And the good news just goes on when it comes to this laptop’s usability. There’s plenty of room for a full-size keyboard, and Samsung has opted for a chiclet affair with number pad. Layout is superb, though the cursor keys do intrude on the numpad somewhat. There are no dedicated controls, but brightness and volume functions are found on the cursor keys with Samsung’s signature secondary Function key allowing for easy one-handed operation.
Feedback on the matt, well-spaced keys is very good indeed, with decent travel and a positive click. Combined with the generous area to rest your wrists on, it makes for a fantastic typing experience that again exceeds the expectations we would normally have, given the RV720’s affordability.
The large, multi-touch touchpad, meanwhile, doesn’t interfere with typing, is subtly delineated, and offers a smooth, sensitive surface with just enough friction to prevent it being slippery. Its buttons might love fingerprints but at least provide a positive click. While it pales compared to Samsung’s buttonless frosted glass efforts as found on the premium Series 9 and 7, within its price bracket it’s more than acceptable.
When it comes to its 17.3in screen, there’s nothing too exciting. It sports the typical 1600 x 900 resolution common at this price point. Backlighting is even with no noticeable bleed, and contrast is impressive with vivid colours aided by its glossy finish. Viewing angles, however, are average (almost mediocre), and reflections will be a problem if you’re near ambient light. We really wish Samsung would extend its ‘no-gloss’ policy – which it’s applying across the Series 7 range – to all of its laptops, but then glossy screens are common on the RV720’s rivals.
Audio is our first out and out disappointment.
It’s not bad per se, but it’s lacking in volume, depth and bass. Basically, it
gets solidly trounced by the Toshiba NB550D, which is a 10in netbook… Frankly, we were hoping for better
given the amount of room Samsung has to play with here.