Samsung R480 laptop

NEW DELHI: Loaded with all the features you could possibly want, the Intel Core i3-powered Samsung R480 laptop gives big bang for your buck.

/photo.cms?msid=5847566In the new world of netbooks and iPad-like tablets, it doesn’t make sense to buy bulky, mid-range laptops any more. When you spend close to Rs 30,000, your obvious choice would be a netbook. If you are willing to shell out a bit more, it’s only logical that you go in for a desktop-replacement device with all the works.

The first thing you will notice about the R480 is that it is compact and stylish. The device feels light, although it is 2.36 kg. The laptop sports a dark red colour and has a glossy finish. While this finish does add a bit of style, it leads to the unwanted problem of being a fingerprint magnet.

The inside of the laptop also has a glossy finish which ends up showing some ugly prints of your palm while you are typing. But its smooth, spill-resistant chiclet keyboard is cool. The keys have a great feel and are spaced just right to ensure that even chubby fingers don’t end up hitting two keys at a time. Without a doubt, this is the best keyboard we have ever used on a Windows-based laptop. The trackpad is positioned well enough to avoid your fingers while you type your matter.

However, it is also a bit smaller than normal trackpads and you will often find yourself running short of space. A little further up, the 14-inch glossy screen -- helped by the dedicated 512MB Nvidia GeForce 310M graphics card -- delivers excellent pictures in its native resolution of 1366x768 pixels.

The screen has an issue with the viewing angle. If the screen is not in its correct angle, this will dramatically affect the picture quality. On the plus side, it does dim its brightness when left idle, thus saving battery life.

But once you set this laptop the way you want, you can be sure that it will cater to all your whims and fancies. Powered by a 2.13Ghz Intel Core i3 processor and 4GB of DDR3 RAM, Windows 7 has just the experience that any operating system ideally should be: it is a background entity facilitating the user and enhancing the computing experience. We tried out every kind of activity on the laptop and it worked out fine.

The R480 is good for basic gaming as well at a resolution lower than the native 1366x768. Games older than 2008 should run fine, but new games can be an issue. You may be forced to turn all the graphics settings as low as possible -- ruining the effect to a large extent.

To be fair, it’s still among the better performances we have seen among laptops that aren’t ideally meant for gaming. A special mention has to be made of the Webcam on the R480. Used with the preloaded Cyberlink YouCam software, this Webcam was a lot better at picking up light in dimly-lit settings than many of its competitors. If you plan to use video chat extensively, the laptop scores heavily on that front.

The battery life of the R480 is extremely impressive as well, lasting for over a day of normal usage. However, the laptop does tend to heat up quite quickly and using it while wearing shorts may not be a smart idea! For a price of Rs 44,494, the Samsung R480 is great value for your money.