TODO alt text

Samsung R580 (Core i5) review

A very competitively priced laptop that boasts real power and great usability

Our Verdict

Although other laptops at this price offer slightly more, the build quality and components of the R580 make is a good choice none-the-less

Product features

  • Screen Resolution : 1366 x 768
  • Processor Core : Dual-core (2 Core)

View full specification

For

  • Great performance
  • Quality keyboard
  • Connections
  • Dedicated graphics

Against

  • No Blu-ray drive
  • Not a very high screen resolution

The Samsung R580 (Core i5) is the South Korean electronics giant's entry-level multimedia machine.

This latest version is the first to feature a processor from Intel's Core i5 family, and offers excellent power, performance and portability at a very reasonable price that won't break the bank.

The first thing to notice about the laptop is its stylish design. Instead of implementing a dull, matt-black look, Samsung has opted for an interesting red and black patterned finish. Appearing on both the lid and chassis itself, it won't be to everyone's tastes, but certainly isn't offensive and will stand out in the crowd.

The 15.6-inch screen may not boast the high resolution of the Packard Bell ProBook 6440b or Sony VAIO VPC-EB1Z0E/B, yet it is just as vivid with excellent colour reproduction, while also being very bright. This makes it ideal for photographers or video makers looking for a colourful and accurate panel.

The keyboard boasts an isolated-key style, with plenty of space between the keys making it hard to miss-hit a letter. It's also a very intuitive keyboard and we were typing at full speed very quickly.

Core i5 power

The laptop is powered by an Intel Core i5 processor, which works alongside 4096MB of DDR3 memory. Performance proved to be excellent, and the laptop is more powerful than all but the Sony VAIO VPC-EB1Z0E/B, which is especially impressive considering the low price point.

You'll have no problems running all manner of office applications, even concurrently, and the employment of a powerful Nvidia graphics card means the laptop will run DVDs without issue, alongside more intensive 3D programs.

Decent battery

Usually the battery life would suffer with such powerful components onboard, but that's not the case here and we managed to squeeze 221 minutes from the laptop. While this isn't fantastic and certainly won't last you all day, it is still considerably better than some rivals.

At 2.6kg, the laptop is light enough to carry on a -semi regular basis - when commuting, for example - with comfort.

Like the Sony VAIO VPC-EB1Z0E/B, there's an eSATA port included, which makes transferring data to external storage devices much quicker than USB, and this will suit those who regularly back up their laptop.

Samsung r580

A nice touch is that one of the four USB ports can charge your peripherals – for example, an MP3 player or smartphone – even when the laptop is switched off.

If there's one thing to like about the Samsung R580 it is its combination of affordability, power and performance. The Sony may indeed offer more, but for those who aren't really interested in having a Blu-ray drive, this is a fantastic choice that will last you for years.

Follow TechRadar Reviews on Twitter: http://twitter.com/techradarreview

Tech Specs

Product TypeNotebook
Hard Drive Capacity500 GB
Processor ManufacturerIntel
Graphics Controller ManufacturerNVIDIA
Graphics Controller ModelGeForce 310M
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
Optical Drive TypeDVD-Writer
Solid State Drive CapacityNo
HDMIYes
WebcamYes
eSATA/USB ComboYes
Product FamilyR
Operating System Architecture64-bit
Processor Modeli5-430M
ColourRed
Operating SystemWindows 7 Home Premium
Brand NameSamsung
Processor Speed2.26 GHz
Processor TypeCore i5
Screen Size39.6 cm (15.6")
Number of Cells6-cell
Screen Resolution1366 x 768
Standard Memory4 GB
Weight (Approximate)2.60 kg
Cache3 MB
Processor CoreDual-core (2 Core)
64-bit ProcessingYes
Chipset ManufacturerIntel
Chipset ModelHM55 Express
Number of Total Memory Slots2
Optical Media SupportedDVD-RAM/±R/±RW
Dual-Layer Media SupportedYes
Graphics Memory CapacityUp to 512 MB
Display Screen TypeActive Matrix TFT Colour LCD
Display Screen TechnologySuperBright
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11n
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 2.1
Ethernet TechnologyGigabit Ethernet
Total Number of USB Ports3
Memory StandardDDR3-1066/PC3-8500
Height36.7 mm
Width379.8 mm
Depth255.5 mm
Screen ModeWXGA
Memory TechnologyDDR3 SDRAM
Product SeriesR
ManufacturerSamsung
Product ModelR580
Product NameR580 Notebook
Pointing Device TypeTouchPad
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberNP-R580-JS05UK
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.samsung.com/uk/
Marketing Information

The Samsung R580 provides a premium lifestyle experience with a cutting-edge design that stands out from the crowd. Sporting Samsung's "New Touch of Colour" crystal finish, featuring a distinctive gradation of colours, together with LED touchpad lighting and a low profile island keyboard with numeric keypad it provides a seamless and elegant look with exceptional haptics.

Battery ChemistryLithium Ion (Li-Ion)
Package Contents
  • R580 Notebook
  • Lithium Ion Battery
  • AC Adapter
Limited Warranty1 Year