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Samsung RV720 review: Samsung RV720

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The Good Large screen is great for videos; affordable price tag; decent performance for the price.

The Bad Won't handle recent games; uninspiring design; small trackpad can be awkward.

The Bottom Line The Samsung RV720 boasts enough power to handle your everyday office tasks and the large screen makes it an ideal candidate for enjoying films on a modest budget.

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7.5 Overall

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Buying a laptop to watch your movies on often means spending a small fortune on a machine packed with high-performance components and a full HD screen.

If you want something more modest, the Samsung RV720 offers a 17.3-inch screen to help you enjoy movies and TV shows without having to cash in your pension fund. It also has enough power to handle most office tasks.

The RV720 is available now for around £470.

Design and build quality

If you're on the lookout for a tiny machine to slide out of your bag on the train or in a lecture, then the RV720 isn't going to be the best choice for you. At 417mm wide and 276mm deep, it's a pretty massive chap -- you'll need to find a capacious bag if you're planning to take it anywhere. That bulk gives it a weight of 2.5kg so you'd better make sure you hit the gym before picking it up. Some dead lifts and squat-thrusts should firm you up enough.

Samsung RV720 width
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It weighs the same as two and a half bags of flour, which is great if you want to tone up your bingo wings.

It's not wasted space though. That width is there to house a 17.3-inch screen, making the RV720 much better suited as a media machine anchored to your desk than a portable workhorse.

The screen has a 1,600x900-pixel resolution, which isn't quite pushing the boundaries of full high-definition, but it's pretty close. As there's no Blu-ray player included, you're less likely to be taking advantage of full HD movies anyway. High-quality streamed videos looked crisp, clear and bright, with very vivid colours. Whatever you watch should look great.

If you do decide to download high-definition content -- or if you connect an external Blu-ray drive -- then you can always hook up the laptop to an awesome TV like the LG LD490; that will handle your high-quality stuff and won't break the bank.

Samsung RV720 screen
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The 17.3-inch screen will do a fine job of showing streamed videos but the resolution is not the best for high-definition movies.

The large screen size will suit those of you wanting to catch up on your favourite shows on BBC iPlayer and kick back with a good movie on the weekend. It'll also sit well in an office environment as you'll be able to easily see more of the documents you're working on without a whole load of scrolling around.

The keyboard isn't the most wonderful of typing surfaces we've ever enjoyed. If you plan on doing a lot of work on this thing then you might want to give it your own hands-on in a shop. It uses rounded, isolated keys that are set quite high. This resulted in a few errors in our typing test. It's pretty easy to get used to though and you'll no doubt be up to speed once you've banged out the first few thousand words.

Samsung RV720 keyboard
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The keys are set quite high, which casued errorrs in ouor typning texst... but you'll soon get used to them.

The trackpad is rather small, considering the amount of spare space around it. We'd really have appreciated an extra few millimetres to ease the vast amounts of swiping needed to traverse that massive screen. It's fairly responsive though -- if not the easiest thing to glide your finger across -- so you shouldn't struggle too much when browsing around the web.

Samsung RV720 trackpad
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Given the huge sweeps needed to get around the large screen, Samsung could have been more generous with the trackpad size.

The RV720's shell is made from plastic that -- while offering some flex -- felt sturdy enough to survive a small tumble to the floor. We prodded and poked all over and were generally satisfied with the build quality. It's all too common to find weak spots in the cheaper laptops -- and sadly, some of the more expensive ones too -- but the RV720 felt well put together.

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