The Bottom Line
- Quad Core Processor Offers Good Speed And Excellent Multitasking Support
- Dedicated Graphics Capable Of Casual PC Gaming
- Memory Configuration Makes For Easy Upgrade To 8GB
- Mediocre Drive Performance
- Recessed Keyboard Can Be Bothersome To Some
- Exterior Shell Hard To Keep Clean
- Intel Core i7-2630M Quad Core Mobile Processor
- 4GB PC3-8500 DDR3 Memory
- 500GB 5400rpm SATA Hard Drive
- 8x DVD+/-RW Dual Layer Burner
- 15.6" WXGA (1366x768) LED Backlit Display With 1.3 Megapixel Webcam
- NVIDIA GeForce GT 540M Graphics With 1GB Memory
- Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth
- Two USB 3.0, Two USB 2.0, HDMI, VGA, 4-in-1 Card Reader
- 14.9" x 10" x 1.5" @ 5.7 lbs.
- Windows 7 Home Premium, Office Starter, Cyberlink DVD, Norton Internet Security
Guide Review - Samsung RF511-S02 15.6-inch Thin And Light Laptop PC
Jun 1 2011 - Samsung decided to ship the RF511-S02 with the Intel Core i7-2630M quad core processor rather than sticking with the dual core Core i5 that many similarly priced laptops use. This has the advantage of providing additional support for those multitasking. While the system comes with just 4GB of DDR3 memory which is standard at this price, Samsung does this with a single memory module. This makes upgrading the system to 8GB a simple task of just adding a second module. It is a small but beneficial aspect to consumers.
Storage wise, the Samsung RF511-S02 is nothing too exciting. It comes with a modest 500GB hard drive that isn't any larger than you can find on a laptop costing much less. Most companies are shipping laptops priced around $900 with larger drives now. The drive also uses the slower 5400rpm rate while some have moved on to the faster 7200rpm drives. This makes the system sluggish at times when it has to rely on getting data from the drives. A standard dual layer DVD burner is included to handle playback and recording of CD or DVD media. If you need some high speed external storage, there is also two USB 3.0 super speed ports, one of which can also be used for charging devices while the laptop is off.
The graphics on the RF511-S02 uses the NVIDIA Optimus technology to switch between the Intel HD 3000 graphics on the processor and an NVIDIA GeForce GT 540M dedicated processor with 1GB of memory. This is one of NVIDIA's latest mid-range graphics solutions that offers decent performance for 3D gaming but not with many graphical features enabled. It also doesn't have a problem with the typical 1366x768 resolution of the 15.6-inch display panel. Like most consumer laptops, it uses a glossy coating that helps bring out the colors but also has the problem of lots of glare and reflections and being very difficult to use outdoors. The stylized glossy back cover of the display lid can be difficult to keep clean as it seems to attract smudges.
The battery pack that comes with the Samsung RF511-S02 is a pretty standard six-cell variety. In DVD playback tests, the laptop was able to run just over two and a half hours before going into standby mode. This is pretty much average for most 15-inch laptops on the market that come with this type of battery pack. More typical usage should yield about an hour or so of extra running time.
The keyboard design of the Samsung RF511-S02 has both its good and bad aspects. The keyboard itself is a full sized layout that includes a numeric keypad with a mostly traditional layout. It uses a chiclet or isolated design layout that for the most part is quite comfortable to type on. The one oddity is the recessed nature of the keyboard that puts it slightly below the palmrest and trackpad area. This may help with some users but I found it to be bothersome. The trackpad itself is quite large and features distinctive mouse buttons.