The Samsung RF510-SO2UK is a well designed laptop that's great value for money and can cope with any business task. Samsung has also thrown in some good multimedia components and a great screen and keyboard. Shame about the sub-par audio set up and underperforming battery.
Great keyboard; beautiful design; high quality display; strong performance; good value for money.
Short battery life; poor audio quality; memory not upgradeable; no protective lid clasp.
Intel Core i5 460M 2.53GHz, 4GB RAM, 640GB HDD, 1GB Nvidia GeForce GT 330M graphics, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit; 15.6in 1,366 x 738 16:9 LED LCD display, Ethernet, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 3.0
Frequent business travellers always need the right technology to make sure they are able to do the right job, but there is often a compromise between functionality and practicality with laptops.
Smaller laptops or netbooks are primed for travelling duties, but the pay off is a lack of comprehensive feature sets. At the other end of the scale, large laptops often have wider feature sets but are completely impractical for travelling.
One of the best sweet spots for business travellers is a 15in or 15.6in chassis. In theory they're not too heavy to carry around, but come with a decent set of specifications and better features.
The Samsung RF510-SO2UK is built on a 15.6in chassis and weighs a relatively portable 2.6kg. So does it offer the best of both worlds, or is it a jack of all trades and master of none?
For our money Samsung has done an excellent job for frequent business travellers with the RF510-SO2UK. It's great value for money, has a brilliant feature set and is great to use over long periods thanks to an excellent keyboard.
Our only reservation is the short battery life in high performance mode, but it does have advanced power controls to extend this.
Samsung has balanced the RF510-SO2UK's design set beautifully. It's not too gauche to offend anyone, and has just enough elegance to make it stand out from the vanilla business models.
The lid has a gloss black finish that was a magnet for our fingerprints, although we haven't yet seen a fingerprint-proof gloss black model. There is a great chrome trim on the hinge brackets that offsets the black nicely, and our review model had a brushed gunmetal finish with a silver surround underneath the keyboard.
It also doesn't feel too light and plasticky, although we'd prefer to see a clasp to hold both ends of the closed lid to protect it for travelling.
The right hand side sports two USB ports and a multi-format DVD writer, while the left has another two USB ports, two audio jacks, Ethernet, VGA out and an HDMI. Two of the USB ports are version 3.0 so are capable of much higher transfer rates than USB 2.0, making it much faster to transfer big presentations.