The keyboard lays very flush with the casing, but that doesnâ€™t mean that there isnâ€™t a decent amount of feel to the keys. In fact thereâ€™s a surprising degree of travel and a very tactile spring when typing at speed. The keyboard layout on the review sample was a bit unusual, but thatâ€™s due to it being a Korean machine, complete with Korean characters on the keys. As long as the keyboards in the UK retail machines have a similar feel to them I doubt that any customers will be disappointed â€“ oh and the Return key needs to be full size, although the R20 had a proper Return key so I can only assume that the retail R70 units will too.
Below the keyboard is a touchpad with a very smooth action to it, allowing for swift and accurate pointer manipulation. The right side of the touchpad is marked up to indicate that it can be used for scrolling vertically through documents and web pages. Even though there is no indication on the bottom edge of the touchpad, this section can also be used to scroll horizontally through web pages and documents too. The two glossy black selector buttons below the touchpad have a solid and responsive feel to them and emit a reassuring click when pressed. Personally I still prefer trackpoints to touchpads, but at least Samsung has equipped the R70 with a decent version of the latter.
Taking a leaf out of Appleâ€™s book, Samsung has mounted a webcam above the screen. This 1.3-megapixel camera will lend itself well to Skype video chats, and even if youâ€™re not into broadcasting your face over the Internet, you could find it to be a useful feature when you want to show someone something and donâ€™t have a camera handy. Iâ€™ve got to say that Iâ€™ve never, ever been a fan of webcams and video chats, but now that Iâ€™ve got a baby daughter I can see the attraction â€“ especially when Iâ€™m away on business.
The right side of the R70 is dominated by the optical drive â€“ my review sample only came equipped with a DVD-ROM/CD-RW combo drive, but retail units will ship with far more interesting options. The initial R70 build will ship with a Super-Multi DVD writer, while later, higher-end models will offer either Blu-ray or HD DVD drives.
The front is pretty barren apart from a memory card slot that accepts SD, MMC and MemoryStick cards. Along the left side youâ€™ll find a PC Card slot, headphone and microphone ports and a USB 2.0 port. Also on the left is an impressive complement of video connectors in the form of an analogue D-SUB port and the all important digital HDMI port.