Samsung's R series laptops are slim and user-friendly. The Samsung R20 isn't as heavy as we'd expected at just 2.4kg, but it remains a sturdy and serious-looking laptop. The all-black interior is somehow uninspiring and lacks hotkeys, while the shiny black exterior appears modern and stylish – although susceptible to fingerprints.

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Considering the Samsung R20's modest price we were surprised at the quality of the R20's glossy 1,280x800 14.1in screen, which displayed deep colours and a good level of contrast. Samsung has opted for an ATI Radeon Xpress 1250M graphics card; video playback is noticeably even and of a high quality.

Vista Home Premium runs well on the Samsung R20, as proven by its respectable 59 WorldBench real-world speed benchmark points. The 1.73GHz Intel Core Duo T2250 offers an acceptable amount of power and is backed by 1GB of DDR2 RAM and a 80GB hard drive.

The trackpad on the Samsung R20 is small but easy to use, featuring a scrolling panel – and although the shiny plastic keys below are quite small, we found them user-friendly. The palm rest and keypad incorporate Silver Nano Technology to prevent the attraction of bacteria and we were impressed by the R20's sturdy lid clasps.

The Samsung R20's software bundle is ample, with Magic Doctor and CyberLink DVD provided along with Samsung AV Station – a multimedia application for playing music and movies and viewing images. There are three USB ports – one more than the R20's pricier sibling. We were pleased to see a VGA port, along with a generous six-in-one card reader and Bluetooth. We did notice the lack of 802.11a wireless and a webcam, but the R20 earns its stripes nonetheless.

Test performance


  • WorldBench 6 benchmark score: 59
  • Battery life: 78 minutes
  • Games test: 26 fps

Samsung R20: Specs

  • 1.73GHz Intel Core Duo T2250
  • SpeedStep
  • 3 USB, 1 FireWire port
  • 1GB DDR2 RAM
  • 80GB RAM
  • 340x260x28mm
  • 2.4kg
  • 802.11b/g, Bluetooth wireless
  • 6-in-1
  • 14.1in
  • 1,280x800
  • ATI Radeon Xpress 1250, 256MB
  • 8x/5x/8x/8x/2.4x/4x/4x
  • (DVD-ROM/RAM/+R/-R/+R DL/+RW/-RW) 24x/16x/24x (CD-R/-RW/ROM)
  • Vista Home Premium, Samsung AV Station Now, Samsung Magic Doctor, Samsung Recovery Solution, Samsung Update Plus, CyberLink DVD
  • 1.73GHz Intel Core Duo T2250
  • SpeedStep
  • 3 USB, 1 FireWire port
  • 1GB DDR2 RAM
  • 80GB RAM
  • 340x260x28mm
  • 2.4kg
  • 802.11b/g, Bluetooth wireless
  • 6-in-1
  • 14.1in
  • 1,280x800
  • ATI Radeon Xpress 1250, 256MB
  • 8x/5x/8x/8x/2.4x/4x/4x
  • (DVD-ROM/RAM/+R/-R/+R DL/+RW/-RW) 24x/16x/24x (CD-R/-RW/ROM)
  • Vista Home Premium, Samsung AV Station Now, Samsung Magic Doctor, Samsung Recovery Solution, Samsung Update Plus, CyberLink DVD

OUR VERDICT

Stylish, user-friendly and well featured at the price, we really liked the Samsung R20. And gaming was half-decent, too.

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