Awards

  • Recommended by TR

Summary

Our Score

9/10

Review Price free/subscription

Samsung R20 Aura - Samsung R20

A the front of the notebook you'll find a line of lights for power, Scroll, Caps and Num Lock and an indicator for the Wi-Fi, which can be activated easily via the Function key and F9. Bluetooth isn't present however on this model, which is a bit of a shame.

Unfortunately, our MobileMark battery life run down test doesn't operate under Vista but it's fair to say that you'll struggle to get to two and half hours of battery life with this notebook. There is a battery power level indicator on the underside at least, which is a nice touch.

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Performance was pretty decent though. Though it has twice the memory of Toshiba's U200 it actually gets a slightly worse memory score in PC Mark 05, indicating how much more demanding running Windows Vista is. Overall though, it does a lot better, thanks to superior hard disk and graphics performance. The fact that it is Core Duo compared to a Core 2 Duo in the Toshiba doesn't seem to have hurt it, particularly because it's clocked slightly higher.

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Overall it's a better machine than the Toshiba, being faster, better looking and cheaper. Sounds like a date. There are aspects I don't care for and sacrifices have been made for the price, namely lack of Gigabit Ethernet and Bluetooth, while the screen is not the most impressive I've seen. However, there's no doubting the value. This is only emphasised further when you compare to something like a similarly specced Macbook, which would cost you over a grand. Sure the Macbook is a more desirable machine, but is it really worth nearly twice this machine?

Verdict

Samsung has managed to offer a budget notebook that doesn't actually look like a budget notebook, at least when the lid is closed. The screen is only adequate but the basics are all there, such as an excellent keyboard. If you're on a budget and want your notebook to look good and perform well, this is a solid choice.


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