User-Test Samsung R560 Aura P8400 Madril
Mobile All - Rounder
The new Samsung R560 - Aura P8400 Madril is an absolute all - rounder. It doesn't matter if it's only "simple" office work at the desk or intensive performance in multimedia applications up to gaming - with this notebook you set your possibilities very high. At the moment there are two versions of the R560 - series on the market. That is on the one hand the R560 - Aura P7350 Maloz and on the other the already mentioned Samsung R560 - Aura P8400 Madril.
Behind these predicates, two strong performance notebooks are concealed. The differences between the two can't be seen on first view, a bit more effort is necessary. And those who make the effort will find out quickly that there are two fundamental differences. The maybe most signigicant difference is that which is already obvious in the name, the R560 - Aura P7350 Maloz has a slightly weaker processor. "Weaker" shouldn't be overrated, though, because after all it is a P7350 and behind this an Intel Core Duo 2.0 GHz processor with a Front Side Bus (FSB) with 1066 Megahertz (MHz) and a cache with a size of 3 Megabyte (MB) are veiled. These new models have a higher clock rate with bigger energy saving than its forerunner.
The second and last difference is the integrated Bluetooth Version 2.0 + EDR (Enhanced Data Rate). These two equipment variations, according to Samsungs recommended retail price, are worth €120,00. Bluetooth can prove to be a helpful component to connect the notebook wireless with i.e. a cell phone, in order to transmit music files, pictures or videos. Of course card readers can often fulfill this function, too. These card readers are usually integrated in notebooks of this class. That is why Bluetooth receivers and transmitters shouldn't be overrated.
The Samsung R560 - Aura P8400 Madril takes delight in the new Samsung - Look, too. Like the new TV sets, the Madril has the piano - black casing, as well. At this point, however, it ought to be mentioned the the glossy finish may be an eye - catcher but it calls for much care. Samsung thought about this and put in a special cleaning cloth (15,3 x 15,3 cm) in the scope of delivery.
When the notebook is closed, the Samsung - Logo glistens in silver mirrored lettering on its black lid. This is because it takes delight in the piano - black casing, as well and needs the same care as the case itself because fingerprints are visible immediately.
The well - known broad data sticker from which one can gather the exact specifications has been changed a bit. Only a few hardware components and the existing software are now mentioned.
Optically the notebook makes a very good impression and has the usual custom measurements of 35,8 x 26,4 x 2,86 up to 3,65 cm for its class. Its weight of 2,7 kilograms is also custom for this class.
A bit unusual, but innovative, is the closure mechanism of the display lid. This stays in any angle one wishes up till the last two centimeters before closure, where one should put a finger in between the lid and the writing surface because this pulls itself down and closes with a loud clack. When opening, one should consider this inversely and not open the lid too fast. Otherwise it could happen that the case rises from its place of deposit and falls back ruggedly.
For that, the usual closure mechanism in the lid or in the case, which keeps the notebook safely closed and which often seems down right conventional, is ommited. The lid and the hinges make a stable impression. There is also a limitation of the opening angle of approx. 130°.
The Samsung always lays stable on the worktable. It doesn't matter if the battery is in or not. All of the 6 rubber buffers are attached to the underside of the case.
The connection possibilities can only be called extremely multi - sided and should be sufficient at "normal" use. There is a 100 Mbit/1000 Mbit network module provided for users of wired networks. For data transfer via WLAN (wireless local area networking) has also been provided. The notebook is equipped with WLAN Standard 802.11 a/b/g/n. In following a small explanation of the abbreviations "a", "b", "g" and "n".
The standard "a" is mainly used in the USA. In european regions there might be problems with the transmission frequency and therefore only a minor compatibility is found with the standard "a". With the standard "b" it's different for this is used in European regions and works with a frequency range of 2,4 GHz. The standard "b" practically allows a transmission rate of 5 MegaBit/second (MBit/s). The abbreviation "g" stands for the extension of 54 MBit/s. This is the standard transmission rate of a customary WLAN receiver as they are built into notebooks. The standard "n" will be used in the future because this allows a transmission up to 300 MBit/s. One shouldn't panic, though, that with the implantation of the "n" standard the "b" and "g" standards will be proverbially written off. This is because the transmission class "n" as well as "g" are backwards compatible. That means that a "n" or "g" standard will make a transmission rate of at least 5 MBit/s, ad valorem the "b" standard, further on possible.
A further possibility of a wireless transmission is the integrated Bluetooth 2.0 module. It makes the connection to i.e. a cell phone or PDA possible. The newer Bluetooth 2.0 has been used in PCs for a few years already and makes a faster transmission possible than the Bluetooth 1.0, which is seen as rather out - of - date.
Wie eingangs schon erwähnt, verrichtet der innovative Display-Klappmechanismus eine einwandfreie Arbeit. Abgesehen von leisen Knarzgeräuschen lässt sich das Panel ohne Probleme in eine für den Benutzer angenehme Position bringen. Auf einen Verriegelungsmechanismus wird dabei jedoch verzichtet.
The Samsung R60 - Aura Madril has a VGA - connection, three USB - connections and a HDMI - connection. The VGA - connection, was up till now, the usual option to attach a TV - set or a beamer. One of the newer standards is the HDMI - connection. With this a complete notebook display resolution can be transmitted 1 to 1, for instance, on a TV - set, provided that this has a HDMI/DVI connection, as well. The display picture will not be distorted through this, as it was by the VGA - transmission option. The reason is found in the supported format, which is up to 640 x 480 (VGA). With the HDMI - connection a display resolution with a maximum of 2048 x 1536 pixels can be transmitted without any problems, depending on the maximal resolution of the TV - set or external monitor, of course.
In case the destination screen only has a DVI - connection it is possible to buy an adapter from HDMI to DVI (the price depends on the manufacturer).
The three USB - connections should be sufficient for an average use. For those who should need more, a USB - Hub can be acquired as appurtenance.
As far as the sound output is concerned, the Samsung only has an analog headset connection (green) and a microphone connection (pink). For those who find the headset and microphone output as insufficient, there is the possibility of upgrading with an external sound card over the PCI - Express connection and to use their connectivity.
A very helpful component is the Multi Memory Card slot. This can read and write on memory sticks, SD (SecrueDigital) Card Memory as well as XD, MMC (MultiMediaCard), MMC Plus and SDHC formats. For instance memory cards from digital cameras and cell phones fall under these card formats. If your card doesn't fit in the slot, adapter cards are obtainable everywhere.
Over the display, the Samsung R560 - Aura Madril, has an integrated Webcam positioned in the center. It has 1,3 megapixels and gives pictures with high contrast. With the pre - installed program, photos can be built into existing fun masks. Besides the photos, taking live pictures is possible. During this, fast movements should be avoided because the pictures may turn out distorted. One shouldn't be astonished about jerky pictures with changing light expositions because the photos per second taken with this camera are unfortunately only of normal value.
The complete keyboard makes a well arranged impression. It is positioned in the center, whereas the hands are always on the area of the case foreseen for this purpose. The keys are built in firmly, only a few keys make a louder noise when in use. For instance, the return key or the space key. This may lead to a slightliy elevated local noise, especially by those users who type quickly. The sound altogether, though, stays very much within frame.
The form of the keys are, according to the manufacturer, exeptionally ergonomically designed because the key surfaces are rounded. The complete keyboard has also been treated with an antibacterial SilverNano powder. The power button is built in on the outside of the keyboard which makes it quick to find. The keyboard has many multifunction keys. For instance, with the pressed "Fn" and "F4" keys the display of the notebook can be switched on to a beamer. Very useful here is the battery monitoring, WLAN activation/deactivation or the opening of the internet browser. Because the "Fn" key exists twice, it is possible to use the multifunction keys with only one hand.
The touchpad has a generous size of 7 x 6 cm. As to the handling of the touchpad, the mouse finds an adequate alternative. The sensibility adjustments may be configurated in the operating system to fit ones needs.
The panel it's about is a 15,4 inch WXGA. This display has a glossy finished surface. Considering this, it is rather unfortunate having the light source coming from the back of the user. Stronger solar radiation from the side of the display lid leads to mirroring effects and distracting reflections on the display. The plus of the SuperBright display becomes obvious in not completely illuminated enviroments. The image is very bright and color intensive.
Samsung notes by a maximal resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels a maximum brightness of 220 cd/m². In practical use this makes a negative impression because on a black screen a small horizontal stripe seems to strongly illuminate the transition between the display lid into the LCD display on the bottom edge. In color operating mode there is no such observance to be made.
In different viewing angles the image barely changes. Only in extreme viewing angles (horizontal and vertical) there are image falsifications to be seen, that negatively influence especially pictures and the readability of texts.
The double core P8400 processor makes the heart of the Samsung R560 - Aura P8400 Madril. In fact it is a strong 2,26 GHz 2 Duo Core processor from Intel. The processor works with a 1066 MHz FrontSideBus (Centrino 2).
The built in graphic card doesn't have to hide itself, either. An NVIDIA GeForce 9600M GT found itself a new home in this notebook. It has a 512 MB DDR3 sized, warranted memory. Optionally, this can use further 768 MB from the regular random access memory.
If more memory is needed, there is collectively a 4096 MB DDR3 memory (customary to the maximal extension) that can be used. There are two memory modules of type PC3 - 8500 built in. What should be mentioned here is that only three Gigabytes of the random access memory volume can be managed. The reason for this is the included 32 Bit version of Windows. Only with a 64 Bit version the complete main memory capacity can be used.
The 320 GB sized SATA hard disk offers a very large memory capacity. The working rate of 5400 revolutions per minute is usual for this class. The DVD - Super - Multi Dual Layer drive covers the bandwidth on usual commercial DVDs and CDs. DVDs are written with an 8x velocity and CDs with a 24x velocity. CDs as well as DVDs can be read as ±RW blank discs.
|3DMark 05 Standard||5684 points|
|3DMark 06 1280x800 Score||5684 points|
|PCMark 05 Standard||5676 points|
The Samsung shows itself rather subtle what the sound concerns. Even during the peak of performance in Vista, no audible rise could be perceived. Even with sophisticated graphical software and games, barely anything changes in the sound, even though the fan does work a bit faster. As soon as the DVD drive starts working the sound rises noticeably.
The temperature developement is inconspicuous. The keys as well as the handball surfaces don't show any considerable rise in temperature. The left key area, where the fan is, subjectively seems to be warmer.
The speakers conceal themselves behind a shining black, perforated plastic bar which is placed directly over the keyboard. They have a clear and coherent acoustic sound a bit over low volume. Only at maximum volume the sound becomes somewhat incoherent.
The battery runtime seems, considering the hardware equipment, rather unassumingly short. There are various power saving modes that can be changed as desired under Vista. One can chose between "optimized Samsung", "power saving mode" and "high performance mode". The battery runtime changes proportionally, depending on the chosen settings. The "optimized" mode makes a relatively balanced impression here.
Thanks to the power saving mode, it was possible to work with the Samsung for approx. 2 hours and 50 minutes. For those who are not satisfied with the 6 cell batteries and their 57,72 watt hour, they can optionally aquire a 9 cell battery with 86,58 watt hour. A small bonus is the power display placed directly on the battery. This ranges from 20%, 40, 60, 80 up to 100% and a green LED shows the capacity of the battery, when pressing the Push button.
In buying the Samsung R560 - Aura P8400 Madril one becomes an, at the moment, entire notebook with cleaning necessity - if one doesn't want fingerprints to be visible. With a price of about 1000,- Euro one should consider exactly what it is supposed to be used for. In view of the hardware, this notebook does seem to be too powerful.
For those who aren't planing to use sophisticated graphic programs or computer games in its application spectrum, they could be quite happy with one for half the price. For those who need high performance may find this notebook the right choice. Possible competitors of other manufacturers are still quite hard to find. Students can aquire the Samsung R560 Aura P8400 Madril at special conditions.
A 5.1 or even higher sound system is unfortunately not supported. Depending on the sound requirements one should consider an external solution. The included software package covers the basic needs satisfactorily. Besides this a system recovery CD and a system software CD is included. This is not a matter of course since many renowned manufacturers waiver the recovery CD and can therefore charge extra for this, if one didn't make a security copy during installment.
Samsung also shines with its 24 month on - the - spot pick - up service which can be elongated against an extra charge. Altogether, the Samsung R560 - Aura P8400 is a notebook with a very good price/performance ratio and can be recommended.
We would like to thank our reader Norman who wrote this personal review. We would like to encourage you to write a user - review about your notebook and share your experience with the Notebookcheck - community, too. More about how to is here.