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9/10

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Samsung R590 - Usability and Multimedia

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.
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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.
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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.
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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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