Notebookcheck

Review Samsung R530 Notebook

Sebastian Jentsch, 12/06/2010

Office friend. Those who don't need graphics-, Bluetooth- or Core i3-performance for surfing have here an office comrad with excellent ergonomics, fast input devices and a resilient finish starting at 439 Euros.

Samsung R530 Aura Nolan NP-R530-JA09DE: A perfect office sidekick at a low price?
Samsung R530 Aura Nolan NP-R530-JA09DE: A perfect office sidekick at a low price?

The Samsung R530 seems somehow familiar to us.  The plastic look with a patterned surface, the reserved and almost unadventurous details and typist-friendly keyboard.  We know all these characteristics from the Samsung P530 Pro, also in 15.6" format.  The base unit is in fact identical, however, the consumer model before us has a glossy display screen as well as completely different processor-, graphics- and chipset equipment.

At 439 Euros, the Samsung R530 Nolan is one of the lowest-priced options when buying a mobile device. We find out in this review which demands it lives up to and what advantages it offers its owner.

Case

Pattern on the lid
Pattern on the lid
Simple details (loudspeakers)
Simple details (loudspeakers)

The completely unpainted surfaces have a pleasant matte finish and are for the most part adorned with a haptic pattern.  On the palm rests is the one uneven grain texture which has the feel of coarse leather.  However, the plastic feel remains.  The drab optics don't try to grab attention with sportive details or high-gloss surfaces. There are however details on the case which make the R530 visually appealing.

The pattern on the lid is made up of small and even quadrates.  That gives a nice visual effect as every small building-block casts a uniform shadow. We were very pleased with the nice and impervious haptics. Fingerprints can't settle down anywhere here.

Thanks to its matte and grained surfaces, the R530 is well gripped in the hand. But one can't fail to recognize the characteristics of a simple plastic construction when carrying, adjusting or opening it. The palm rest can be dented a small bit around the touchpad.  We could do the same on the base plate, though to a much greater extent here: The fan vent slats and the HDD duct can be pushed in a great deal. The chassis is quite stable and we were unable to bend it with both hands.

In terms of stability and durability, the lid also leaves a good impression.  Though we could push in its surface a bit at the middle, its torsional rigidity is very good.  The display joints sit solidly on the frame and hold the lid tautly.  The R530 doesn't have a latch for affixing the closed lid to the base unit. The lid remains closed with its own weight.  A strong resistance from the joint prevents it from opening unwittingly when transporting it without a bag. Two hands are needed for opening.

Connectivity

HDMI is nonetheless onboard
HDMI is nonetheless onboard

In terms of its connections, the R530 has exactly what a simple and reserved notebook should have, and that's not much.  The connections are almost all bundled on the left side of the case.  In addition to the power connection we find there a VGA (D-Sub), a USB port, an Ethernet connection, two audio plugins and an HDMI port.  The card reader is inconspicuously housed on the front.

The placement of the plug-ins seems reasonable to us.  The two USB 2.0 ports on the right are placed far back.  The USB cable for peripherals (printer, mouse, etc.) can be led out back.  If one plugs in an external USB mouse here, there won't be any conflict with device cables.  The bulky cable a la VGA, power and Ethernet on the left side are also placed so far back that they will very rarely get in the way.

Front: CardReader
Front: CardReader
Left: Kensington, AC, VGA, Ethernet, HDMI, USB 2.0, headset, microphone
Left: Kensington, AC, VGA, Ethernet, HDMI, USB 2.0, headset, microphone
Rear: No connections
Rear: No connections
Right: DVD-driver. 2xUSB
Right: DVD-driver. 2xUSB

Communication

A radio module from Atheros (AR9285) goes to work in the Samsung R530.  This supports the fastest transfer-standard Draft-N (300 Mbit in theory).  But the wired network card doesn't offer Gigabit-Ethernet (Marvell Yukon 88E8040 PCI-E).  Bluetooh isn't onboard.

Accessories

The software equipment with Windows Home Premium 64 Bit has to make do without any data medium.  Right after buying, users should back up the recovery-partitions on their own data storage device via Samsung Recovery Solutions. The full version from CyberLink DVD Suite is pre-installed and is included only as a printed-out license key.

Samsung installed only a small number of tools and thereby reduced the amount of bloatware.  Among the useful problems are the Easy Network Manager (set up WLAN location), the Samsung Update Plus (driver updates) and the Support Center (ex. Battery Life Entender).

Guarantee

The manufacturer's guarantee is up to 24 months.  Guarantee-Plus is an at-cost extension of the standard guarantee. For around 50 Euros there is a 3-year on-site pick-up service.

Input Devices

Keyboard

Samsung goes to work with the R530's strong feedback about its keyboard. The keys sit close together, though all are on their own platform. Accuracy when typing is very good as the keys have a clear pressure point as well as a long stroke.  The key stop is solid. Only the surface of the numeric keypad gives a slight bit (springs).  Writing on the keyboard is a pleasure, something which not least is attributable to the wide and slip-free  palm rest. It is a joy to input numbers of user the keyboard with the numeric keypad in the standard layout.

Positive: The spatially offset arrow keys project a centimeter into the palm rest.  There is even room here for a second Fn key.  Using this key, we could adjust the volume and brightness with a single hand and without looking.

Touchpad

The medium-sized touchpad sits securely and level to the palm rest. We could feel it out lightly thanks to the raw haptics of the palm rest.  The pad illuminates in blue (edging) during activity. It is controlled quickly as the matte surface offers enough friction and in turn not too smooth.  The multitouch pad recognizes two-finger gestures, for example for rolling or zooming.  Alternatively, you can use the vertical and horizontal scrollbar. These are not marked visually.  The keys of the pad have a medium pressure point and a loud clicking sound. The latter really gets on one's nerves after using it actively for a few hours and will cause your neighbours in the library to shoot you dirty looks.

Keyboard
Keyboard
Numeric keypad
Numeric keypad
Arrow keys
Arrow keys
Touchpad
Touchpad

Display

Samsung put to work an in-house (LTN154X3-L01) HD-ready panel (1.366 x 768 pixels) in its 15.5-incher. It is the same panel type as in the R525 Eikee (Consumer Multimedia), in the SF510 (Design-Multimedia) and in the P530 Pro (Business, anti-glare here). The 08/15 panel already proved to be unimpressive in these machines and the same holds true in the R530.

The 169:1 contrast of the screen is extremely low yet still typical for office laptops. However, colors are improved with the glare-type display, though this amounts to a optical illusion. The colours are half-way pleasing for viewing photos of films.

The panel is totally unsuited for professional picture editing because of its rough resolution.  We checked the portrayable color space and, as expected, found an extremely limited coverage of AdobeRGB (t) and sRGB (t).  In terms of contrast and color space, there are worlds between the the Samsung R530's display and good consumer panels like on the Sony Vaio EB3Z1E (t).

ICC Samsung R530 vs AdobeRGB (t)
ICC Samsung R530 vs AdobeRGB (t)
ICC Samsung R530 vs sRGB (t)
ICC Samsung R530 vs sRGB (t)
ICC Samsung R530 vs Vaio EB3Z1E (t)
ICC Samsung R530 vs Vaio EB3Z1E (t)
217
cd/m²
226
cd/m²
200
cd/m²
223
cd/m²
228
cd/m²
216
cd/m²
205
cd/m²
212
cd/m²
202
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
Information
Gossen Mavo-Monitor
Maximum: 228 cd/m²
Average: 214.3 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 88 %
Center on Battery: 228 cd/m²
Black: 1.35 cd/m²
Contrast: 169:1

The backlighting distributes brightness (average 214 cd/m²) reasonably well across the panel (88 percent).  In the middle we measured a maximum value of 228 cd/m².  That is more than enough for use in the office as the user would normally work with 100 to 160 cd/m².  The brightness falls to 200 cd/m² in the upper right.  The differences are not perceptible to the naked eye.

The viewing conditions under daylight are dominated by reflections.  The photos below were taken under sunlight with some shadows from trees and houses.  The brightness is not enough to successfully fend off the effects of the sun.  Next summer, users of the R530 will surely have to search for small shady spots.

Frontal view under direct sunlight
Frontal view under direct sunlight
Side view under direct sunlight
Side view under direct sunlight
Side view under direct sunlight
Side view under direct sunlight
Top-down view under direct sunlight
Top-down view under direct sunlight

Samsung's 15.6-incher R530 offers little leeway in terms of viewing angles.  That means that colors or writing are much dimmer and/or the colors inverted when the display is viewed from the side.

Vertically, the colors invert significantly already at 20 degrees. To the right and left (horizontal), one's eyes can move up to 45 degrees, although they can't drift up or down (vertically).

Viewing angles Samsung R530-JA09DE
Viewing angles Samsung R530-JA09DE

Performance

At the entry-level price there is an entry-level, mid-range dual-core processor from Intel. In comparison to its Core 2 Duo colleague, the Pentium T4500 (2 x 2.3GHz) has only 1 MB Level 2 of cache (Core 2 Duo 2-6 MB) and can't help itself to as many power-saving functions (turned-off).  The T4500 is based on the Penryn-core, which came on the market at the beginning of 2009, and is outdated when compared to the current Arrandale-CPUs. There is again a Pentium in the Arrandales, though the new models are called P6XXX.

The T4500 has at its side the odd-numbered of 3.072 MB of DDR3 SDRAM (2 modules).  The integrated graphics chip in the chipset (Intel GL40) is called GMA 4500MHD and is capable of DirectX-10.  It doesn't have its own graphics memory, but rather garners this dynamically from the RAM.  With the integrated video-decoder features, the Intel Chip HD videos (in the AVC7VC2/MPEG2 format) can be decoded and thereby take the load off of the CPU.

Systeminfo CPUZ CPU
Systeminfo CPUZ Cache
Systeminfo CPUZ Mainboard
Systeminfo CPUZ RAM
Systeminfo CPUZ RAM SPD
Systeminfo GPUZ 4500MHD
DPC Latency Checker Idle, sporadische Latenzen
DPC Latency Checker Idle, WLAN Off/On Latenzen
Systeminformationen Samsung R530-JA09DE
Pentium T4500 (2 x 2.3GHz)
Pentium T4500 (2 x 2.3GHz)

The  Pentium T4500 (2 x 2.3GHz), together with the dual-core Pentium P6100 (2.13 GHz) and Athlon II P320 (2.1 GHz), is in a performance class which is clearly above that of lower-prices single-core notebook processors such as the Celeron M900 and AMD V120 (both 2.2 GHz).  We want to show the difference to single-cores as these represent the same price segment or are an even lower-priced, though not better, alternative for notebook buyers.

The Single-Core Render Test of the Cinebench R10 32Bit ended with the T4500 putting up 2.234 points.  The low-end processors AMD V-series V120 (1.858), Celeron 900 (2.140) and Celeron-M 585 (2.062) offer slightly less computing power here.  But the T4500's advantage is at 20% at most.

But when computing with both cores (Mutli-Core-Rendering), the T4500 runs away from the single-core processors: 4.283 points.  The difference to the Core i3 is clear, though not gigantic: A typical Core i3-330M (2.16 GHz) notebook gets 5.000 points.

3.3
Windows 7 Experience Index
Processor
Calculations per second
5.8
Memory (RAM)
Memory operations per second
5.8
Graphics
Desktop performance for Windows Aero
3.4
Gaming graphics
3D business and gaming graphics
3.3
Primary hard disk
Disk data transfer rate
5.9
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single 32Bit
2234
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
4283
Cinebench R10 Shading 32Bit
969
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single CPUs 64Bit
2416 Points
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 64Bit
4578 Points
Cinebench R10 Shading 64Bit
1070 Points
Help
Cinebench R10 Rend. Multi (32bit) in comparison
Lenovo IdeaPad S12 (min)
 N270, GeForce 9400M (G) / ION (LE)
482
   ...
Asus N51VF
 T6500, GeForce GT 130M
4262
Dell Vostro 1520 (Core 2 Duo T6570, GMA 4500MHD, 3GB RAM)
 T6570, Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 4500MHD
4275
HP ProBook 4710s
 T6570, Mobility Radeon HD 4330
4282
Samsung R530-JA09DE
 T4500, Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 4500MHD
4283
Asus U50VG-XX057C
 T6500, GeForce G 105M
4289
Apple MacBook White 2009-05
 P7450, GeForce 9400M (G) / ION (LE)
4289
Dell Vostro 1310
 T8100, Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) X3100
4299
   ...
Eurocom Panther 5D (max)
 E5-2697 v2, Quadro K5100M
34776
PC Mark
PCMark 053747 points
PCMark Vantage3812 points
Help

The PCMark Vantage registered a score of 3.812.  This value visualizes the application speed of a PC system with respect to all components.  3.800 points is relatively high for a Penryn system without a graphics card.  The R530 is helped out by its Toshiba harddrive (MK3265GSX, 320 GB), which can clear up an HDD-score of 3.604 points.

The user would be more poorly served by a low-end system like the MSI CR630-V1225FD (V120: 2.360 Punkte), But a look at somewhat more expensive Core i3 systems shows that the Samsung R530 with the T4500 is in part no longer competitive: Lenovo IdeaPad G560 (4.266), Fujitsu LifeBook A530 (4.676) or MSI CR620 (4.486).

In short: The performance of the R530 is adequate for use around the house and certainly better than that of a low-end single-core notebook.  We have here a lag-free working system which only gets held up by multiple installations running at the same time.

3D Mark
3DMark 031921 points
3DMark 051170 points
3DMark 06
 1280x1024
667 points
Help
Toshiba MK3265GSX
Transfer Rate Minimum: 27 MB/s
Transfer Rate Maximum: 87.4 MB/s
Transfer Rate Average: 62.7 MB/s
Access Time: 17.6 ms
Burst Rate: 123.3 MB/s
CPU Usage: 1 %
HD Tune 62.7 MB/s read seq.
HD Tune 62.7 MB/s read seq.

Inside the R530 is a 320 GB harddrive from Toshiba (MK3265GSX). The 5.400 rpm harddrive is extremely quiet.  We only hear the whooshing with our ears pressed against, the reading heads can't be heard.  The 320 GB are read at 62.7 MB/s in the Sequential Read (HD Tune).  An average value which most 2.5" notebook HDD can manage.  The Burst Rate (readout of the HDD cache in a second) is unusually high: 123.3 MB/s.  This leads to a HDD-score (PCMark Vantage Sub-Score) of 3.604 points, which is very high for a 5.400 rpm HDD.

Emissions

Air outlet
Air outlet

System Noise

In the past, Samsung proved themselves to be a specialist for ergonomically strong notebooks and netbooks.  Previously reviewed machines like the R580, R780, P580, N150, N220, NF310 and SF510 turned out to be very quiet and cool.  The ventilation duct is at the rear and is covered a small bit by the lid when fully closed.  However, this hard no negative effect on the cooling capabilities. The Samsung Silent-Mode (Fn+F8) is as always available and proves itself once again.  During simple office tasks (Word, Excel, mail, web-browsing), the fan remains off, even during short periods of load on the processor (Silent Mode).  The Normal-mode assures a steady rotation of the fan with 30.6 dB(A), there is no longer a cutoff.

A disadvantage of the Silent-mode: The clocking of the CPU is limited to 1.200 MHz.  That is enough for surfing or typing in Word.  But ,users wont be able to edit photos in this state.  Yet, for an office laptop, the Silent-mode is very convenient.

How do things look under heavy loading in the stresstest?  The fan now spins with maximum power (Speed-mode) and the volume level rises, though not over 35 dB(A). Turning on the Silent-mode throttles the fan to 30.6 dB(A).  But this leads to the performance limitations mentioned above.  When only the 3DMark2006 computes, then the volume hardly rises above that of at idle: 31.8 dB(A) in the Speed- and 30.8 dB(A) in the Silent-mode.

Noise Level

Idle 29.5 / 29.8 / 30.7 dB(A)
HDD 29.8 dB(A)
DVD 34 / dB(A)
Load 31.4 / 35 dB(A)
 
    30 dB
silent
40 dB
audible
50 dB
loud
 
min: , med: , max:    Voltcraft sl-320 (15 cm distance)
Stresstest CPU max. 76 degrees
Stresstest CPU max. 76 degrees

Temperature

Regardless of what we threw at the Samsung R530 in testing, the case always remains cool.  The Silent-mode leads to a small amount of heat buildup in the chassis. It is because of that that the temperature picture (idle) on the palm rest shows higher temperatures than the same graphic under load.

When surfing in the Internet and doing undemanding tasks, the temperatures look like those shown on the blue idle-graphic.  Above and below, the average remains clearly under 30 degrees.

The temperature hardly changes during maximum load situations.  After a two-hour stresstest (Furmark and Prime95), the upper side of the case is no more than 33 degrees warm (in spots).  The palm rest doesn't get beyond the 30 degree mark.  The base plate had a maximum spot temperature of 34 degrees in the area near the air outlet.

The CPU sensors show a harmless maximum temperature of 76 degree Celsius.  This attests to an excellent heat transference.

Max. Load
 31 °C33.1 °C27.7 °C 
 29.7 °C33 °C27.8 °C 
 29.1 °C28.8 °C26 °C 
Maximum: 33.1 °C
Average: 29.6 °C
32.1 °C30.7 °C34.5 °C
30.2 °C31.2 °C27.2 °C
28.9 °C27.6 °C27.7 °C
Maximum: 34.5 °C
Average: 30 °C
Power Supply (max.)  44.4 °C | Room Temperature 21 °C | Voltcraft IR-360

Loudspeakers

The sound of the stereo loudspeakers is only something for the undemanding office mate.  Though the sound is undistorted, it is strained in the mid- and high ranges.  The SRS sound improvements can only improve this a small bit. With this the acoustic becomes slightly more balanced.  Yet the small loudspeakers leave deep tones out across the whole spectrum.  The volume is decent for a 15.6-incher.

The user can hook up external loudspeakers or headphones via the 3.5 millimeter jack on the left side.  The sound level from the notebook appears to silent (hearing test - no measurements).

Battery Life

The weak capacity of 4.000 mAh (44 Wh) from the battery doesn't foreshadow strong runtimes.  Yet the results are acceptable for a laptop in this price class.  Just under three hours (178 minutes) are possible with surfing the net (WLAN test). The maximum runtime (idle) of the R530 is 263 minutes.  But these 4.23 hours are unrealistic.  WLAN was deactivated, the brightness glowed at its lowest level and the processor was not at work.

It takes 119 minutes to fully charge the battery.  After that we can put in a DVD and start a film.  The Lord of the Rings ended after 141 minutes, just enough for a long film. If the 35 watt TDP (CPU) is exhausted under load, the runtime shrinks to 71 minutes (BatteryEater Classic-Test).

Before turning off the R530, we can inform ourselves of the battery's state of load via the battery condition indicator.  Thus when underway, we always know whether it is even worth it to boot the PC.

Charging 119min.
Charging 119min.
DVD 141min.
DVD 141min.
WLAN 178min.
WLAN 178min.
Idle 263min.
Idle 263min.
Load 71min.
Load 71min.Last 71min.
Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
4h 23min
WiFi Surfing
2h 58min
DVD
2h 21min
Load (maximum brightness)
1h 11min

The R530 behaves quite frugally, a quality which we would also expect considering the limited performance of the Pentium T4500.  If there is nothing to do at idle and all energy-savings options are activated (incl. Silent-mode, luminance on lowest level), then the current consumption is at 13.4 watts.  An average of 16.7 watts in idle are realistic (balanced profile, Normal-mode).

Working in the same case, the Core i3-330M (TDP 35W) of the Samsung P530 Pro only needed 10.8 watts at idle (minimal).  Even an Acer Aspire 3820TG-334G50N (i3-330M, HD 5470)only needed 8.2 watts (idle minimal) despite its dedicated graphics.  With that in mind, the at idle energy consumption of a Pentium T4500 system is relatively high in comparison to the current processor generation.

We got a maximum current consumption in the stresstest with Prime95 and Furmark.  The multimeter showed 52 watts. The small 60 watt power pack (246 grams) is thus sufficiently dimensioned.

Power Consumption

Off / Standby 0.4 / 0.8 Watt
Idle 13.4 / 16.7 / 19.7 Watt
Load 36.6 / 52.4 Watt
 
Key: min: , med: , max:         Voltcraft VC 960

Verdict

With the R530, Samsung has created a 15.6-incher suited for office duties at an attractive price just in time for the Christmas season. The Pentium-T4500  processor (2 x 2.3 GHz) provides respectable performance which is above that of low-end single-core configurations.

The grippy and impervious case impressed with its pattered surfaces.  Yet the case can't get fully away from a slightly stiff cheap-plastic-feel. But, the matte construction is a step in the right direction.

The ergonomic and writing-enthusiast-friendly input devices (keyboard) are on the best track.  In addition to a whisper-quiet operation thanks to Silent-mode, the case also always remains cool. The spartan connections (though still HDMI) won't scare away buyers in the 439 Euro price class.  The battery life is also reasonable at three hours.  Least impressive is the display.  It does not have an anti-glare surface and shows limited contrasts.  The barely good brightness can't help this due to reflections under daylight when used outdoors.

If a perfect keyboard and the best ergonomics are the top priorities, then buyers will be well served by the Samsung R530 Nolan.

Samsung R530-JA09DE: Günstiger Office-Knecht mit ergonomischen Vorteilen
Samsung R530-JA09DE: Günstiger Office-Knecht mit ergonomischen Vorteilen
Zur Verfügung gestellt von ...
In Review: Samsung R530-JA09DE, available from:
In review:  Samsung R530-JA09DE

Specifications

Samsung R530-JA09DE
Memory
3072 MB 
, PC3-8500
Display
15.6 inch 16:9, 1366x768 pixel, Samsung LTN154X3-L01, glossy: yes
Mainboard
Intel GL40
Harddisk
Toshiba MK3265GSX, 320 GB 
5400 rpm
Soundcard
Realtek ALC269 @ Intel 82801IB ICH9 - High Definition Audio Controller
Connections
3 USB 2.0, 1 VGA, 1 HDMI, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: Line Out, Mikrofon, Card Reader: SD/SDHC/MMC,
Networking
Marvell Yukon 88E8040 Family PCI-E Fast Ethernet Controller (10/100MBit), Atheros AR9285 Wireless Network Adapter (b g n )
Optical drive
TSSTcorp CDDVDW TS-L633J
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 36 x 380 x 256 ( = 1.42 x 14.96 x 10.08 in)
Weight
2.346 kg ( = 82.75 oz) Power Supply: 247 g ( = 8.71 oz)
Battery
44 Wh Lithium-Ion, 11.1V 4000mAh
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit
Additional features
Webcam: 0.3MP 640x480, 24 Months Warranty

 

[+] compare
The 15.6" R530 Nolan is found at 439 Euro on the virtual shelves.
The 15.6" R530 Nolan is found at 439 Euro on the virtual shelves.
The battery has only a small capacity of 4.000 mAh (44Wh).
The battery has only a small capacity of 4.000 mAh (44Wh).
For continuous use from an outlet, the battery can be removed. There are no feet on this.
For continuous use from an outlet, the battery can be removed. There are no feet on this.
The service flap on the underside allows access to individual components.
The service flap on the underside allows access to individual components.
The harddrive can also be swapped out,
The harddrive can also be swapped out,
as can the three GB RAM (1 x 1.024, 1 x 2.048 MB).
as can the three GB RAM (1 x 1.024, 1 x 2.048 MB).
The section accessories don't include a data medium, but rather a license key for the pre-installed CyberLink DVD Suite.
The section accessories don't include a data medium, but rather a license key for the pre-installed CyberLink DVD Suite.
Samsung R530: A 15.6-incher for the office basics.
Samsung R530: A 15.6-incher for the office basics.
Samsung R530: Reserved but smear-free plastic surfaces.
Samsung R530: Reserved but smear-free plastic surfaces.
The Pentium Dual-Core T4500 2x 2.30 GHz delivers usable office acceleration.
The Pentium Dual-Core T4500 2x 2.30 GHz delivers usable office acceleration.
After two-and-a-half hours, the user should check the state of charge.
After two-and-a-half hours, the user should check the state of charge.
It delivers 60 watts; actually not enough for the highest consumption of 65 watts.
It delivers 60 watts; actually not enough for the highest consumption of 65 watts.
The handy power pack weighs 248 grams.
The handy power pack weighs 248 grams.
The plastic lid features a grippy, impervious pattern.
The plastic lid features a grippy, impervious pattern.
The base unit is quite rigid, though it does sometimes creak when handled.
The base unit is quite rigid, though it does sometimes creak when handled.
Everything is reserved, there are few optical highlights.
Everything is reserved, there are few optical highlights.
Thanks to the haptic leather-look, the working area is just as neutral to fingerprints as it is slip-proof.
Thanks to the haptic leather-look, the working area is just as neutral to fingerprints as it is slip-proof.
The pleasant feel seems hard against the plastic feeling, but it can't hold its ground.
The pleasant feel seems hard against the plastic feeling, but it can't hold its ground.
The panel without an anti-glare surface isn't a good outdoor partner, and the usable brightness doesn't help much in this.
The panel without an anti-glare surface isn't a good outdoor partner, and the usable brightness doesn't help much in this.
The power-button and the unrefined perforation of the loudspeakers attest to simplicity, but not elegance.
The power-button and the unrefined perforation of the loudspeakers attest to simplicity, but not elegance.
But the illuminated touchpad (when fingers are on it) has its appeal.
But the illuminated touchpad (when fingers are on it) has its appeal.
Typical of Samsung, the webcam only captures in 0.3MP (VGA).
Typical of Samsung, the webcam only captures in 0.3MP (VGA).

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» Review Asus K50IJ-SX Notebook
Pentium Dual Core T4300

Devices with the same GPU

» Review Acer Aspire One 752 Notebook
Celeron M 743, 11.6", 1.398 kg

Links

Price Comparison

Pro

+Hard-wearing surfaces
+Stable chassis/ lid
+Good keyboard
+Quiet and cool
+Good brightness
+Acceptable battery life
+Fast harddrive
 

Cons

-TFT not equipped with anti-glare surface
-Small viewing angles
-Few connections
-Loud mouse keys

Shortcut

What we liked

Few frills, but still a lot of notebook.  There is an excellent keyboard, a durable case and adequate computing power at an attractive price.

What we missed

An anti-glare display would have turned the R530 Nolan into a perfect office mate.

What surprised us

The enthusiasm with which the developer experimented with the surfaces. This notebook does fine without paint.

The competition

Simple office laptops without bells and whistles. Fujitsu LifeBook A530: Core i3; Lenovo IdeaPad G560: as well as i3-CPU; HP 625: anti-glare; HP 620: Dual-Core; HP Compaq Presario CQ62: Dual-Core; MSI CR630: Single-Core AMD; Lenovo G550: T4500-configuration.

Rating

Samsung R530-JA09DE
12/03/2010 v2
Sebastian Jentsch

Chassis
86%
Keyboard
90%
Pointing Device
84%
Connectivity
68%
Weight
83%
Battery
76%
Display
70%
Games Performance
50%
Application Performance
76%
Temperature
91%
Noise
94%
Add Points
85%
Average
79%
83%
Office *
Weighted Average
> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Archive of our own reviews > Review Samsung R530 Notebook
Author: Sebastian Jentsch, 2010-12- 6 (Update: 2013-06- 6)