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Samsung R780 review: Samsung R780

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The Good Lovely red design inside and out; decent performance; comfortable keyboard and trackpad.

The Bad Rubbish battery life.

The Bottom Line The Samsung R780 offers good performance for the price, and both the chassis and display look great. If you can forgive its weak battery life, it'll prove an ace multimedia machine

Visit manufacturer site for details.

8.3 Overall

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When we reviewed the Samsung R730, we were impressed by its £500 price tag and stylish red lid. But we were disappointed by its lack of power and the fact that the lovely red finish didn't extend to the laptop's interior. Now that we have our hands on the 17.3-inch Samsung R780, we're pleased to report that, for around £250 more, you can bag yourself an Intel Core i5 CPU, Blu-ray drive and a glossy red finish both inside and out. But are those features worth the extra moolah?

Maroon i5
At around 411 by 40 by 273mm, the R780 is a fairly substantial laptop, but, on the plus side, its bulky dimensions mean there's loads of extra space for that lovely glossy red finish to cover. This deep red covers not only the R780's lid, but also stretches around the keyboard and goes right up to the hinge. It's a consistency of style we see in precious few machines, and Samsung deserves praise for creating a laptop that looks good both inside and out. Pretty much everything that's not red is an understated matte black.

We like other details of the R780's interior too, such as its the chrome-accented power button, and the four tiny, blue LEDs that light up the corners of the R780's trackpad whenever you're using it.

The LEDs on the trackpad's corners help ensure your finger doesn't stray onto the patterned chassis by accident

The R780's port array is pretty bog-standard, with VGA and HDMI out, three USB ports, an additional eSATA/USB port, an Ethernet jack, a multi-format card reader, and 3.5mm sockets for headphones and a microphone.

The trackpad is impressively large and smooth, and the keyboard is big, comfortable and sensibly laid out, with isolated keys. Typing on it for extended periods of time won't cause your fingers to warp permanently into unnatural shapes.

This machine runs Windows 7 Home Premium, and sports a 500GB hard drive to handle your storage needs. That's a decent storage capacity for the price, and you'd have to be a real download fiend to burn through that kind of space in a hurry.

Bright and breezy
We like the 17.3-inch LED display, which offers a decent maximum resolution of 1,600x900 pixels. More impressive than the resolution, however, is the brightness of this display. It's sufficiently bright to cancel out most of the reflections that appear on the very glossy screen. Colours look vibrant, and the screen also boasts a wide horizontal and vertical viewing angle, so the whole family can crowd around to check out the humiliating Facebook photos you've been tagged in.

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