A good all-round laptop with a numerical keypad
The R720 has a bright 17in widescreen display that uses a 16:9 aspect ratio. This is used by many TV shows and films, so you will see fewer black bars at the top and bottom when watching video.
It also makes the entire laptop noticeably wider, which is one reason Samsung has been able to fit a numeric keypad in.
Some games are set for desktop PCs with a full-sized keyboard, and assign critical controls to the keypad by default, so gaming on the R720 is slightly easier than on laptops without a keypad.
An Ati Radeon HD4330 graphics card provides reasonable gaming performance, but don’t expect the same experience you would get from a desktop gaming PC.
It’s much better than the graphics on most laptops and the rest of the specification also provides good performance – 4GB of memory and an Intel T4300 processor are enough for most tasks.
While the majority of older games should work without any problems, you may need to turn down the detail in more recent games.
A 320GB hard disk is built in, with Windows Vista Home Premium installed. Our review model came with a standard DVD drive, but you can add a Blu-ray disc reader at an extra cost. Sound output from the tiny speakers was reasonable.
Typing on the R720 was pleasant, as Samsung has used widely-spaced square keys, which many people find easier to type on than standard laptop keyboards.
Like the screen, the trackpad is extra-wide, illuminated with blue light, with a slider on the side to scroll up and down. A single large button below is used for left and right mouse clicking.
There is not much to dislike about the R720. It looks good and the wider screen works well.
As with other large laptops, the battery in the R720 didn’t last long, though: Samsung quotes a time of roughly three hours, although this will vary depending on use.
The Samsung R720 is excellent for watching films or listening to music and it handles games well.
However, if you are not interested in gaming, you could shop around for a cheaper laptop with a lower specification that will play films and handle office tasks just as well.
Read more reviews
A good alternative to a desktop computer for many people Good points Wide, bright display; plays games; HDMI output; attractive design; plenty of system memory Bad points Graphics card unnecessary for non-gamers; short battery life; heavy
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