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Samsung R780 laptop review

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The Samsung R780 has excellent specifications and is great value for money

Samsung's R780 is a budget desktop replacement laptop that offers good performance and is solidly engineered. The NP-R780-JSIBUK version we reviewed offers good value for money. It's bundled with excellent specifications, but battery life is criminally low and it lacks a full HD screen. There are a couple of configurations to choose from, but you can't upgrade the screen to a higher resolution. However, the R780 remains a commendable, if not exceptional, budget desktop replacement as long as you don't expect to stay away from a power socket for too long. 

Pros:

Good value; stylish design; excellent keyboard.

Cons:

Disappointing screen; very poor battery life.

Overall Rating:

3 Star Rating: Recommended

Price: £799

Manufacturer: Samsung

At just under 3kg and a chunky 41 x 27 x 3.2cm, the Samsung R780 JSIBUK laptop is a back breaker that you could only possibly carry in an over-sized manbag. It comes with Samsung's red and black thumb-print swirl pattern and, if you don't like red, move along now because this is the only livery you can buy.

The R780 is a stylish design that Samsung maintains over the inside of the laptop, including the touchpad which has four small blue lights and a surface that is easy to grip. We had no problems using it to navigate day-to-day applications.

Samsung also gets a thumbs up for using high-grade plastic to give the R780 a robust feel. We'd always prefer to see a laptop protected by a metal framework, but the plastic on the R780 is solid and gives zero bend on the screen.

We were also impressed to see Samsung matching its claim that the finish is designed to prevent fingerprint marks. We gleefully handled the R780 all over the chassis but smudges were detectable only at a couple of angles, keeping the R780 looking clean.

Keyboard
Apart from the lid, there are no frilly designs to get too excited about. The R780 has a good keyboard with enough space over the 17.3in of real estate to make the layout uncluttered.

It has individually splayed keys, making touch typing much easier, and a number pad on the right hand side. This is a good addition for anyone using office-based apps who needs a speedier way to input.

Samsung-r780-1

Input/output
Samsung provides a good array of ports and connectivity options. There are two USB ports on the left hand side next to the Blu-ray drive and another two on the right.

One of these doubles as an E-SATA connection so you can hook up an external drive to transfer data. The other USB port uses 'sleep and charge' technology so that mobile devices can be charged when the laptop is turned off.

Samsung has added a PCI Express card slot, two audio jacks, VGA and HDMI, which you'll need if you want to output the Blu-ray signal to a 1080p HD screen. There's also an Ethernet connection, along with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi n capability.

It's not a bad selection of ports, but Samsung hasn't made the most of the space available. There are no ports at the back of the R780, which could have housed at least an S/PDIF digital audio output and FireWire.

Intel Core i5 520M 2.4GHz, 4GB RAM, 500GB hard drive, Blu-ray optical drive, 1GB Nvidia Geforce GT 330M, 17.3in 16:9 1,600 x 900 LCD display, HDMI, VGA, four USB, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, 2.92Kg, 411.4 x 272.8 x 32.

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