Samsung RV511-S01 review: Samsung RV511-S01

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The Good Great performance for the price; Excellent usability; Decent battery life.

The Bad Quite bulky; Design won't be to everyone's tastes.

The Bottom Line The Samsung RV511 doesn't blow our minds in terms of design or portability, but with a Core i3 processor, 6GB of RAM and a dedicated graphics card, this laptop packs great performance for the price.

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8.3 Overall

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Five hundred and fifty quid. What does that buy you? Fifty-five thousand penny sweets, or maybe an affordable desktop replacement laptop. Samsung hopes you'll plump for the latter, and drain your wallet for the RV511-S01 -- a Core i3 laptop with 6GB of RAM.

Tubby traveller

Grabbing hold of the RV511, we can tell it's not built to travel. It weighs 2.4kg, which isn't very heavy compared to some other larger laptops, but it's quite bulky in terms of its dimensions -- measuring 382 by 256 by 35mm, it's not particularly thin, and if you have a backpack you can squeeze it into, it'll likely preclude you from lugging anything else around too.

The lid's black lower section has a pleasing lenticular effect.

Still, there's a place for laptops that aren't especially portable -- you won't have any trouble lugging this monster around your house from room to room, so you could use this as your single home computer and plug it into your telly for watching video, or plonk it down on your desk when it's time to get your nose to the grindstone.

The design leaves something to be desired, though kudos to Samsung for trying something a little quirkier than usual. The interior is plain silver, with a black gloss surrounding the keyboard.

Lenticular peculiar

The lid, meanwhile, has a big black strip along the bottom, while the rest is a shinier silver hue. It has an interesting texture, which we can only liken to those lenticular 3D-effect pictures -- dozens of tiny raised horizontal lines. It makes a great vwoop noise when you drag your hands up and down along it, but if you're the kind of person who can't stand nails on a chalkboard, this texture may well set your teeth on edge.

In terms of usability, this is impressive stuff from Samsung. The keyboard has a number pad along the right-hand side, and the whole keypad seems intelligently laid-out. Although each key is quite small, there's a wide space between them so you probably won't find yourself making too many mistakes.

Each key is pleasantly springy and responsive, which will make typing at lightning speed easy enough. We did notice a little flex in the keyboard, but nothing catastrophic.

The RV511 has an excellent keyboard with plenty of space between each key.

The display is good -- this is a 15.6-inch panel with a maximum resolution of 1,366x768 pixels. It's impressively vivid, with colours looking really vibrant, but even with the brightness cranked up to max, this isn't a particularly bright screen. The viewing angle also isn't up to much, and you might be driven crazy by screen reflections if you're using the RV511 in a brightly lit environment.

All in all, this is an average display. We've seen some Samsung laptops with really ace panels recently, so we're a little disappointed this one isn't similarly spellbinding.

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