What really pleases us about the R780, however, is its performance – mainly because it hits a great sweet-spot in terms of performance for the money. In PCMark Vantage, which tests overall system performance, its Core i5 processor comfortably bests the Core i3-equipped Samsung R580 we reviewed and the AMD-powered HP Pavilion dv6-2113sa.
Had Samsung installed a 64-bit OS these results would doubtless have been even better, as it wouldn’t have been outperformed by the HP in some tests – detail of which can be found in the full results at the end of the review.
What’s particularly encouraging, however, is the gaming performance on offer. While this particular configuration, which utilises an nVidia GeForce GT 330M graphics card with 1GB of dedicated memory, doesn’t make it an out-and-out gaming machine, it still managed a perfectly playable 35.5fps in our STALKER: Call of Pripyat gaming benchmark.
This means many titles will be playable at medium settings, which our test is run at, though you’ll probably have to leave effects like anti-aliasing turned off. In less demanding games, such as our Trackmania Nations test where the R780 achieved a silky smooth 89.5fps, you’ll have no problems at all.
Predictably, though, battery life isn’t a strong suit. In the Productivity segment it lasted just 150 minutes (2hrs, 30mins), while in the DVD test it even fell behind the HP in dying after 83 minutes – less than an hour and a half. Given the machine’s intended use, though, these are good enough for the brief moments the R780 is likely to spend away from a power socket.
Samsung has once again captured a powerful mixture of performance and value in the R780. Its Blu-ray drive might be wasted on the sub-Full HD display and rotten speakers, but for general computing tasks its shines and delivers decent gaming performance to boot.