Samsung already has the budget laptops market sewn up with the deliciously priced £399 Samsung R60. The Samsung R700-A003UK is a rather different animal, filling in the gaps inevitably left by the R60's budget price tag. Despite this though, the R700's price is itself something of a sizzler given the specifications on board.

In many respects, the Samsung R700-A003UK is a slicker and slightly better rendition of the Packard Bell EasyNote. The processor is again the 1.66GHz Intel Core 2 Duo Mobile T5450. Something of a high performer at this price level, you can definitely find vastly inferior processors.

Add this to the 2GB of DDR RAM – memory is frequently very important in laptops – and the Samsung R700-A003UK is a machine that equals the Packard Bell's 72 WorldBench points.

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Where the Samsung R700-A003UK goes one better though, is with the storage. The Samsung's 250GB Hitachi drive offers bags and bags of space. It's generally much harder (and more expensive) to upgrade a laptop than it is to tweak a desktop PC, so getting this level of storage as standard is very much in the Samsung R700-A003UK's favour.

The Samsung R700-A003UK's screen is a vast 17in model – something of an exception to the flood of 15.4in TFTs that proliferate at this price point – and if the colour isn't quite as lip-smackingly gorgeous as on some laptops, the Samsung R700-A003UK's screen is still very solid and clean. The GeForce chips are making considerable waves in the laptop divisions at the moment, and the Samsung R700-A003UK's 8400M GS is a very capable graphics controller that hit more than 14 frames per second (fps) in our intensive FEAR tests.

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Samsung already has the budget laptops market sewn up with the deliciously priced £399 Samsung R60. The Samsung R700-A003UK is a rather different animal, filling in the gaps inevitably left by the R60's budget price tag. Despite this though, the R700's price is itself something of a sizzler given the specifications on board.

The LightScribe DVD writer is a very nice inclusion, and gives home users the possibility of adorning their DVD media with professional and slick images and titles. We also like the inclusion of an HDMI connector in the Samsung R700-A003UK, although you don't get any FireWire ports.

Laptops are frequently let down by a sloppy keyboard. No such worries for the Samsung R700-A003UK though, as the large keys and positive touch make it easy to type out extensive documents. Its sleek polished casing is pleasing to the eye too, although the battery life – 95 minutes – is only so-so.

Mind you, since the Samsung R700-A003UK weighs a hefty 3.2kg, you're unlikely to be using it frequently as a portable. And as a desktop replacement, you can use the power adaptor.

See our Laptop Advisor website for expert reviews of today’s best laptops, plus read our essential advice to make sure you choose the right specs

Samsung R700-A003UK: Specs

  • 1.66GHz Intel Core 2 Duo Mobile T5450
  • Windows Vista Home Premium
  • 2 GB DDR RAM
  • 250GB
  • 17in
  • 1,440 x 900 display
  • nVidia GeForce 8400M GS
  • Lightscribe DVD Writer
  • 802.11b/g
  • 1-year warranty
  • 4/0 USB/FireWire ports
  • HDMI
  • 395x279x30mm
  • 3.2kg
  • 1.66GHz Intel Core 2 Duo Mobile T5450
  • Windows Vista Home Premium
  • 2 GB DDR RAM
  • 250GB
  • 17in
  • 1,440 x 900 display
  • nVidia GeForce 8400M GS
  • Lightscribe DVD Writer
  • 802.11b/g
  • 1-year warranty
  • 4/0 USB/FireWire ports
  • HDMI
  • 395x279x30mm
  • 3.2kg

OUR VERDICT

The Samsung R700-A003UK is an excellent laptop for the money. The screen's large, the processor is fast and the drive options are vast. With a laptop like this available, why would you want to look any further?

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