Samsung R522 - 15.6in Notebook - Samsung R522

Andy Vandervell

By Andy Vandervell



Our Score:


Happily, while the audio performance is pretty forgettable, the 15.6in screen is a little more promising. Colour fidelity is nothing outstanding and viewing angles are more or less the same as any other notebook display at this price, but thanks to its LED backlight, it's very bright. This can be particularly advantageous in brightly lit environments, offsetting the reflectivity of the glossy high-contrast display somewhat.

Our only other point regarding the display is that, due to its 16:9 ratio, it has a native resolution of 1,366 x 768 - meaning fewer vertical pixels than unusual. This has been a bone of contention for a little while now and we don't see that changing, but neither can we see the trend toward 16:9 ratio displays disappearing. So, though there are still 16:10 notebooks out there, 16:9 appears to be the shape of things to come.

Few complaints, gaming aside, can be made of the R522's performance. It's not a speed demon in modern terms, but the 2.0GHz CPU offers plenty of processing power. Our only regret is that Samsung hasn't opted to supply a 64-bit version of Windows Vista Home Premium to match the 4GB RAM supplied. We've never understood why manufacturers don't do this, especially given the price difference between 32-bit and 64-bit OS versions is fairly negligible these days.

For reference, we managed 22 frames per second in our Trackmania Nations benchmark, but at 1,366 x 768 we had to turn the settings down to the low quality preset, underlining the lack of gaming credentials.

Battery life, however, is very promising. In the multi-tasking Productivity benchmark the R522 achieved almost three and a half hours, increasing to four hours in the idle Reader test. In the high-intensity DVD test, meanwhile, the R522 returned two hours hours and 11 minutes of runtime - a figure that could be increased by reducing the brightness we run the test at.


Samsung's latest mainstream notebook does lots of things well. It looks great, adding a little class and refinement to a sector better known for well-featured but prosaic machines. It also has a decent base spec, very good connectivity and excellent battery life. However, it is let down by truly dreadful speakers and the lack of both Draft-N Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. These aren't deal breakers, so if you can live without them the R522 is worth serious consideration, but they do preclude the R522 from an award.


April 27, 2009, 6:44 am

Regarding battery life quotes like included within not just this review, but those for other notebooks too, how does one gauge the battery wear? Is it possible to predict battery wear and include it in this review? E.g. battery life in 1 year is expected to be instead of the original 3 hours 30 minutes, 1 hour and 30minutes.

I ask because I purchased the acer 5920 reviewed on this site near enough 2 years ago, and the battery life was self measured at 3.5 hours, and after a year now does not last 40 minutes on battery. Future battery life is a very important but often negated part of a notebook review. I'd never even known about heavy battery wear until experiencing it first hand. I know lith-ion batteries degrade over time, but some notebook batteries wear down faster than others etc....


April 27, 2009, 6:27 pm

@darkspark88; I believe that would be very difficult for the reviewers to determine, especially when they have the machines in hand for such a relitively short period of time. I do share your pain though, I find Acer batteries to be particularly bad at holding the juice after those first 6 months or so, especially if you forget to run down the battery every so often. I have the 5930, which I believe uses the same battery as yours, and it now barely runs for 1h30 after 10 months whereas before it would go for a jolly good 3hours. Acer are introducing an auto swtich off system in their laptop adaptors in their latest machines which should help allevate thesse issues - we can only hope other manufacturers take up this system as well.

Geoff Richards

April 27, 2009, 7:43 pm

I don't have a link to back this up with, but I do recall that running a laptop on AC power all day is believed to be detrimental to it's long-term life. That's in addition to any kind of "expected number of recharges"


April 28, 2009, 2:14 pm

To be fair, all laptop batteries seem to deteriorate at about the same rate. At least to the extent that in a couple of years you can expect battery life to have significantly dropped. In the case of my Samsung Q35, from around 5 hours to about 2. This is something that is nearly impossible for us to fairly predict, though.


August 21, 2009, 4:02 pm

I like the look of this machine. It seems to have everything that i'm looking for, but is it better than the medion akoya s5610, or the sony vaio vgn-ns20j/s. I have been working on this question for a while and a recent magazine I purchased said the Sony was clearly the best. I can't, for the life of me work out why but any help would be greatly appreciated. Your Michael.


September 8, 2009, 10:50 pm

Thagun you should go for it, go for the model with the dedicated 512mb graphics card. It's a great laptop.


December 14, 2009, 1:28 am

I couldn't see this machine in a BB store, so I ordered it blindly after rejecting HP, Dell, Compaq, and several other competitors. I needed a machine badly since my last computer was actually falling apart. It came 5 days later (standard shipping) and I was pleased with its easy setup and Vista's operation. It even comes with a free upgrade to Windows 7. Here is the good news...

Its light enough to travel around the house and around town with, the screen is very bright, and the construction is solid and sturdy. The speakers allow the music to be heard in the next room, albeit without bass, but can be quiet enough to be a bedroom television/DVD player for me. The mouse pad has a cool blue ring around it so you can find the mouse pad in the dark. Its completely useless and can be turned off in BIOS, but adds a bit of Samsung's style to the laptop. She gets an A+ on wireless range, power-sipping energy efficiency (very high on my list), an HDMI out, the graphics accelerator, cd burning, aesthetics, and available USB ports. Seriously, who uses more than 4 USB ports simultaneously?

Here's the bad news. I'm not too stoked about the keyboard arrangement. The keys are chiclet-style, meaning my big fingers roll right off of them easily. Also, the the delete, home, pg up, pg down, and end keys are horizontally placed on the far right side of the keyboard, so i have to actually look when using these quick keys while typing. There are no quick media buttons, which I had on my last laptop and I now miss them dearly. The AC cord plugs in on the left, and is extra long, but i always seem to sit on the wrong side of AC jacks in my house. Beware of fingerprints, the matte black finish collects em like candy. Vista automatically partitions half of my hard drive for backup space, and I wish it wouldn't do that. The SD card slot is completely open, which makes me think dust WILL collect in it. Oh, and I paid full price for it a month ago (629).

If you like RAM speed, tons of GB of memory, and want a lightning quick machine WITH blue-tooth, look elsewhere and pay more. Otherwise, this might be just what the PC Gods ordered... I recommend for the non-techies and light techies.

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