Samsung R610 review

Price when reviewed

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.

Samsung R610 review

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

Physical specifications

Dimensions 379 x 267 x 42mm (WDH)
Weight 2.730kg
Travelling weight 3.3kg

Processor and memory

Processor Intel Core 2 Duo T5800
Motherboard chipset Intel PM45
RAM capacity 3.00GB
Memory type DDR2
SODIMM sockets free 0
SODIMM sockets total 2

Screen and video

Screen size 16.0in
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
HDMI outputs 1
S-Video outputs 0
DVI-I outputs 0
DVI-D outputs 0
DisplayPort outputs 0


Capacity 250GB
Spindle speed 5,400RPM
Internal disk interface SATA/300
Hard disk Western Digital Scorpio Blue
Optical disc technology Blu-ray reader
Optical drive Slimtype BD E DS4E1S
Battery capacity 4,000mAh
Replacement battery price inc VAT £0


Wired adapter speed 1,000Mbits/sec
802.11a support yes
802.11b support yes
802.11g support yes
802.11 draft-n support yes
Integrated 3G adapter no

Other Features

Wireless hardware on/off switch no
Wireless key-combination switch yes
Modem yes
ExpressCard34 slots 0
ExpressCard54 slots 1
PC Card slots 0
USB ports (downstream) 4
PS/2 mouse port no
9-pin serial ports 0
Parallel 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
xD-card reader no
Pointing device type Touchpad
Audio chipset Realtek HD Audio
Speaker location Above keyboard
Hardware volume control? no
Integrated microphone? yes
Integrated webcam? yes
TPM no
Fingerprint reader no
Smartcard reader 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

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