The Bottom Line
- Distinctive Design
- Comfortable Keyboard
- Older Core 2 Duo Processor
- Relatively Small Trackpad
- Intel Core 2 Duo T6600 Dual Core Mobile Processor
- 4GB PC3-8500 DDR3 Memory
- 320GB 5400rpm SATA Hard Drive
- 8x DVD+/-RW Dual Layer Burner
- 15.6" WXGA (1366x768) LED Backlit Display With VGA Webcam
- Intel GMA 4500MHD Integrated Graphics
- Fast Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n Wireless
- Three USB 2.0, HDMI, VGA, 3-in-1 Card Reader
- 14.9" x 10.5" x 1.4" @ 5.5 lbs.
- Windows 7 Home Premium
Guide Review - Samsung R530-Red 15.6-inch Budget Laptop PC
Apr 13 2010 - Samsung's entry in to the budget laptop market feels a bit dated because of one part choice. Rather than using a new Intel Core 2010 processor, they are using an older Core 2 Duo T6600 dual core processor. While this is certainly capable of running basic applications without much of a problem, it lags behind the Core i3-330M that most companies have switched to. This makes it slower for tasks such as video or multitasking.
Storage features on the Samsung R530 are pretty much what can be found on any laptop in the $650 price range. A 320GB hard drive provides a sufficient amount of space for applications and data and spins at a modest 5400rpm rate. A dual-layer DVD burner handles playback and recording of CDs and DVDs.
Like most budget laptops, Samsung has elected to use a fairly common 15.6-inch LCD panel with a glossy coating and 1366x768 resolution capable of 720p high definition video. Viewing angles were decent but nothing special in this price range. The glossy coating does make it difficult to viewing under certain lighting conditions. Graphics are powered by the Intel GMA 4500MHD integrated graphics that is common to many systems. It provides enough performance to handle HD video streaming without any issue but lacks any performance for 3D gaming even at the casual level.
Battery life is fairly typical of a budget laptop due to the smaller 6-cell battery pack. In my DVD playback test, the system was able to run roughly two and a half hours before going into standby mode. This translates to roughly three and a half hours of more typical usage that is on par with other laptops with similar configurations and prices.
The Samsung R530-Red comes with a very bright red exterior with accents that gives it a very distinctive look. Open it up and things become much more common with a grey-silver interior trim and black keyboard. The keyboard is of a chiclet design that is comfortable to use but has some odd key placement that may take a bit of getting used to. The trackpad on the other hand is a bit small compared to palm rest region and is off center of the space bar meaning that the right palm may periodically touch it by accident.