Samsung R580

The R580 combines attractive design and performance grunt, but you can't take this desktop replacement too far away from a power source for long.


8.1
CNET Rating
8.8
User Rating

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Design

At its size — 379.8x255.5x36.7mm — Samsung's R580 is never going to be anything but a desktop replacement. Most desktop replacements figure that if they're going to be bulky, they can get away with being heavy and plain, but the R580 is neither. At 2.6kg it's on the lighter side for its size, and the "Touch Of Colour" finish brings it aesthetically in sync with Samsung's existing TV lines, making this an attractive notebook. The deep red finish looks great on a desk or the largest of laps, although like all gadgets glossy and gleamy, it's also a magnet for fingerprint smudges, which rather spoils the illusion.

The R580 features a full keyboard including number pad. Laptops with number pads tend to have issues cramming in directional keys, often making them very titchy. Samsung's gone down an alternate route here with full-size cursor keys that jut into the space taken by the number pad, sitting directly underneath the 1 key and next to the 0 key. It's nice to have the space, but the layout means if you do a lot of cursor navigation be prepared for the occasional errant 1 or 0 to enter your workflow.

The touch pad on the R580 lights up when you touch it in order to identify where the edges are, as it sits flush with the wrist rest. The surface of the touch pad is rougher than the smooth wrist pad however, so this is more akin to lights for the sake of it. Some people will think it's natty, and others will loathe it.

Features

Samsung offers the R580 in two configurations. There's an entry=level model that uses an Intel Core i3 330M (2.13GHz), but we tested with the higher-end model which utilises an Intel Core i5 520M (2.40GHz) processor. Combine that with 4GB of memory, a 1GB Nvidia GeForce GT 330M graphics chip and a 500GB hard drive (albeit only a 5400rpm model) and you've got quite a powerful desktop replacement machine.

The R580's display is a widescreen 15.6-inch glossy LCD, but it rather lets the side down with a surprisingly low 1366x768 resolution. The only way you'd be watching full HD content from this notebook would be to send it out via the integrated HDMI port.

Also included is four USB 2.0 ports — one of which will charge external devices even if the R580 itself is switched off — gigabit Ethernet, a headphone jack, a three-in-one card reader and a single ExpressCard slot. On the wireless front the R580 supports 802.11b/g/n and Bluetooth 2.1.

On the software side the R580 ships with Windows 7 Home Premium, a smattering of Samsung battery and system management utilities, a 30-day trial of McAfee Security Center and Adobe Acrobat reader.

Performance

The R580 works well as a desktop replacement option as long as you've got a desk to accommodate it. Like most larger desktop replacement machines, placing it comfortably on your lap can be a challenging matter, especially as the notebook warms up during use. The keyboard is nicely responsive aside from the aforementioned cursor key issue, something that won't affect every user. From a benchmark perspective, the Core i5 tore through both PCMark05 and 3DMark06 with scores of 7178 and 7450 respectively. For any variety of tasks, including several concurrently, the R580 is more than powerful enough — in one respect.

Most desktop replacement systems aren't built with portability and battery life in mind, and the R580 proved no exception. Running our standard battery run-down test, comprising full-screen DVD playback with screen brightness set at high and all battery-saving measures disabled, the R580's six-cell battery died after two hours and 20 minutes. Our test is designed to give a worst-case scenario, but still this isn't a system that you're going to be able to take too far from any power source.

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joeycha100
8
Rating
 

"A pretty nice computer;a little laggy at times"

joeycha100 posted a review   
United States

The Good:It is a very nice and comfortable laptop

The Bad:It broke down two years ago;becuase it lagges so much and it froze to much, and a few keys fell off

It is a pretty nice computer to have as long it is connected to a power source. Mine is broken, but I still remember that it was pretty good, heavy but suitable for my needs. It did freeze a little bit and it was sometimes laggy, but for the most part it was a good laptop

 

samsung sux posted a comment   
Australia

Worst lap top ever. Don't buy it! had it for 3 years and freezes regularly. Poor build quality (keys fell off), terrible battery life (now down to 15 minutes unplugged) and heats up so much im sure it has fried some of its own components... Don't buy samsung, its just speed to market crap (my brother worked there previously) that leads to very low build quality and design.

wow
9
Rating
 

wow posted a review   

The Good:performance, value

The Bad:battery life

best bang for buck out there, performance is sensational
battery life is bad, so don't look at this as a portable solution. however is quite light for a 15.6 incher. great laptop!

Pooky
10
Rating
 

Pooky posted a review   

The Good:Performance, Nice Screen, Lightweight, Price

The Bad:Average Battery, Fingerprints

A really good laptop and I'm really pleased I got it.
I can't really fault this laptop, it performs really well and has a really good price. Like most Samsung products I'm expecting it to be 'tough as nails'

The battery life is average though (I get 3 - 3.5 hours) and the gloss collects many fingerprints. But I would still recommend this laptop to anyone who wants a more powerful notebook without spending a fortune.

Bones
10
Rating
 

Bones posted a review   

The Good:Everything!

The Bad:nothing

I have to say that I am very pleased with this laptop. Reading about the bad battery comments well to me there are none. I can get 2-3 hours out of mine. Thats what I expected as its far from a netbook. Screen is good, graphics are great. The laptop is very responsive. As for the speakers well I dont care, Low quality is the standard!

 

Zeitgeist posted a comment   

The Good:Design, light-weight, performance,

The Bad:Battery Life, attracts dust and smudges no end.

Its good for practically most operations, and mine came with core i7 so the performance is astounding, however the battery is a let down... It's an amazing machine nonetheless. Thumbs way up!

Sibbo
9
Rating
 

Sibbo posted a review   

The Good:Value, Performance

The Bad:Battery Life

I use this computer to type and play games since my desktop died and I have to say I am impressed by the performance given.

badudut
9
Rating
 

badudut posted a review   

The Good:Performance, Price, Design, Specs

The Bad:Wifi reception, Screen Resolution

This is one good quality Laptop/Notebook. I can say the performance at its best. Putting I5 to Nvidia is great. 500gb capacity and 4gb RAM what can you ask for? Its still indemand 5years from now since the specifications is at full blast!

H4ndo
8
Rating
 

H4ndo posted a review   

The Good:It's Red

The Bad:Screen Resolution

You can't be serious. If you want to run OS-X you buy a Mac.


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User Reviews / Comments  Samsung R580

  • joeycha100

    joeycha100

    Rating8

    "It is a pretty nice computer to have as long it is connected to a power source. Mine is broken, but I still remember that it was pretty good, heavy but suitable for my needs. It did freeze a little..."

  • samsung sux

    samsung sux

    "Worst lap top ever. Don't buy it! had it for 3 years and freezes regularly. Poor build quality (keys fell off), terrible battery life (now down to 15 minutes unplugged) and heats up so much im sure..."

  • wow

    wow

    Rating9

    "best bang for buck out there, performance is sensational
    battery life is bad, so don't look at this as a portable solution. however is quite light for a 15.6 incher. great laptop!"

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