If we had a pound for every time a manufacturer tried to spice up its range by spraying a laptop lid red, we'd have about £73. Actually, we'd have £74 now that Samsung's released the R730. This device also features a 17.3-inch display, a dual-core Intel Pentium T4300 CPU, 4GB of RAM and a 320GB hard drive, for a very reasonable £500 or thereabouts.
Red, red, whine
The red lid on the R730 is pleasant to look at. Rather than sporting a uniform colour all over, the top and bottom areas appear darker than the centre.
Unfortunately, the interior of the laptop doesn't sport the same design. Most of it is finished in a fairly plain, stainless steel effect, with a strip of glossy blue thrown in above the keyboard. We're no design experts, but the interior really isn't consistent with the exterior.
Size isn't everything
The R730 is a very large laptop. It measures a whopping 411 by 40 by 273mm, and weighs 2.8kg, so it doesn't lend itself very well to being carried long distances.
Sadly, despite its corpulence, the R730 doesn't offer a wealth of ports. It has D-Sub and HDMI video outputs, Ethernet, mic and headphone jacks, and just three USB ports. Two of the USB ports sit so closely together that even a moderately fat USB device can obscure both.
The R730 makes for a fairly good multimedia machine. Its 320GB hard drive is on the small size for a machine of this type, but it has an integrated DVD drive and a large, 17.3-inch display.
The screen is by no means perfect. It has a 1,600x900-pixel resolution, rather than a 'Full HD' 1080p resolution, and it's slightly too glossy and reflective for our tastes, but its ample size makes it very well suited to movie playback.
The R730's keyboard is fantastic, although it doesn't have the uber-trendy isolated-keys design. Each key is large and raised slightly in the centre, making it that much easier to type on.