Samsung R610 review

August 13, 2009

The Samsung R610 is a new notebook by Samsung which blurs the gap between portable notebooks and multimedia notebooks offering nice performance. It is priced quite right at around $1000 and offers th right mix of portability, multimedia capabilities and decent performance. It is one of the more stylish notebooks with a cool glossy, red and black color scheme and has nice build quality.

f you wanted a portable notebook, but didn’t want to buy a netbook which skimps on screen real estate, this is probably a good deal for you. It competes against the Acer Aspire 6930 and the HP Pavilion HDX 16 which we reviewed sometime back. In this review, we check out the Samsung R610 and check out its features, design, performance and see whether it cuts out a good deal.
Samsung R610 Specs:

* Dimensions: 14.9 x 10.4 x 1.5 inches
* Weight: 6 lbs
* Processor: 2.0 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T5800
* Display: 16 inch LCD Display, 1366 x 768 pixels
* Graphics: Nvidia 9200M GS 512 MB VRAM
* Hard Drive: 250 GB SATA HDD, 5400 RPM
* Optical Drive: 8X DVD +/- RW DL
* Wireless: Wi-Fi - 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth v 2.0
* Operating System: MS Windows Vista Home Premium
* Ports: 4 USB 2.0, Ethernet, HDMI, VGA out, Headphone, Microphone, Modem, 3 in 1 card reader, Expresscard, Kensington Lock slot

Design and Build Quality:

The Samsung R610 sports a nice stylish glossy design composed mostly of black and some red. The design is clean and has a nice attractive finish. The glossy black lid, the black interiors with a gradient red finish towards the front edge, and the status indicators LEDs to the left all blend in to give the notebook a very nice look. At dimensions of 14.9 x 10.4 x 1.5 inches, it is easily one of the thinnest 16 inch laptops in this range. It weighs just about 6 lbs, which again is an achievement for a 16 inch notebook.

The build quality is superb and the chassis is strong and solid. The notebook is made mainly of metal and plastic. From the looks of it, it should easily last about 3-4 years and pssibly more with normal usage.
Display and Speakers:

The Samsung R610 sports a 16 inch LCD Display with a native resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels. The resolution is good, but much less compared to the expected full HD resolution 1920 x 1080 pixels you would normally expect from a 16 inch screen. The display quality is nice and the brightness is quite good, while the contrast levels are decent. The viewing angles are nice, both vertical and horizontal and the the glossy screen has decent legibility even under direct light. The video playback quality is quite good but the low resolution means you can’t see movies in HD. Other than the low resolution, there isn’t much to complain about from the display. Just above the display, you find a 1.3 MP webcam which has decent image and video capture quality. It should do for casual video conferencing.

The speakers of the Samsung R610 are loud enough but lack quality, we would definitely recommend the use of a nice pair of headphones if you take your music seriously.

Keyboard and Touchpad:

The Samsung R610 sports a full keyboard with a numeric keypad, just like other notebooks its size. The keys feel nice and have adequate spacig and travel. They also offer decent feedback with a distinct click. The keyboard is superb and suited for you if you are a touch typist.

The touchpad lies just below the keyboard and offers a good grip with adequate response. It also has optimum sensitivity making it easy to navigate around your desktop. The two mouse buttons below the touchpad can be easily pressed, all in all, no major complaints from the keyboard and touchpad. It should be noted that the Samsung R610 doesn’t sport touch sensitive media controls despite being positioned as a multimedia laptop.

The Samsung R610 sports a not so cool configuration - 2.0 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T5800, 3 GB DDR2 RAM with the graphics department being handled by Nvidia 9200 M GS 512 MB. The specs look a bit stale compared to most new laptops, but maybe this is how they were able to keep the prices down. It can run Windows Vista easily and does well in multitasking multiple apps. It sports a 5400 RPM 250 GB HDD which has decent data transfer speeds. You should be able to do some casual, light gaming on this machine, but don’t expect the relatively underpowered 9200 M GS to allow you to frag bots in Crysis at full glory. Overall, the R610 offers average performance, a tad less than its competitors - the Acer Aspire 6930G and the HP Pavilion HDX 16.
Battery Life and other features:

The Samsung R610 comes bundled with a 6 cell battery which lasts just about 2 hrs and 30 mins on a full charge with moderate usage. To increase the battery life, clock down your system volume, lower the display brightness and turn off Wi-Fi when not in use. You can easily manage about 3 hrs then. These figures are decent compared to the category average which is about 2 hrs and 20 mins. If you want more endurance, you can get the optional 9 cell battery which should give you about 6 hrs of juice.

The Samsung R610 has nice Wi-Fi recpetion and data transfer speeds. It also has a wide range of expansion ports and slots - 4 USB 2.0 ports, Ethernet, HDMI, VGA out, Headphone and Microphone jacks, Modem, 3 in 1 card reader, Expresscard and a Kensington Lock slot.

* Nice Design
* Good Keyboard


* Low Battery Life
* Bad Sound Quality
* Relatively Outdated COnfiguration

Final Words:

The Samsung R610 is a nice notebook with a stylish design, light and portable form factor and decent performance. There are some better options to the R610 like the Acer Aspire 6930 and HP Pavilion HDX 16. If you are looking for a portable notebook instead of some cramped netbook then this is a good option. But it doesn’t exactly excel at multimedia playback, which it should considering that it is positioned in that segment. It also has an older hardware configuration compared to most new notebooks. There aren’t many things going for it except the design and portability.

via digitgeek


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