REVIEW: Samsung R610 – a new noteworthy notebook
LAPTOPS may have been all the rage in 2008, but now attention has shifted to focus on their slimmer counterparts, namely notebooks and netbooks. It seems that slimness and light-weight mobile devices will always win favour over heftier ones, and none is lighter than the Samsung R610.
Weighing in at around 2.7kgs, the Samsung R610 is part of the latest generation of notebook PCs. It may be the lightest notebook currently available, yet it does have a hefty price-tag (close to R10 000). However, after playing with one for a week I’m confident that you get what you pay for. Let’s take a closer look.
The Samsung R610 should come equipped with either Windows Vista Ultimate or Windows 7 Ultimate – the latter being the latest operating system to date. If you are currently a Vista user, Windows 7 should be a warm welcome. It is the most user-friendly operating system I have ever experienced and by far the most visually-appealing.
If you shave off what Windows 7 Ultimate would have cost if purchased separately (roughly R2000), the cost of the notebook in question may seem less frightening.
CyberLink DVD Suite
Unlike netbooks (which are specifically designed and optimised for web-browsing and related activity), the Samsung R610 notebook encourages users to engage in multimedia production. It offers a software package called CyberLink DVD Suite, which has great programs such as PowerProducer and PowerDirector, which are all you need for managing data, photos, music, movies, creating DVDs and backing up your content.
What’s the difference between notebooks, netbooks and laptops?
- LAPTOPS are mobile computers with full-sized keyboards, flip up monitors and space for built in optical or floppy disk storage drives. They are not usually as powerful as desktop PCs.
- NOTEBOOKS are often referred to as portable “desktop replacement” PCs, which can do as any normal computer can. The latest models have full-sized keyboards as well as relatively large storage drives. In other words, a notebook is a more potent laptop.
- NETBOOKS are ultra-mobile computers with keyboards smaller than full size and therefore a lot smaller than laptops and notebooks. They are designed and optimised for Internet use and can handle small programs such as MP3 players.
I have never quite managed to get used to using the touchpads on laptops as appose to a standard mouse. I’d rather plug in a mouse even if it’s a miniature one. Unfortunately the touchy bit on the Samsung R610 is smaller than usual and a bit of a nightmare to use. To make matters worse it has a scroll function on the same pad which changes the function of the mouse pointer into a scroller. This is really annoying if you fingertip ventures too far to the right, which will happen unless you’re a veteran laptop user.
I don’t understand why they don’t make the touchpad bigger, or at least separate the scroll function by placing it further away. There seems to be a lot of wasted space alongside the touchpad, which I would call a design flaw.
What often puts a lot of people off ever buying a laptop is the idea that the keyboard is a lot smaller than that of a desktop PC. It’s hard enough trying to operate a cellphone with small keys if you don’t have the slim and nimble fingers of a 13-year-old. However, this is not the case with most notebooks – the keys are simply more compact and just as easy to use as any standard keyboard.
Laptop keyboards have also taken things a step further by introducing function keys. When pressed, these give certain keys on the keyboard additional functions, such as checking battery life, adjusting monitor settings and managing volume control.
Battery life may be a second major concern for those considering buying a laptop. While some standard laptops can’t get more than two hours work done before going to bed, the Samsung R610’s battery can last for over three hours.
However, it’s important to note that battery life is relative to what you use your device for. There is a useful function key that makes it easy to monitor how much battery life you have left and I’m confident that it’s reliable enough to keep you entertained on a long trip.
The Samsung R610 has a sixteen inch HD gloss screen. I treated myself with a huge HD Samsung screen over Christmas last year and have never looked back. The picture quality of Samsung screens is really something to be admired, especially when viewing something recorded in HD. However, even watching low-quality videos on a smaller notebook screen will still look better than expected.
To be honest I can’t actually think of anything that the Samsung R610 doesn’t have. Apart from the above, it has 4 USB ports (for inserting flash-drives, cameras, external hard-drives or a good old-fashioned mouse), a 3-in-1 SD card slot (for quickly uploading photos), a slot for attaching a camcorder, a DVD drive, micro-phone and headphone holes and an internal 1.3 mega-pixel webcam (great for Skype).
It really has everything you could want in a well-designed notebook that will certainly make a statement. If you’re prepared to spend ten grand I would certainly recommend the Samsung R610. Christmas is right around the corner and prices might even drop during the festive season. It would make a great end of the year treat. Feel free to email me for my address details 🙂
Samsung R610 notebook specs
• Operating System: Windows Vista Home Premium or Windows 7 Ultimate.
• Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo Processor T6400 (2.00GHz, 800MHz, 2MB).
• System Memory: 3GB (DDR2 / 1GB x 1 + 2GB x 1 ).
• LCD: 16” HD (1366 x 768) 16:9 Gloss.
• Graphic Processor: nVIDIA GeForce Go 9200M GS; HDMI ouput.
• Sound: HD (High Definition) Audio; 4W Stereo Speaker (2W x 2).
• Multimedia Player: Play AVStation.
• Camera: 1.3MP Web Camera.
• Storage: HDD: 250GB (5,400rpm S-ATA).
• ODD: Super Multi Dual Layer (S-ATA).
• Connectivity: Wired Ethernet LAN: Gigabit LAN.
• Wireless LAN: Intel 802.11a/b/g/n 1 x 2 (MIMO).
• Bluetooth 2.0 + EDR; 4 x USB 2.0
• Multi Card Slot: 3-in-1 (SD, SDHC, MMC).
• Keyboard: 100 Key (Silver Nano Anti-Bacteria Keyboard).
• Battery: standard 6-cell, (up to 3 hours battery-life).
• AC Adapter: 90W.
• Dimensions: 379.2 x 265.2 x 31.8 — 38.45mm.
• Weight: 2.75kg
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