The rush for the latest, greatest, thinnest, most powerful laptop — sometimes with optional attachment for opening horses' hooves — often leaves more ordinary fare by the wayside. In pretty much every respect, Samsung's R519 is that kind of laptop. The latter ordinary fare laptop, that is, before you go getting all excited.
Measuring in at 376.0x255.5x30.4mm with a carrying weight of 2.5kg, this isn't an ultraportable, ultralight model. The basic trim is exactly that — basic. Or, as the sticker on the base of the R519 wishes to inform us, it's "Minimalism Design", if you prefer marketing terms. Either way, this is a plain looking notebook with a silver trim around the basic keyboard, and a black bezel around the 15.6-inch TFT screen.
Likewise, the features list for the R519 reads like a what's hot list for a notebook a couple of years ago. The sole differentiator there is that it ships with Windows 7. According to Samsung's website, the R519 should come with Windows 7 Basic, but our review system shipped with Windows 7 Home Premium. Either way, that's enough to tax the R519's very basic Pentium dual core T4300 2.1GHz processor. The inclusion of that processor is enough for Samsung to go fully retro on us and slap a "Pentium Inside" sticker on the case, which was something of a shock to us. Our review sample came with 4GB of on-board memory, a 15.6-inch (1366x768) TFT display screen, three USB 2.0 ports and a three-in-one card reader. Otherwise, it is as the price suggests, an exceptionally ordinary system.
There's still a place for ordinary laptop systems in the marketplace. Not everyone wants or needs a high speed video editing or gaming rig, after all. If all you wanted was a basic office tasks-style machine with portability, then the R519 might just fit the bill. In informal use the keyboard had reasonable travel, the trackpad worked well and Windows 7 delivered pretty much everything you'd want out of a modern operating system. That's backed up by the R519's benchmark scores. Its score of 4054 in PCMark05 denotes it as a reasonable workhorse, although its 3DMark06 score of only 869 means it's certainly not a gaming workhorse. Blame the integrated Intel GL40 chipset for that score.