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Samsung R590 review

Andy Vandervell

By

Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

9

User Score:

Pros

  • Powerful
  • Feature-rich
  • Great value

Cons

  • Glossy all over
  • Mediocre battery life
  • Poor touchpad positioning

Key Features

  • Dual-core Intel Core i5 CPU
  • 4GB RAM, 500GB HDD
  • 15.6in, 1,366 x 768 screen
  • Nvidia GeForce GT 330M discrete graphics
  • Manufacturer: Samsung
  • Review Price: free/subscription

Though the likes of Dell offer the option of colourful lids and designs, in general PC manufacturers shy away from bold colours. Anything grey, black, or brown-ish goes down well, as has white in times past. Samsung, however, is unusual in making its laptops more than a little colourful. For the R580 and R780 we reviewed earlier this year the colour of choice was red, but the new R590 opts for a fetching deep blue instead.

Aside from the change of colour, the R590's chassis is more or less identical to its predecessors. Both the lid and body are punctuated by a pretty swirling pattern, and the touchpad is flanked by small blue LEDs on each corner. One difference, however, is that the R590 has a seamless, flat bezel surrounding the screen. This looks cool, but does suffer reflections worse even than the standard reflective finishes of most laptops.

In general the design is an attractive one. The R590 mightn't be as thin or light as the Q530 we reviewed earlier in the week, but its 2.6kg weight isn't too hefty and it's no thicker than the majority of laptops in this segment. Our only pressing criticism, a common one as it happens, is that the glossy finishes are very fingerprint prone - a problem not present on the Q530.

Where the R590 excels is in its generous specification. Despite actually costing less than the Q530, it boasts a faster 2.4GHz Intel Core i5 processor. Added to the 4GB of RAM, 500GB hard drive and a capable 1GB Nvidia GeForce GT 330M graphics card, and the R590 ticks a lot of useful boxes. Also under the features column is the now obligatory 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 3.0 and Gigabit Ethernet, not to mention a 1.3-megapixel webcam.

You're unlikely to be left wanting for connectivity, either. There are four USB ports, one of which doubles as an eSATA port, while another offers standby USB charging. HDMI and VGA are present, too, and the R590 is unusual in retaining a 34mm ExpressCard slot - useful if you want to add USB 3.0 support, for instance. Also included, but not shown above, is a memory card slot that's on the front edge.

james1000

September 30, 2010, 4:06 pm

Whilst the express slot allows usb 3 expansion, so did a laptop built 5 years ago. Had this unit had usb 3 as standard it would have been a surefire purchase for me.

JK

September 30, 2010, 7:52 pm

@Andy - How do you at TR decide what overall score to give to a reviewed product? Is it an average of the scores in the other categories, or does every reviewer have their own system?





I'm asking because I realized that the average score in the first five categories for the Samsung R590 is 8.0, yet you gave it an overall score of 9/10.


I was actually wondering about this yesterday when Ardjuna posted the review on the Asus O!Play HD2. It got a 9/10 on everything except design, where it only got a 6/10. It brought the average down to 8.25, and the O!Play HD2 received an overall score of 8/10.





I actually feel like the Asus should have gotten a 9/10 overall, since the only category where it didn't get a 9/10 was in Design, which is arguably the most subjective of all categories. Especially as long as the design doesn't actually make it harder to use the device in the way it was intended. And I can't see it causing any problems there.


The Samsung R590 on the other hand, fell a little short on Battery Life, bringing the average down to 8.0. To me, this would seem to be a much better reason to keep the overall score at 8/10, since battery life will be the same for everyone regardless of their personal tastes.





So let me know what you and Ardjuna think, and hopefully I'll gain a better understanding for how you determine the overall scores in the reviews on TR.





Cheers!

lte1000

September 30, 2010, 10:19 pm

I don't think battery life is so important in a desktop replacement laptop like this. Your not likely to take it far from a socket anyway.

ChrisC

October 1, 2010, 12:25 am

Agree with ite1000 - you only need 20 minutes or so battery so you can carry on playing Battlefield 2 on the toilet ;-)

TL1210

October 1, 2010, 3:52 pm

@James100





Currently you will only find USB 3.0 on niche and/or high end laptops.





Samsung produce for the mass market and at the moment, it will cost more to include USB 3.0 (licence) and as the majority of people who will buy this laptop wont have a requirement for USB3 yet, it's not really a must have feature.





USB3 products are also more expensive to buy compared to USB2 so the number of people choosing USB3 will be small. I'm sure we will see more of USB3 next year.

Jay4d0

October 2, 2010, 1:02 am

the only reason this laptop doesn't have USB 3 is simply because intel doesnt have any reference designs for the motherboard that include USB 3, without them the manufacturer has to physically add in the USB 3 controler on the motherboard or as an add on, both add to the price.





therefore I'm inclined to blame intel for the lack of USB 3 in the consumer PC market than any manufacturer

Carnochan

October 26, 2010, 5:26 pm

Although PC World are the priciest supplier, their version has an INFERIOR graphics card, a 310. Buyer beware!

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