Samsung R780 review

A budget Blu-ray laptop but it still packs a nicely powerful specification

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Our Verdict

A good laptop with some great features, but the lack of a 1080p screen will put off those looking for true Blu-ray machine

Product features

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

View full specification

For

  • Nice design
  • Build quality
  • Powerful components

Against

  • Screen not 1080p
  • No Express card slot
  • battery life

Samsung was one of the first laptop manufacturers to put a Blu-ray drive in a more competitively priced laptop, and while the R780 isn't what you'd call budget, it is highly affordable and offers fantastic value for money.

Having said that, the Blu-ray experience is a little disappointing. The 17.3-inch screen features only a 1600 x 900-pixel resolution - far from a 1920 x 1080-pixel Full HD resolution - and this really shows during playback.

Images are sharp enough, but colours are very washed out, with blacks especially suffering.

You can connect the laptop to your high-definition (HD) TV using the HDMI out port and enjoy Blu-ray discs this way, but it isn't an ideal option.

Nevertheless, this is still one of the best looking laptops around and boasts a swirl pattern with a red and black design. It doesn't show dirt easily either, meaning it manages to always look smart.

Solid build

Build quality is good, with the laptop's panels proving sturdy under pressure. This firmness translates to the keyboard which provides an excellent typing experience. The isolated-key style has been employed, and there's also a dedicated numeric keypad for the regular number-crunchers.

Samsung build

The touchpad is large, responsive and features lights positioned in each corner. This looks great and makes it easier to use in low light.

One complaint we do have, however, is it's very easy to brush the touchpad while typing, causing erratic cursor behaviour, which is very irritating.

The laptop's portability is mixed. While the 2.9kg it weighs is remarkably light, the 169-minute battery life is a bit of a disappointment, as we expect a minimum of 180 minutes from all modern laptops. Part of the reason for the short battery life is the powerful but resource-intensive components used.

The Intel Core i5 processor is cutting-edge technology and provides performance second only to the Acer Aspire 8942G-526G64Bi – quite an achievement considering the price difference.

A powerful Nvidia GPU is included and provides good 3D performance - just behind the Acer Aspire 8942G-526G64Bi and Sony VAIO VPCF11M1E/H. This means that editing your holiday snaps and videos won't be an issue whatsoever.

802.11n Wi-Fi and Gigabit Ethernet are included, although it's worth noting that there's no ExpressCard slot, which might put some buyers off. A chargeable USB port is included for charging battery-powered peripherals when the laptop is off.

Despite its shortcomings, the R780 offers great value for money. While the Blu-ray playback is much better quality than DVD, it still falls behind the stiff competition.

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Tech Specs

Product TypeNotebook
Hard Drive Capacity500 GB
Processor ManufacturerIntel
Graphics Controller ManufacturerNVIDIA
Graphics Controller ModelGeForce GT 330M
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
Optical Drive TypeDVD-Writer
Solid State Drive CapacityNo
eSATAYes
HDMIYes
WebcamYes
Backlight TechnologyLED
Product FamilyR
Processor Modeli5-430M
ColourRed Lid
Operating SystemWindows 7 Home Premium
Brand NameSamsung
Processor Speed2.26 GHz
Processor TypeCore i5
Screen Size43.9 cm (17.3")
Number of Cells6-cell
Screen Resolution1600 x 900
Standard Memory4 GB
Weight (Approximate)2.84 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 1 GB
Display Screen TypeActive Matrix TFT Colour LCD
Display Screen TechnologySuperBright Gloss
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11n
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 2.1
Ethernet TechnologyGigabit Ethernet
Total Number of USB Ports3
Memory StandardDDR3-1066/PC3-8500
Height39.8 mm
Width411.4 mm
Depth272.8 mm
Screen ModeWSXGA
Memory TechnologyDDR3 SDRAM
Product SeriesR
ManufacturerSamsung
Product ModelR780
Product NameR780 Notebook
Pointing Device TypeTouchPad
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberNP-R780-JS05UK
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.samsung.com/uk/
Marketing InformationIs it too much to expect your mobile computer's appearance to reflect its performance? SAMSUNG doesn't think so. That's why the SAMSUNG R780 Notebook boasts a high-end design that parallels its high performance features like LED display that delivers sharp images and bold colours.
Battery ChemistryLithium Ion (Li-Ion)
Package Contents
  • R780 Notebook
  • Lithium Ion Battery
  • AC Adapter
Limited Warranty1 Year