We liked the look of the 17.3-inch Samsung R720 when it laptop.back in June, but that was a high-end model with a Blu-ray drive and ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4650 GPU. The first model in the new range to arrive for review sits more towards the entry-level end of the spectrum, but, at around just £600, it still promises to be a decent desktop-replacement
Back to matte black
Samsung clearly knows a thing or two about how to make a good-looking laptop. The R720 is definitely one of the better-looking desktop-replacement machines we've seen. It has the same glossy black lid as the , but Samsung has ditched the piano-black interior for a far more practical matte black. Thankfully, the R720 also dispenses with the gaudy red highlight that runs along the front of the R710's wrist rest.
It's not all featureless black on the inside, though. The R720's keyboard is pepped up with a glossy black plastic surround, and a strip of black, anodised brushed aluminium runs above the function keys. One small design frill we particularly like is the blue LED light that outlines the trackpad. The trackpad has a slight lip to separate the touch-sensitive area from the rest of the wrist rest, and the light goes out if the pad isn't touched for a few moments.
The R720 is about the same size as the R710. In other words, it's big. At 2.88kg, it's about 220g lighter, though. The R720's size means that there's room for a large keyboard and separate numeric keypad, and both have full-size keys. The keyboard is rock-solid and very comfortable, and, while the low-profile design means there's no space between the flat keys, the key tops are slightly raised, giving each finger something to aim for.