Samsung Creates an Aura

If you've been waiting for a Windows notebook that's as stylish as a MacBook, your wait could be over.

Samsung knows a thing or two about designing notebooks. The Q35 Red that I recently reviewed created quite a stir every time I pulled it out of my bag at CES last month, and the ultra-slim Q30 won over many users who were looking for a machine that was ultra-thin and light. But now the Samsung design team has pushed the boat out and created the new Aura series of notebooks, which look set to go head to head with Apple’s ultra-stylish MacBooks.

The first Aura out of the gates will be the R20, which Samsung will be officially announcing next week. The R20 really does look the business with its glossy black finish and minimalist styling. In fact, if you placed it next to a black MacBook you’d be forgiven for thinking that they share the same DNA. That said, you could say the same about a Nintendo DS Lite!

But the beauty of the R20 is more than just skin deep. For a start this is the first notebook I’ve heard of to use the new AMD/ATI RS600ME chipset for Intel processors. As such, the R20 is not Centrino branded, but the upshot is that you’re getting the fastest integrated graphics solution currently available. The Radeon Xpress 1250 Hyper Memory graphics chip puts a bit of gaming on the menu, and should certainly be a step forward from the Intel integrated graphics that MacBook owners are stuck with.

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