Samsung is still churning out the old Atheros AR5007EG wireless card. Released way back in 2006, this offers 802.11b/g connectivity, but not 802.11n. Some may not see this as an issue but, with 802.11n routers now the norm, we think it’s a very odd decision by Samsung.
Responsive keyboard complete with numeric keypad
Other specs include a 320GB hard drive that ticks along at 5,400rpm, built-in Bluetooth and a 1.3-megapixel webcam, while everything runs off the 32-bit edition of Vista Home Premium. As for as audio is concerned, the R720 isn't exceptional. The pair of 2W speakers, just above the keyboard, is joined by a subwoofer located on the underside of the chassis, which adds a bit of extra bass to proceedings.
So, back to that Pentium Dual Core processor. In PCmark05, this budget CPU with its smaller L2 cache certainly didn’t appear to hold things back. Indeed, with a score of 5165 in the CPU section, it’s on a par with the Core 2 Duo T6400 processor in the R522. The overall PCmark05 score of 4905 is much better than the R522’s thanks to the choice of graphics card.
Although the ATI Radeon HD 4330 is no speed demon, it’s certainly a step up from the integrated graphics of the R522 and, at its native 1600 x 900 resolution, it managed to pick up 2602 points in 3Dmark06. Dropping the resolution to 1280 x 768 and then 1024 x 768 saw this score increase to 3088 and 3345 respectively. With a laptop running off integrated graphics, you can expect a score of around 700 at 1280 x 768, so the performance boost afforded by this discrete graphics chip is clear.
To further test out the Radeon HD 4330 we fired up a copy of Far Cry 2. At its native 1600 x 900 resolution, the R720 managed an impressive 29.56fps, although to achieve this we had to reduce all settings to low and turn anti-aliasing off.
The shining: some keys soon lost their texture, developing bald spots
Switching all settings to medium while also activating 4x anti-aliasing proved more of a struggle – at 1024x768 it could only manage 16.26fps. Still, for a supposedly budget graphics card, these results aren't at all bad.
it IS 802.11N
i have one, got it last week. and it has an intel wi-fi link 5100 AGN adapter.
i actually DO have use for a numeric pad. it's where i put the hot keys for my DJ apps. VERY handy indeed.(i used to take a usb keyboard with my when djing for this now i don't need to!)
one of the points that i got this an insurance replacement for my (in my opinion) shitty vaio was that i could get XP drivers for it.
this is essential as the sub decks/mixer i have doesn't have vista/w7 drivers and the software is crapioca on vista and dead on w7.
thus dual booting with this is a BREEZE.
also samsung support is local to me here in Edinburgh and i know a few of the guys there. they know their stuff and are very good at what they do. i have my A+ and it's nice to speak to support dudes who are not only local but not screen reading muppets with no knowledge what so ever.
all in all a very nice laptop. would say it's a desktop replacement for my beast of a quad core with 4870 but very nice piece of kit nonetheless. i'd recommend it
It's a pretty...
...wretched desktop that this thing would replace.
Noooo, not the numeric keypad
I have absolutely no use for a numeric keypad. If I really need one I'll buy a separate one.
On the other hand, using that space for proper arrow keys and Insert through PageDown like a standard keyboard would be a huge selling point as far as I'm concerned. I'd pay a premium for it.
Anyone else feel that way?
If you folks at the register think it's worth relaying that to laptop manufacturers then PLEASE do.
I guess they could offer a choice even but maybe it wouldn't make economic sense to have two models.
How easy is it to upgrade?
How easy is it to upgrade- a few words about ease of changing the wireless card and how easy it is to remove the cooling fan and upgrade the processor, would be nice. If you plonked a T9800 and an Intel 5300 wireless card in this- it would go like a bullet. Admittedly- thats another £200- but it would be well worth it.........?