At this price one doesn't expect amazing performance, but the R530 is still competent enough and won't have normal users pondering too much about speed. In our testing the slightly downgraded processor did score lower than the previous R530 we reviewed, but on the whole performance was comparable. Had Samsung actually installed a 64-bit OS, it might have done better.
What does this mean in the real-world, though? While this isn't the machine for processor intensive video editing, its dual-core processor and reasonable clock-speed ensure it can cope perfectly well with day-to-day multi-tasking. HD video, in all its forms, plays faultlessly and there's enough memory to ensure you can install lots of Chrome Extensions (for instance) and not worry about running out.
Thanks to Intel's HD Graphics, the R530 is no gaming machine. It didn't even manage a playable frame-rate in TrackMania, which doesn't demand much. You'll still be able to play older titles, however, and if you don't play games then its lack of prowess here won't concern you.
Likewise, while decent battery life is important, the R530 isn't really portable enough for it to be major concern. Still, it is a little disappointing to find this version has worse battery life than its predecessor, lasting a little over three hours in our productivity test and less than two of DVD playback. Both are around 30 minutes less than before, and are nearly identical to the Acer Aspire 5551 we reviewed a few weeks ago.
For the money the Samsung R530 is a decent laptop, and benefits from a particularly good screen. Its large hard drive is also a plus point, but a little more attention to detail in the design is required.