Powered by a 2.1GHz Intel Core i3-2310M processor, the Samsung NP-RV720 scored a round 100 points in our WorldBench 6 tests. This is a healthy score, and the Samsung is a laptop that will handle most tasks with aplomb.

But there have been several compromises made to keep the Samsung NP-RV720 under the £500 mark. There is no dedicated graphics processor, with the RV720 making use of an integrated Intel chip to handle the visuals. There's 4GB of RAM and a 750GB hard disk, both of which are solid additions.

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The 17.3in display has a native resolution of 1600 x 900, so doesn't support full HD video, but nevertheless is very good. It does have a glossy finish, though Samsung's anti-glare technology is better than most at keeping reflections on the Samsung NP-RV720 down to a minimum.

At this size there's no point in pretending that the Samsung NP-RV720 is portable – it might be fine to move from room to room but you wouldn't want to take it on your travels. It'd be too big for a standard aeroplane's table, for a start. However, as a home-based desktop replacement it'll do a fine job. The keyboard is luxuriously big, with no keys touching each other or in any way undersized.

The touchpad is massive, making the Samsung a joy to use no matter which tasks you need to carry out. There's all the connectivity options you'd expect at this price point, though given the size of the Samsung you'd have thought there might have been room found for more than three USB 2.0 ports.

The construction of the Samsung NP-RV720 is also impressive – it's solidly put together and feels like it would withstand a knock or two. You certainly wouldn't want to drop it on your foot. In fact, closing it up feels rather like shutting the bonnet of a car.

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Samsung NP-RV720: Specs

  • 2.1GHz Intel Core i3-2310M dual-core
  • 17.3in glossy LED backlit, 1600x900
  • Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
  • 4GB DDR3-1333MHz
  • 750GB HDD 5400rpm
  • Integrated Intel HD Graphics 3000
  • VGA, HDMI
  • stereo speakers, headphone jack, mic input
  • 3x USB 2.0
  • DVD±RW DL
  • 802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth 3.0
  • gigabit
  • SD
  • webcam
  • 48Wh, lithium-ion removable
  • battery life (in use) 282 minutes
  • WorldBench 6: 100
  • 420x275x35mm
  • 2.7kg
  • 2.1GHz Intel Core i3-2310M dual-core
  • 17.3in glossy LED backlit, 1600x900
  • Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
  • 4GB DDR3-1333MHz
  • 750GB HDD 5400rpm
  • Integrated Intel HD Graphics 3000
  • VGA, HDMI
  • stereo speakers, headphone jack, mic input
  • 3x USB 2.0
  • DVD±RW DL
  • 802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth 3.0
  • gigabit
  • SD
  • webcam
  • 48Wh, lithium-ion removable
  • battery life (in use) 282 minutes
  • WorldBench 6: 100
  • 420x275x35mm
  • 2.7kg

OUR VERDICT

Samsung has delivered a cracking desktop replacement for under £500 in the form of the Samsung NP-RV720. It might not be much good for gaming but if it's a workhorse you're after, and you're not concerned about the lack of portability, then it is well worth considering.

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