I knew Samsung made netbooks but I was unaware of their netbook line until recently when I saw them showing them off at a press event here in NYC.
One particular model caught my eye and that was the R540 which I was lucky enough to get on loan from Samsung. It caught my eye because it was a simple yet elegant system with a 15.6 inch widescreen LED backlit display. I don’t know about you but simple is the new black. The R540 is powered by Windows 7, an Intel core i5 processor and an ati Radeon graphics card with up to 4GB of DDR3 memory (4GB on Test system), 500 GB drive and optical drive (Blu-ray available).
The first thing I noticed when I powered on the R540 was that it wasn’t cluttered with worthless applications I’d never use. I was happy about that, no need to reformat the drive and start over the system was clean. It did have software installed but it was all software you’d use such as Skype, and the software for the built in webcam. So I applaud Samsung for keeping their systems clean!
So I then moved on to my test on the system. I do not run benchmarks as I do not believe benchmarks can give you an idea of the true potential of a system. So I like to just use the system daily for a few weeks and see if it can handle my day to day work load which is a bit more than the average or typical user.
I installed Office 2010 onto the system along with Photoshop CS5, I then installed games onto the system. World of Warcraft and Microsoft Flight Simulator.
After everything was installed I got to work, I loaded up Outlook, Word and Excel. I leave all three running on my system 24/7 as I need constant access to my email and calendar via Outlook and I am always writing reviews and am also writing a Book (4 years and counting) so I need Word constantly open. As for Excel, I use it for expenses and inventory purposes and the file I work on is nearly 300 MB and can cause strain on a system.
It handled all three of the programs perfectly! No slowdowns detected on the system at all with the exception of when loading the Excel file. But once it was loaded the system worked flawlessly. I must also mention all systems even my Intel Core i7 desktop struggles when loading that particular file.
While keeping my three office programs open I fired up Word of Warcraft in Windows Mode. I saw the little Intel Core i5 Widget on the Sidebar shoot up to 100% usage but after the game fully loaded and I was logged in and playing the system settled. I was then able to check my email, continue writing in Word edit my Excel file and yes occasionally quest in WoW.
The Samsung R540 is a powerful system. The price on the system will range from $890 to as much as $1200 depending on the configuration. The configuration I have you can get for $999.99 at Best Buy.
Overall the Samsung R540 is a great system and if you are in the market for a powerful system with Blu-Ray capabilities then the R540 is a system you should look into. For more information on the Samsung R540 visit: http://www.samsung.com/hk_en/consumer/computer-peripherals/notebook/r-series/NP-R540-JS02HK/index.idx?pagetype=prd_detail&tab=feature