Inside, the R60 pairs up a nice balance of components for the casual user. Directing proceedings is an Intel Core 2 Duo T5450 running at 1.6GHz, with 2MB L2 Cache and a 667MHz Front Side Bus. It’s a great entry-level CPU, providing competent raw performance while adding the battery enhancing features of faster and more expensive siblings. This is supported by 2GB RAM, while graphics are provided by the integrated ATI Radeon Express 1250 chipset. This won’t provide much by way of gaming performance, but is enough to power the Aero effects in Vista
Perhaps the best feature, though, is the capacious 250GB SATA HDD. This is a lot of storage for the price, leaving enough space for plentiful music, photo and video collections. Elsewhere, the feature set is a little more basic. Obviously you get both wired and wireless networking – that’s a given – though you can forget about Draft N wireless or Gigabit Ethernet. Another staple is an 8x DVD+/-RW drive, but conspicuous by their absence are Bluetooth and a WebCam.
You also don’t benefit from nice extras such as HDMI and connectivity overall continues the no frills focus. You get three USB ports, D-SUB (VGA) for connecting an external monitor, a 54mm ExpressCard slot, a 2-in-1 SD and MMC card reader and audio outputs and inputs for headphones and a microphone, but no FireWire.
Clearly, then, if you’re after a flawless all rounder then the R60+ isn’t quite the solution, but then at this price that isn’t a great surprise. Moreover, what is does have will suit the kind of user looking for a sub-£500 notebook quite well, so its lack of the finer details isn’t of great concern.
It helps, too, that other elements of the R60+ are pretty solid. As is the case with many Samsung notebooks, the screen is a good one. It’s bright, sharp and surprisingly colourful and though the glossy finish results in the predictable reflection issues, this shouldn’t be a problem indoors and it does make photos and video look that little bit richer.
Likewise, the keyboard on the R60+ is a fair bit better than on some “budget” notebooks. Keys have a decent level of travel depth and response, and despite the one regular annoyance of having the Fn key to the left of the Ctrl key, the layout is quite good. This, combined with the good screen and well proportioned touchpad, make the R60+ comfortable and easy to use.
Audio, however, isn’t such a strong point. For basic requirements the integrated speakers will suffice, but if you want to listen to music or watch film, expect to invest in some decent headphones or desktop speakers.
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