Samsung’s R-series of laptops are pretty elegant and they perform well too, and with the cut-throat competition in laptops today, it seems they’re offering something more for the style-conscious. But can these machines match up with others when it comes to value for money? Let’s find out.

In terms of design, the color scheme and subtle pattern on the R480L is what we found most interesting. The lid of the laptop carries a deep wine shade which gradients into pitch black towards the edges. The fine curved lines running across the entire unit add to the looks, and to top it all, the unit has an all-glossy finish, except for the black matte screen frame. Now, there’s no doubt that the laptop looks quite elite and stylish, but it is a finger print magnet. So as long as you manage to avoid the stains, the machine looks good. The only (and the most apt) area that has a matte finish is the touchpad, thankfully. Also, to avoid the struggle for placing the touchpad in the dark, there are four tiny LEDs, one at each corner of the touchpad.

The overall build quality is pretty good and even with the ergonomics there’s nothing to complain about. The chiclet keyboard is quite comfortable with well-sized keys and the touchpad and buttons are good too. All-in-all the usability is pretty decent.

Considering the hardware and overall feature set, the R480 is clearly and entry-level home laptop, but the price tag of Rs 44,064 isn’t really justified. It’s slightly overpriced. However, the machine has everything that’s needed in an entry-level multimedia laptop. Built around an Intel HM55 chipset, it is powered by an Intel Core i3 330M CPU. There’s a 320 GB hard drive, 4GB DDR3 RAM, a discrete Nvidia GeForce 310 GPU and a 14-inch glossy screen. For a 14 incher, the unit is slightly on the thicker side, but at 2.3 kg it is not really a bulky unit.

Other features include 3 USB and an eSATA/USB combo port, a VGA and an HDMI port, a 1.3 megapixel webcam, a DVD writer and a memory card reader. The standard connectivity options are gigabit Ethernet, Wi-Fi N and Bluetooth. Finally, the unit is pre-loaded with Windows 7 Home Premium. So as you can, there’s nothing missing from the features set, except a FireWire port, which isn’t very common in home laptops anyway.

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