Lo-Fi Wi-Fi budget laptop
Review When conjuring up budget laptops for the mass market, manufacturers will usually do their level best to make them look more expensive than they actually are, and the R522 from Samsung is no different.
Samsung's R522: 802.11n not welcome
There's nothing particularly special about the innards – Intel Core 2 Duo, 4GB of DDR2 memory and Intel GMA 4500MHD integrated graphics – but open up the glossy, soon-to-be-fingerprint-festooned lid and you're presented with what looks like an impressive brushed-aluminium wrist rest. Get a little closer, though, and it soon becomes apparent that it is, in fact, just plastic dressed up to look like metal.
In another attempt to jazz things up, Samsung has furnished the perimeter of the trackpad with a soft-blue light. Is it useful? Well, no, not really. You certainly don't need a landing light for your finger when using the trackpad in the dark, but it does look kind of funky.
After 30 seconds, this light quietly turns itself off, but those who aren't fans will be disappointed there's no option to kill it off permanently. Samsung has done a good job with the left and right buttons sat beneath the trackpad, though. Taking the form of a single rocker bar, they exhibit just about the right amount of resistance and respond with a nice, solid 'click'.
The company has done a reasonable job with the keyboard too. It's similar to the 'chiclet' style as found on MacBooks, but it's a much cheaper version and the keys don't poke up through individual slots in the chassis. Although we weren't too impressed with the rattle emitted by the keys and their slippery nature, there's almost zero flex and each key has a decent amount of travel.
You won't forget where the trackpad is
Movie-style 16:9 aspect ratio screens seem to be in vogue at the moment and – with a native resolution of 1366 x 768 – that's exactly what you get with the 15.6in display on the R522. Samsung has given it what it calls the SuperBright treatment, which basically means it's glossy, not matte. It's also LED backlit, so it's not only dazzlingly bright, but also less of a drain on the battery.
@Rod Shoaf, @bex
"I can only assume you (the Mr. Stapley) have no clue about PC/Laptop hardware."
What if it costs more for draft-n and less for a smaller CAPACITY hard drive. The physical size is identical, of course, but the costs balance out. Typically a hard drive's capacity is referred to as "size" so young Mr Stapley's suggestion is indeed valid.
"32 bit or 64 bit"
When was the last time you saw 3.5GB of ram in a laptop? Never? Would you rather the laptop only have 2GB and screw over the the power-user that wishes to upgrade to 64-bit or Win7? Indeed.
32 bit or 64 bit ?
If this is 32 Bit vista, what is the point of 4 Gb of memory ?
reducing the size of the hard drive?
Did I actually read that correctly?
"would have been better off reducing the size of the 320GB hard drive in order to accommodate 802.11n Wi-Fi....."
Since laptop hard drives are all the same size physically I guess you would rather go without a hard drive at all? Also since the chip that physically controls which wifi protocol is used is on a chip installed to the mini-pci slot on the bottom of the laptop.. and that they are also a standard size and shape.. I can only assume you (the Mr. Stapley) have no clue about PC/Laptop hardware.
For £560 you could get the next model up in the R522 series, the R522-FS04 which has ATI graphics, draft-n wifi, and the same size hard drive! I'm using it right now and it's a good machine!
Actually David Simpson I remember chicklet keys on my old ZX Spectrum nearly 30 years ago now.