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Samsung R590 - Usability and Multimedia

Andy Vandervell

By Andy Vandervell


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Samsung tends to use a lot of common components among its laptops, which is no bad thing as the keyboard on the R590 is just as good as its other machines. As is the modern fashion the keys are isolated, and there's also a numeric keypad for making quick calculations. Key actions are sharp and precise, and don't suffer the shallowness often attributed to isolation keyboards.

However, also in common with other Samsung laptops of late, the R590's touchpad is positioned to the right of the Spacebar. Consequently, when typing, your palm tends to rest on the edge of it, jogging the cursor and often causing errors. It seems a trivial, minor problem at first, but the reality is a good deal more irritating. If you're concerned, it's worth giving the R590 a test run before purchase.

Aside from getting in the way, the touchpad is very good. It's a good size, has a nice, low-friction surface and its buttons are precise and easy to located. We're not sure the four LED lights that demark each corner add much, but they don't hurt.

As mentioned earlier, one of the side effects of the fetching seamless bezel is the 15.6-inch screen is quite reflective. Not a problem if indoors, where this machine is likely to spend most of its time, but not a positive trait in the great outdoors. In its element, however, the display is impressive. Its 1,366 x 768 resolution is nothing outstanding, but it's vibrant and reveals plenty of detail in videos and photos.

You'll need a decent set of headphones or speakers to hand, however, as the R590's speakers are thoroughly mediocre. They just about pass muster for watching online video clips and maybe the odd TV show on BBC iPlayer, but for anything else they lack the mid-range clarity for genuine enjoyment or immersion.

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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.


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.



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.


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 ;-)


October 1, 2010, 3:52 pm


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.


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


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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