Samsung RC510 review

Nvidia's Optimus boosts this well-priced 15-incher

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Samsung's RC510 is a very powerful machine for the price. It isn't world-beating, and its graphical performance isn't as hefty as we'd hoped, but it's a solid machine with a clean, clever design.

It's Intel's Core i3 that does the really hard work. It truly is a high-performance chip at a budget price.

We liked

The overall design of the RC510 is a joy – the ports are placed sensibly, the glossy case exudes class and the island-style keyboard tops off the package nicely. Spacing the keys so far apart – further than any of Apple's chiclet keyboards, such as the MacBook's – makes a difference in terms of ham-fisted typos. The contrasting track pad distinguishes itself well from the glossy wrist-rest, too.

Inside, you're gifted with plenty of power, more than we'd expect from a machine of this price. It's very slick in desktop operations, handles high resolution videos well (and renders video quickly too, thanks to the Nvidia CUDA tech on board) and does a decent job at running games.

We disliked

Perhaps we expected too much, but for a machine with 1GB of video memory and a mid-range Nvidia mobile chipset, the Samsung RC510 doesn't seem like it's kicking down the polygon doors with any sort of force. It's capable, don't get us wrong, but unspectacular.

At three and a half hours from new, the battery life isn't up to much. We'd expect that to dwindle slowly the more you use it, as these things tend to do, meaning you'll end up with a machine that's more or less tied to the desktop. It's heavy enough that the RC510 isn't really a mobile device anyway, though – there are smaller, lighter laptops out there.

Finally, we can't get past the resolution of the screen. 1366 x 768 seems to be the res of choice for 16:9 laptops at the moment, but it shouldn't be. You deserve more pixels. This copes fine with 720p video, but it hasn't the space for 1080p.

Verdict

Solid. We've dragged out a few niggles, but you might not even see these as flaws. For the price, this is a very competitive, exquisitely designed laptop with enough power behind it to last for some time to come.

Tech Specs

Product TypeNotebook
Hard Drive Capacity640 GB
TouchscreenNo
Processor ManufacturerIntel
Graphics Controller ManufacturerNVIDIA, Intel
Graphics Controller ModelGeForce 315M, HD Graphics
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
Optical Drive TypeDVD-Writer
Graphics Memory AccessibilityDedicated, Shared
Maximum Battery Run Time4 Hour
Finger Print ReaderNo
eSATANo
FireWire/i.LINKNo
HDMIYes
WebcamYes
Backlight TechnologyLED
DVINo
eSATA/USB ComboNo
DisplayPortNo
WimaxNo
Product FamilyRC
Operating System Architecture64-bit
ThunderboltNo
Processor Modeli3-380M
ColourBlack, Silver
Operating SystemWindows 7 Home Premium
Brand NameSamsung
Processor Speed2.53 GHz
Processor TypeCore i3
Screen Size39.6 cm (15.6")
Number of Cells6-cell
Screen Resolution1366 x 768
Standard Memory6 GB
Weight (Approximate)2.56 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
WWAN SupportedNo
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11b/g/n
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 3.0
Ethernet TechnologyGigabit Ethernet
Total Number of USB Ports4
Height35.1 mm
Width381.7 mm
Depth256.5 mm
Screen ModeWXGA
Memory TechnologyDDR3 SDRAM
Product SeriesRC
ManufacturerSamsung
Product ModelRC510
Product NameRC510 Notebook
Pointing Device TypeTouchPad
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberNP-RC510-S03UK
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.samsung.com/uk/
Marketing Information

Imagine a world that is brighter, sharper and filled with naturally vibrant color - and that's what you get with the Samsung RC510 notebook. Its 15.6" HD display boasts an exceptional 300nit brightness, so images just burst into life. And that even includes the videoclips that you can record and play using the integrated 1.3M (HD) webcam! It delivers incredibly clear and natural images that span right across the widescreen, so you can see even more of what going on. You can also enjoy effortless multi-tasking and great family entertainment with a choice of the latest Intel Core i3 Processor, as well as genuine Windows 7 Home and a NVIDIA Optimus graphics card, which dynamically allocate resources where they're needed most. And with its stylish matt metallic casing and Island keyboard the RC510 guaranteed to look good anywhere.

Maximum Memory8 GB
Battery ChemistryLithium Ion (Li-Ion)
Package Contents
  • RC510 Notebook
  • Lithium Ion Battery
  • AC Adapter
Limited Warranty1 Year