Samsung may be better known for its mobile phones but it’s had a wide range of notebooks for the best part of 5 years now and with the latest design refresh, the company has opted for a high-gloss finish that looks impressive and certainly feels cool to the touch.
The design is called the "Aura" design and the R70 follows in this trend but as with other machines we found the lacquered lid can easily be scratched.
So, if you’re thinking of opting for this machine, you’re best to invest in a slipcase to carry it around in, along with your backpack. That’s the bad news out of the way, as the R70 delivers on almost every other front.
Weighing in at 2.7kg, this is a machine you may well want to carry around with you at least on semi-regular occasions. We managed to get a little over three hours on average from the battery, which is more than acceptable given the fact it comes with a 15.4-inch super-TFT screen.
At this price we were impressed to find graphics have also been catered for. Fitted with the Nvidia GeForce 8400M GS GPPU, you’ll find you can play the latest games with a degree of comfort as this is a powerful mainstream card.
When it comes to choosing a notebook, it’s not only the screen you need to be wary of, as the keyboard needs to meet your needs and comfort level. Luckily, usability is particularly strong on the R70.
The keyboard is large with full-size keys that have a consistently comfortable typing action. A button above the keyboard launches Samsung’s AV Station Now media centre software, for easy access to your music, photos and videos.
Perhaps the most compelling reason to opt for this notebook is the specification you get for the asking price. Powered by an Intel 1.8GHz Core 2 Duo T7100 Core 2 Duo processor and with 1024MB of memory, performance is impressive.
This is a dual-core processor so you’ll be able to run any current software with comparative ease. We found the R70 was more than powerful for the tasks we set it, which included burning a DVD of data while surfing the internet at the same time.
With a 120GB hard drive rounding out the specification, along with a dual-layer DVD rewriter. You’ll also find such features as a 6-in-1 media card reader and 802.11a/g/n Wi-Fi, making this more than capable of handling all your digital media as well as being connected to a wireless LAN network in your house.
We may have started this review with a negative outlook on the Samsung R70 but it’s the only complaint on a machine that more than delivers on power and is certainly worth the asking price.
We feel the R70 will be more likely compared with Dell’s Inspiron 1520 and on first appearances more than competes on price and usability.