Samsung R730 review

Samsung's recent laptops have really impressed us, so we were hoping that the company could continue its fine form on a tight budget. Fortunately, we weren't let down by the 17.3in R730. For starters, it looks gorgeous from the outside and looks much more expensive than its budget price.

As soon as we turned the computer on, we were impressed by the display. Bright and evenly lit, with excellent contrast and stunning colour reproduction, this screen is one of the best that we've seen. Its glossy coating may not be to all tastes, but it helps boost colour vibrancy and contrast. Its resolution of 1,600x900 means there's loads of space for the Windows desktop and applications.

Fortunately, the quality continues throughout the laptop. We found that it was a capable all-rounder. Thanks to the 4GB of RAM and 2.1GHz Intel Pentium Dual Core T4300 processor, the R730 managed an overall score of 61 in our benchmark tests: it will cope with most tasks well. The only slight disappointment is that the 32-bit Windows 7 Home Premium can only use 3.5GB of the laptop's maximum 4GB of RAM.

At this price you can't expect dedicated graphics, and the Intel GMA 4500M chip isn't up to 3D gaming. It will decode HD video, and you can plug the laptop into an HD TV using the HDMI output.

Of course, decent performance is nothing if a laptop's uncomfortable to use, but the R730 didn't let us down. We found the size of the laptop meant the wrist wrest was large enough to offer decent support when typing. The large keyboard is excellent and we found that we could type quickly and accurately. The touchpad is accurate and conveniently placed in the centre of the laptop. It lies flush with the case, but the edges light up when the touchpad's active helping you find it in the dark.

The R730's built in speakers can output plenty of volume. Like most laptop speakers, they lack bass, but their audio output is clear and undistorted even at maximum volume.

The 320GB hard disk isn't bad at this price and should give you plenty of room for all of your media files and documents. There's no eSATA port for fast external storage, but there are three USB ports to connect external storage or peripherals. The memory card reader supports SD, SDHC and MMC formats, which allows you to use the most common digital camera memory cards.

There's a 10/100 wired Ethernet port, while the integrated wireless adaptor supports fast 802.11n Wi-Fi. Battery life of just over three-and-a-half hours is pretty good. While you're unlikely to lug the R730's 2.8kg weight around with you, it's useful being able to move away from a power socket around your house or in your garden.

Budget laptops are often a product of severe corner cutting, but the R730 doesn't do that. Provided that gaming isn't important, this laptop has everything you need: a comfortable keyboard, fast processor and gorgeous display. For the price it's an absolute bargain if you're looking for a cheap desktop replacement.

Basic Specifications

Rating

****

Processor

Intel Pentium Dual Core T4300

Processor clock speed

2.1GHz

Memory

4.00GB

Memory slots

2

Memory slots free

0

Maximum memory

4GB

Size

40x411x273mm

Weight

2.8kg

Sound

Realtec High Definition Audio

Pointing device

touchpad

Display

Viewable size

17.3 in

Native resolution

1,600x900

Graphics Processor

Intel GMA 4500M

Graphics/video ports

VGA, HDMI

Graphics Memory

32MB

Storage

Total storage capacity

320GB

Optical drive model

TSST TS-L633C

Optical drive type

DVD+/-RW +/-DL

Ports and Expansion

USB ports

3

Bluetooth

no

Wired network ports

1x 10/100

Wireless networking support

802.11n

PC Card slots

none

Modem

No

Supported memory cards

SD, SDHC, MMC

Other ports

none

Miscellaneous

Carrying case

No

Operating system

Windows 7 Home Premium 32-bit

Operating system restore option

restore partition, burn own restore disc

Software included

Cyberlink DVD Suite 6, Cyberlik YouCam 2, Microsoft Works 9

Optional extras

none

Buying Information

Warranty

one year collect and return

Price

£451

Details

www.samsung.co.uk

Supplier

http://www.ebuyer.com

Author

December 02,2021

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