Samsung R505 review

Samsung's R505 isn't quite as attractive as the company's more expensive models; its silver and black livery looks a little plain.

Build quality is good, though, and the keyboard is excellent, with ergonomic keys that have good feedback. With no numberpad, the keyboard has plenty of room for full-sized keys and the layout matches that of a standard desktop PC's keyboard. The touchpad is small but responsive, and the buttons have a light action.

Image quality from the 15.4in 1,280x800 display is good. Colours are a bit muted and the backlight, although even, isn't quite bright enough, but this is only noticeable when placed next to other laptops. There's an HDMI port so you can connect to a larger monitor or a home entertainment system. The 320GB hard disk is generous, but we were a little disappointed at the lack of Bluetooth or Draft-N WiFi, and the complement of just three USB ports, when cheaper laptops are better specified. At least the R505 has an SDHC memory card reader and a 1.3-megapixel webcam, though.

However, the disappointment continued when our light-use battery test lasted just two hours and 25 minutes. We've come to expect long battery life from Samsung's computers, so the R505 loses marks here. More ground was lost in our performance tests. The dual-core AMD processor is the slowest of any laptop here, and even the generous 4GB of RAM couldn't improve its overall score. To keep things in perspective, the R505 is still more than twice as fast as any netbook, though.

The ATI graphics chip isn't capable of playing demanding 3D games, but it can handle high-definition video. The speakers produce clear sound with good mid-range, but there's no bass and the volume isn't loud enough to fill even a small room.

We've given Samsung quite a few awards recently, but this budget model hasn't impressed us much. The R505 is well built, but unless you want Vista Home Premium and the extra hard disk space, there's no reason to spend the extra £70 over PC Nextday's 81-2200 or Dell's Inspiron 1545.

Basic Specifications

Rating

***

Processor

AMD Athlon X2 QL-62

Processor clock speed

2GHz

Memory

4.00GB

Memory slots

2

Memory slots free

0

Maximum memory

4GB

Size

39x358x269mm

Weight

2.6kg

Sound

Realtek High Definition Audio

Pointing device

touchpad

Power consumption standby

1W

Power consumption idle

25W

Power consumption active

56W

Display

Viewable size

15.4 in

Native resolution

1,280x800

Graphics Processor

ATI Radeon HD 3200

Graphics/video ports

VGA, HDMI

Graphics Memory

128MB

Storage

Total storage capacity

320GB

Optical drive model

TSSTcorp TS-L633A

Optical drive type

DVD+/-RW +/-DL

Ports and Expansion

USB ports

3

Bluetooth

no

Wired network ports

1x 10/100/1000

Wireless networking support

802.11b/g

PC Card slots

1x ExpressCard/54

Modem

No

Supported memory cards

SD

Other ports

minijack audio output, minijack microphone input

Miscellaneous

Carrying case

No

Operating system

Windows Vista Home Premium

Operating system restore option

restore partition, restore disc

Software included

Cyberlink DVD Suite

Optional extras

1971

Buying Information

Warranty

one year collect and return

Price

£419

Details

www.samsung.co.uk

Supplier

http://www.cbccomputers.com

Basic Specifications

Display

Storage

Ports and Expansion

Miscellaneous

Buying Information

Author

November 26,2021

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