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Samsung R720 review

A comfortable and usable desktop machine that outperforms the competition

Our Verdict

Product features

  • Screen Resolution : 1600 x 900
  • Processor Core : Dual-core (2 Core)

View full specification

For

  • Decent screen
  • Decent performance
  • Connectivity

Against

  • Limited portability

Samsung's R series features no-nonsense laptops that aim to combine comfort with all-round usability. The R720 manages to do just that and, while it isn't the most powerful machine, those after a desktop replacement system at a good price will find plenty to like.

The widescreen 17.3-inch panel is crisp and detailed, thanks to the 1600 x 900-pixel resolution and this makes it suitable for everything from word processing to watching DVDs. Brightness is sufficient, but the shiny Super-TFT screen coating makes irritating reflections an issue.

Build quality is generally good but, due to its large size, many of the matt-black panels bend under pressure. Durability is lacking as a result. For home use this won't be an issue, however. The shiny lid is a magnet for fingerprints, however.

The keyboard is large and firm, providing an excellent typing experience. The dedicated numeric keypad is also handy for those who regularly input data. The whole keyboard is splash-proof and also coated in a silver ion substance which helps prevent germs from breeding.

Although not exceptionally fast, the Intel Pentium processor and 4096MB of memory provide decent performance, meaning multi-tasking office tools and running the occasional resource-intensive multimedia program won't be a problem.

The ATi graphics card is coupled with 512MB of dedicated video memory and provides sufficient power for entry-level games, as well as relatively intensive photo or video editing applications.

The 320GB hard drive will store significant amounts of data, which you can also back up using the built-in DVD rewriter.

Limited portability

Portability isn't the Samsung's strongest point, with the 167-minute battery life falling well behind the Acer's here. It's also a large machine to carry around, although the 3kg weight is surprisingly light.

A dedicated subwoofer is built into the chassis to enhance your audio experience, but we noticed little difference in sound quality from the other laptops here.

802.11g Wi-Fi and Gigabit Ethernet are included, giving you good networking options. Four USB ports are in place, one of which allows you to charge peripherals – such as an MP3 player – even when the machine is switched off.

An eSATA port provides rapid data transfer rates to external devices, and HDMI and VGA ports round off the specification.

While not as powerful as the Acer Aspire 5739G-654G32MN or Mesh Edge15 TT, the Samsung R720 is a solid desktop replacement system that will carry out most of the tasks asked of it without issue. It's also very comfortable, usable and well priced.

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Tech Specs

Product TypeNotebook
Hard Drive Capacity320 GB
Processor ManufacturerIntel
Graphics Controller ManufacturerATI
Graphics Controller ModelMobility Radeon HD 4330
BluetoothNo
Wireless LANYes
Optical Drive TypeDVD-Writer
Graphics Memory AccessibilityDedicated
Solid State Drive CapacityNo
HDMIYes
WebcamYes
Backlight TechnologyLED
eSATA/USB ComboYes
Product FamilyR
Processor ModelT4300
Operating SystemWindows Vista Home Premium
Brand NameSamsung
Processor Speed2.10 GHz
Processor TypePentium
Screen Size43.9 cm (17.3")
Number of Cells6-cell
Screen Resolution1600 x 900
Standard Memory4 GB
Weight (Approximate)2.88 kg
Cache1 MB
Processor CoreDual-core (2 Core)
64-bit ProcessingYes
Chipset ManufacturerIntel
Chipset ModelPM45 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 Gloss
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11b/g
Ethernet TechnologyGigabit Ethernet
Total Number of USB Ports4
Memory StandardDDR2-800/PC2-6400
Height396 mm
Width4114 mm
Depth2728 mm
Screen ModeWSXGA
Memory TechnologyDDR2 SDRAM
Product SeriesR
ManufacturerSamsung
Product ModelR720
Product NameR720 Notebook
Pointing Device TypeTouchPad
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberNP-R720-FS03UK
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.samsung.com/uk/
Marketing Information

This stunning designed R720 Notebook is complimented with a range of high performance features, great for on the move or as a desktop replacement. Its ultra sharp 17.3" LED screen has a pure 16:9 aspect ratio, which is optimised for watching HD movies or playing games, with no black bars in widescreen, and also makes it easier to use Windows Vista gadgets.

Battery ChemistryLithium Ion (Li-Ion)
Package Contents
  • R720 Notebook
  • Lithium-Ion Battery
  • AC Adapter
  • System Software Media
Limited Warranty1 Year
Bus Speed800 MHz