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New Samsung midprice Blu-ray laptops arrive

Samsung says its new line of consumer laptops, including a couple of reasonably priced Blu-ray models, is launching on March 7, exclusively at Best Buy.

CNET/Josh Goldman

Samsung says its new line of consumer laptops, including a couple of reasonably priced Blu-ray models, is launching on March 7, exclusively at Best Buy. The line is highlighted by the $829 Samsung R580, a 15-inch with both discrete graphics and a Blu-ray drive.

Even though these are new systems, we've had one, the R580, on our list of our spring 2010 retail review roundup for a while, and a quick check of Best Buy's Web site earlier in the week indicated that it was already in stock and available in New York-area stores. As if to confirm this, a Samsung R580 turned up in-person on our doorstep Thursday morning.

While there are certainly less expensive Blu-ray laptops out there, we liked the R580's combination of an Intel Core i5 processor, Nvidia M310 graphics, and Blu-ray, all for under $900. In that price range, it may rival our current favorite retail mainstream laptop, the Toshiba E205 (which includes Intel's Wireless Display technology).

CNET/Josh Goldman

The Samsung R580 has an interesting look, which the company calls a "crystal wave design." In this case, the back of the lid had black edges fading into a deep burgundy toward the center of the lid. With the subtle lined pattern underneath, it made the system look a bit like a sunburst finish on a guitar.

The Samsung R580, along with the 14-inch R480 (Blu-ray but no discrete graphics) and 17-inch R780 (discrete graphics but no Blu-ray) are all launching on March 7, but as noted earlier, some Best Buy stores may have them in stock already.