Summary

Our Score

7/10

Review Price free/subscription

Samsung P580

Compared to the consumer-oriented, award-winning R580-JS02UK we looked at in March, the 15.6in P580-JS00UK we're checking out today is aimed more towards 'serious' and business users, as denoted by the 'P' standing for Professional. Don't be put off though: with dedicated GeForce graphics and attractive if understated looks, this is by no means a boring machine.
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Its elevated status is immediately apparent from its superior finish: rather than the R580's scratch, dust and fingerprint-prone glossy construction, this laptop features a smooth – almost soft-touch - matte lid and base, with a faux brushed metal palm rest and keyboard surround. It might not catch the eye with as much initial impact, but it's certainly a major step up in every other regard, and we would be quite chuffed if Samsung were to adopt this kind of finish as a base line across its laptop range.

While not quite up to some of its metal-clad rivals, build quality is good with no obvious drawbacks. Weight is around what you would expect at 2.5kg.
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Specifications are pretty decent too. Heading the cast is an Intel Core i3 330M. This dual core CPU runs at 2.13GHz and supports up to four virtual cores, which should give it plenty of oomph for most users. It's backed by 3GB of DDR3 RAM filling both slots, which is a bit niggardly considering the machine comes with a 64-bit version of Windows 7 Pro. However, for the average workload it's still plenty to be going on with, especially since none of it will be taken by integrated graphics. Instead, the P580 has a GeForce 330M (to match its CPU model number, naturally) with 1GB of dedicated memory, meaning the occasional bit of light 3D gaming should be possible.

The hard drive is an average 320GB, 5,200rpm model, but it is protected by a sensor system somewhat similar to HP's 3D DriveGuard, as found on the likes of that company's ProBook range. Samsung's equivalent may not feature the magnesium drive cage, but it does boast a sensor that will park the drive heads if it detects sudden, sharp motion, and can withstand shocks of up to 900g in this state.
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Other business-oriented features include an integrated Trusted Platform Module (TPM) chip and not only the pre-installed version of Windows 7 Professional, but also a downgrade disc with Windows XP Pro and a clean hard drive partition to install it on. Including XP by default is a really nice touch, and will no doubt be a lifesaver for many business users - even the average consumer may appreciate its ability to run older software incompatible with 64-bit operating systems.

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