The Samsung R530-JA03’s bright, eye-catching design makes a refreshing change to the traditional budget laptop design: business-like slabs of black or grey.
Our review sample Samsung R530-JA03 came with a natty red pattered lid and liberal use of sweeping curves. It’s all part of a design which Samsung claims is as much about durability as it is about looks.
Opening up the Samsung R530-JA03's lid reveals a brushed-metal effect wrist rest, housing a two-button touchpad from behind which strategically placed LEDs emit a soft blue glow. The keyboard is without any dedicated control buttons, but comes with a full numeric keypad, while the cursor keys have been dropped down a little towards the touchpad for each access and recognition.
Another one of the larger laptops in this group, the Samsung R530-JA03 manages to weigh rather less than competing models of a similar size – yet still finds room for a DVD burner.
Gaming aside, performance of the Samsung R530-JA03 is the best of the bunch. Its 2.2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T6600 helped it to achieve a WorldBench 6 score of 93 points, which is a significant lead over even the Acer Aspire 5740 with its shiny new Core i3 chip. Remember though, the T6600 doesn’t have the improved built-in graphics capability of the Core i3, leaving the Samsung R530 with slower GMA 4500M integrated graphics.
Battery life also turned out to be rather good on the Samsung R530-JA03. Its near- 5 hour run with MobileMark 2007 meant it out-last all but the much smaller Toshiba Satellite T130 by a significant margin. It may be a little more expensive at £499, but coming out with the best system performance and excellent battery life at the same time is no mean feat.
There are a few things missing from the Samsung R530-JA03: our review model had no Bluetooth support and comes with only a 250GB hard drive which may seem stingy next to the 320GB drives supplied by almost everyone else.
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