Samsung 15.6" R580 Multimedia Notebook
Design and Build Quality
On the right side of the rig, there's a DVD/CD optical drive (pull-out tray type) along with two USB 2.0 ports. That's it. We really wish Samsung would've went with USB 3.0 (as we hope for on every new notebook these days), but given the low price point, we understand the decision to use last year's technology. And for most people shopping in this price category, USB 2.0 will be more than enough for their needs.
There are no ports at all running along the back, only an exhaust vent. On the left, you'll find a Kensington lock slot, an AC power input, VGA output, Ethernet jack, eSATA port, two more USB 2.0 sockets, an ExpressCard slot and audio in/out jacks to close things out. Along the front you'll get an oddly recessed SD/SDHC/MMC slot that's frankly hard to get to, and underneath you'll find a removable 6-cell Li-ion battery. Open up the lid, and you'll find one of the more intriguing trackpad options that we've seen. The pad itself is simply integrated into the palm rest. It's perfectly flat, and the only notice that it's even there are four dots outlining the edges (and the plastic sticker that ships on the machine). The solid, single trackpad button below it clicks down on the left and the right, but neither feel large enough given the ample space available across the palm rest.
The inside of the machine is delightfully simple. A trackpad, a trackpad button, a keyboard, two speakers and a power button. Along the front edge you'll find small LEDs that show Caps Lock status, hard drive activity, Wi-Fi on/off and power on/off, but otherwise it's a clean slate. We wish those darn palm rest stickers weren't cluttering things up, but otherwise this is a refreshing change from the usual cluttered insiders that we see.
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