Samsung R519

Samsung's R519 brings entry-level pricing and sensibilities to the market in a notebook that won't wow anybody, or send them broke either.


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Design

The rush for the latest, greatest, thinnest, most powerful laptop — sometimes with optional attachment for opening horses' hooves — often leaves more ordinary fare by the wayside. In pretty much every respect, Samsung's R519 is that kind of laptop. The latter ordinary fare laptop, that is, before you go getting all excited.

Measuring in at 376.0x255.5x30.4mm with a carrying weight of 2.5kg, this isn't an ultraportable, ultralight model. The basic trim is exactly that — basic. Or, as the sticker on the base of the R519 wishes to inform us, it's "Minimalism Design", if you prefer marketing terms. Either way, this is a plain looking notebook with a silver trim around the basic keyboard, and a black bezel around the 15.6-inch TFT screen.

Features

Likewise, the features list for the R519 reads like a what's hot list for a notebook a couple of years ago. The sole differentiator there is that it ships with Windows 7. According to Samsung's website, the R519 should come with Windows 7 Basic, but our review system shipped with Windows 7 Home Premium. Either way, that's enough to tax the R519's very basic Pentium dual core T4300 2.1GHz processor. The inclusion of that processor is enough for Samsung to go fully retro on us and slap a "Pentium Inside" sticker on the case, which was something of a shock to us. Our review sample came with 4GB of on-board memory, a 15.6-inch (1366x768) TFT display screen, three USB 2.0 ports and a three-in-one card reader. Otherwise, it is as the price suggests, an exceptionally ordinary system.

Performance

There's still a place for ordinary laptop systems in the marketplace. Not everyone wants or needs a high speed video editing or gaming rig, after all. If all you wanted was a basic office tasks-style machine with portability, then the R519 might just fit the bill. In informal use the keyboard had reasonable travel, the trackpad worked well and Windows 7 delivered pretty much everything you'd want out of a modern operating system. That's backed up by the R519's benchmark scores. Its score of 4054 in PCMark05 denotes it as a reasonable workhorse, although its 3DMark06 score of only 869 means it's certainly not a gaming workhorse. Blame the integrated Intel GL40 chipset for that score.

So, the R519's reasonably priced and can perform basic office tasks, as long as they're not too graphics intensive. What's the catch?

The catch, it turns out, is battery life. We ran our standard and quite intensive DVD playback test on the R519 with all battery-saving measures disabled and screen brightness at full, and the R519 lasted a very poor one hour and 35 minutes before hibernating. Certainly, you could eke out more with less intensive use, but given we're seeing more and more systems with six or more hour battery lives, giving up just north of an hour and a half is rather woeful.

The R519 is a genuine trade-off machine. If you just want the form factor of a notebook, without the genuine battery life that marks out a portable machine, or for that matter the weight, it's a fair buy at its asking price. If you do want portability, you'll have to look elsewhere.

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Daryl Williams posted a comment   

The Good:What a Joke

The Bad:Big Joke

My Wife and I purchased a samsung notebook R519 from JB Hifi in Fyswich, ACT Austalia 12th November 2009. They were promoting the laptop saying you will get a free windows 7 upgrade from samsung and this is why we choose to buy the notebooks. I registered both notebooks with samsung and was refered to a form to apply for the windows 7 upgrade which is located in Korea. The form asks for your notebooks serial number and yet it doesn't allow you to enter a serial number. When you fill in the other details, it rejects your application because you can't enter the serial number. I rang Samsung and they said the upgrade is through Microsoft. The microsoft.au windows 7 upgrade page has logos of computer manufacturers. I clicked the samsung link and it takes me to the samsung windows 7 upgrade page. So the windows 7 upgrade cycle starts again. What a joke. This means we were decieved by JB Hifi, Samsung and Microsoft. What a joke.

It doesn't stop there, I am also a University of Canberra ACT Australia student. Microsoft offered a student promotional sale, where Australian university students can buy windows 7 at a reduced cost (this is for my pc). Nada, zip nothing.

Happy Student
9
Rating
 

Happy Student posted a review   

The Good:Price from MLN!!! Performance, Windows 7, Perfect study laptop

The Bad:Price from anywhere else, Speakers, Samsung programs

$839 no way! I purchased this last week from MLN for the wonderful price of $578. This is probably the best buy around at the moment considering that netbooks are either this price or only $100 cheaper for absolutely terrible stats comparatively. With 4gigs of RAM combined with Windows 7 it gets through any word processing/web browsing you can throw at it (minus HD stuff of course). It's also been handling excessive Photoshop usage very well.

The only negatives I've encountered so far are the tinny speakers and the preinstalled Samsung applications. Battery life is great. Because I want to extend the life of the battery as far as I can I use the measures and ultimately won't be watching DVDs on the go!

I think the most important thing to look at is the value for money. It's not a gaming rig but its perfect for students. Netbooks are too small to look at/work on for long periods and suffer from no DVD drive and poor specs. And getting anymore expensive you start to wonder 'why not just fork out the extra few hundred so I can game well on it' :) Not worth $800 though and the review reflects that. Would like to see the review with the sub-$600 price-tag inserted Alex :D




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User Reviews / Comments  Samsung R519

  • Daryl Williams

    Daryl Williams

    "My Wife and I purchased a samsung notebook R519 from JB Hifi in Fyswich, ACT Austalia 12th November 2009. They were promoting the laptop saying you will get a free windows 7 upgrade from samsung an..."

  • Happy Student

    Happy Student

    Rating9

    "$839 no way! I purchased this last week from MLN for the wonderful price of $578. This is probably the best buy around at the moment considering that netbooks are either this price or only $100 che..."

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