Since we’ve just touched upon the resolution of the display, it’s worth covering its actual image quality. As is the modern habit it has a glossy finish that, depending on your point of view, either boosts colour and contrast or is reflective and annoying. Either way it’s hard to find a laptop without this finish these days. On the whole the display produces good colours and reasonable contrast, but it doesn’t break any new ground for quality. It’s just middle of the road ordinary.
Similar can’t be said of the two speakers, whose combined 4W output is tinny, lacking in definition and thoroughly miserly. Perhaps it’s no surprise given the value on offer here, but a little more depth and richness would be nice. As they are, the speakers just about past muster for the occasional online video clip, perhaps even a TV drama if you aren’t fussy, but here the R780 falls distinctly below average.
This weakness mirrors that of the R580, but the R780 also shares its more positive elements such as the keyboard and touchpad. Starting with the former, it’s a large, full-size keyboard that includes a numeric keypad to the right. Its keys are the isolation style ones invented by Sony, but popularised by Apple and its MacBooks. Each key has a light and defined action that makes typing a pleasure, while the intuitive layout keeps errors to a minimum.
Touchpads are harder to get wrong than keyboards, but nonetheless we see some shockers from time to time. Here we have no complaints, though, thanks to the large and friction-free surface, while the two buttons offer clean and precise feedback.
These two facets talk to the solid overall build quality of the R780. Good quality plastics are used throughout and there are no unsightly seams or joins to be found. This is partly a result of the minimalist design, but simple is often best where durability is concerned.