The Samsung R60 isn't quite a fully fledged desktop replacement, but it's certainly edging in that direction.
While its size, weight and screen size may be pretty average, its application performance is anything but, and its price tag of just £480 from LaptopsDirect.co.uk is verging on the extraordinary.
The R60 is hard to classify -- it's neither totally suited to being a desktop replacement or a portable model. It's not particularly big or small and as a result it's rather indistinctive. However, its sub-£500 price certainly grabs your attention, particularly with a name like Samsung on the lid.
Its 2GHz Intel Core Duo T2450, even when teamed up with just 1GB of RAM, managed to bring in a PCMark05 score of 3,871, which is high for any laptop, let alone one in this price category.
It's also pretty good when it comes to battery life, managing to hold out for 1 hour 46 minutes of Battery Eater's intensive tests. However, when running through the supposedly more sedate reader test it only managed to clock up 2 hours 35 minutes, which is less impressive.
It has a fabulous glossy 15.4-inch 1,280x800-pixel resolution display, provided you can put up with the increased reflectivity of such screens. It also looks like it costs twice as much as it does, with piano-black casing and sleek curves. It's fairly susceptible to greasy finger marks, however, so you'll need to keep it polished if you want it looking its best.
The keyboard is great to type on, with good-sized keys and a sensible layout. The touchpad tucked below the space bar also includes a scroll area on the far right for quickly navigating long documents or Web pages.
Unfortunately you can't have everything for such a low price and the first thing to suffer is 3D performance. The ATI Radeon Xpress 1250 graphics chip only managed to pull in a result of 582 in 3DMark06. It's still higher than many more expensive models, but it's not really enough if you want to run the latest games with everything turned up to 11.
The R60 is also port-deprived, with the choice of connectors available verging on the bare minimum. You do get three USB ports -- two at the rear along with Ethernet and modem, with a further one on the left-hand side accompanying the VGA port, headphone and microphone sockets and Express Card/54 slot. Beyond that you'll only find a single SD card slot on the front and nothing bar the DVD writer on the right-hand side.
It's also slightly on the heavy side at 2.7kg, making it unsuitable for daily commuting -- unless you're in training for the 2012 Olympics.
Unless you're a massive gamer or need something that's as light as a feather, it's pretty hard to criticise the R60. It's a good performer, with fantastic looks and a great display. And with an asking price below £500 it's an absolute steal.
Edited by Jason Jenkins
Additional editing by Jon Squire