Samsung R580 15.6in notebook
Samsung has integrated a numberpad into the R580's keyboard, the better, perhaps, to make the machine appear less wide, something that large areas of blank plastic either side of the keyboard tend to exaggerate. There's surely no practical value in having a numeric keypad on an entertainment- oriented notebook, unless there's some advantage to having one when playing World of Warcraft or you're definition of 'fun' is 'hours spent engaged in double-entry bookkeeping'.
The lozenge/chiclet keys themselves have a nice tactile matte look and are solidly underpinned, so typing is a joy even if you're not engaged in some late night accountancy. There's another of these lights above the power key - where it makes sense, sort of - and the status LEDs on the front-edge are likewise bright blue.
Inside the R580 there's a 500GB hard drive, though Samsung also offers an R580 with a 320GB and only 3GB of memory. Not that that's a problem since the R580 comes with the 32-bit version of Windows 7 Home Premium, so can't address more than 3GB of Ram in any case.
You're looking at paying around £550 for the 320GB model and £600 for the one with the 500GB hard drive. There's a Core i5 model coming, that will set you back £700. You certainly get plenty of laptop for your money, physically - it's a chunky boy - and from a features standpoint - 802.11n, Bluetooth, eSata, Gigabit Ethernet, ExpressCard 34 slot, a 1.3Mp webcam and a pair of 1.5W, SRS 3D Wow-fed speakers complete the set.
The R580 is an attractive machine: visually and on the basis of its specs and the performance they deliver. Occasional gamers will like it, as will film fans. Only the 13in-screen resolution on a 15in display disappoints. ®
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