Samsung R780 review

Full review: Powerful Core i7 desktop replacement laptop

Image 1 of 2 Samsung R780
Samsung R780
Image 2 of 2 Samsung R780 keyboard
Samsung R780 keyboard

Expensive, but powerful performer with some great features

Samsung wasn’t such a massive force in the laptop market until until a few years back, when it’s impressive range of netbooks brought the company some well-earned credibility.

The company is now producing more and more machines, including everything from ultraportables, such as the Q330, to desktop replacement systems. The Samsung R780 is one of the latter, and for the price delivers comfort and performance on a scale you won’t find often.

Comfort is key for a desktop replacement system, and fortunately the R780 delivers. The massive 17.3-inch screen features a razor sharp 1600 x 900 pixel resolution and produces fantastic images, which will especially suit those who want to watch films on the laptop.

Samsung R780: Keyboard and build

A large chiclet style keyboard provides a very comfortable typing experience, and we detected next to no flex in the board at all. This provides for a very hard, crisp action which was pleasingly responsive.

The red and black swirly chassis design is subtle enough not to offend anyone, while also adding a welcome touch of class. We did notice it quickly attracted dust and dirt, and smears and smudges ensure you’ll need to give the R780 a wipe every now and then if you’re to keep it clean.

Nevertheless build quality is excellent, and despite the size of the chassis panels there’s very little evidence of flex, which makes the R780 a laptop suited to travel.

The fact that such a large machine only weighs 2.9kg is pretty extraordinary, and the 169 minute battery life isn’t too shocking for such a powerful laptop meaning the R780 does offer a degree of portability.

Samsung R780: Performance and graphics

Where the R780 really excels is in the performance stakes. A quad-core Intel Core i7 processor sits alongside an impressive 6072MB of RAM, and the result is power enough to run even the most resource intensive applications.

Similarly, the dedicated nVidia graphics card (with 1GB of video memory) provides the sort of power normally associated with gaming laptops - so you can run the latest titles as well as edit HD video and your holiday snaps.

The 640GB hard drive provides plenty of place for your all your data, and there’s also a Blu-ray optical drive for enjoying the latest movies in high definition.

A few nice touches include a Sleep and Charge USB port for powering peripherals even when the R780 is off, and a series of LED lights around the touchpad make it easy to locate in the dark.

All-in-all, a pricey, but worthy desktop replacement, combining power with and excellent screen, if a relatively portable design.

The Samsung R780 is out now, find out more from Samsung

OS: Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit)
Screen (size and res): 17.3-inch 1600 x 900
Processor (inc speed): Intel 1.6GHz Core i7 720QM
Graphics: nVidia GeForce GT 330M
Storage: 500GB
Drive: DVD, Blu-ray (read only)
Memory: 6GB DDR3
Battery tested: 169mins
Battery claimed: n/a
Connections: 4 xUSB 2.0, VGA, HDMI, N WiFi, Bluetooth 2.1, Gigabit Ethernet
Dimensions/weight: 39 X 26 X 316mm / 2.9kg