insubstantial than its 2.73kg weight suggests. Compared to the likes of HP’s DV7, the Samsung feels plasticky and hollow.
The plasticky build is matched with a pair of speakers whose sound quality is tinny and lightweight. Blu-ray movies, as a result, are best piped through an external pair of speakers or headphones.
Battery life, too, is mediocre: with only 3hrs 23mins of light usage and just short of an hour of heavy use, this Samsung isn’t blessed with huge reserves of stamina.
The truth, though, is that at this price many will be willing to overlook the R610’s shortcomings. If you want a Blu-ray-equipped laptop with a 1080p display without breaking the bank, the Samsung will fit the bill admirably.
|Warranty||1yr collect and return|
|Dimensions||379 x 267 x 42mm (WDH)|
Processor and memory
|Processor||Intel Core 2 Duo T5800|
|Motherboard chipset||Intel PM45|
|SODIMM sockets free||0|
|SODIMM sockets total||2|
Screen and video
|Resolution screen horizontal||1,920|
|Resolution screen vertical||1,080|
|Resolution||1920 x 1080|
|Graphics chipset||Nvidia GeForce 9200M GS|
|Graphics card RAM||512MB|
|VGA (D-SUB) outputs||1|
|Internal disk interface||SATA/300|
|Hard disk||Western Digital Scorpio Blue|
|Optical disc technology||Blu-ray reader|
|Optical drive||Slimtype BD E DS4E1S|
|Replacement battery price inc VAT||£0|
|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)||4|
|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||no|
|MMC (multimedia card) reader||no|
|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||3hr 23min|
|Battery life, heavy use||58min|
|Overall application benchmark score||0.99|
|3D performance (crysis) low settings||20fps|
|3D performance setting||Low|
Operating system and software
|Operating system||Windows Vista Home Premium|
|OS family||Windows Vista|
|Recovery method||Recovery partition, burn own recovery discs|
|Software supplied||CyberLink Hi-Def Suite 5.50.1623|