Given the price, we weren’t expecting particularly great things from the R620’s multimedia performance, but it did better than we imagined. Its 1,366 x 768 resolution display won’t quite do Full HD Blu-ray content justice, but we were pleasantly surprised by the detail and richness of colours produced by its 16:9 aspect frame. We’ve seen worse viewing angles on similar laptops, too, though they remain fairly limited compared to even a moderate desktop monitor.
It’s really audio where the R620 struggles; no surprise given Samsung’s poor track record in both laptops and TVs in this department. While just about passable for listening to video reviews from your favourite online review site (*wink*), films, music and other more demanding media aren’t done justice by the tinny, imprecise output. If audio quality is a particular concern for you you’ll want to look into the likes of the HP Pavilion dv6-1240ea which, while lacking a Blu-ray drive, has far superior integrated speakers.
Where raw performance is concerned, however, the two are hard to separate. Indeed, in PCMark Vantage the Samsung marginally bests the HP in most tests, though the difference is rarely enough to warrant any significant remark. Both, meanwhile, comfortably beat the AMD-based Acer Aspire 7535G in all the tests.
Gaming performance is also comparable. Though the ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4570 in the dv6 is definitely superior to the HD 4330 in the R620, the Samsung still managed a creditable 36.4 frames per second (around 5fps less than the HP) in ”Trackmania Nations” with medium detail and 4x anti-aliasing applied. Such performance means casual titles like The Sims, World of Warcraft and Spore should pose no significant problems, though the likes of Call of Duty 4 will ask a little too much.
While battery life isn’t a great concern for a machine weighing 2.75kg and measuring a considerable 381mm across, the R620 still offers enough to use it around the house. In the Productivity segment of MobileMark 2007 it managed a reasonable two hours and 40 minutes, just four minutes less than the HP. You won’t be watching too many films on battery, however, with just less than two hours of DVD playback at the screen’s maximum brightness.
There are some rough edges to the Samsung R620, particularly due its poor audio output, but with its Blu-ray drive, excellent balance of features and competent performance, it offers outstanding value if a Blu-ray laptop is high on your wish list.
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