Samsung 15.6" R580 Multimedia Notebook

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It's becoming the exception rather than the rule to find anything "extra" in a notebook box these days. Call it an affect of the recession, or call it just plain cost cutting. either way, you won't find any extra goodies within your R580 box, save for a small microfiber cloth that's badly needed to keep the fingerprints and dust away from the glossy, red swirl lid and the glossy LCD. Other than that and the notebook itself, we only found a 6-cell battery, an AC power cord and an AC power brick inside the box; not too surprising given the sudden dearth of bonus items everywhere, but we can't help but wish for a sleeve or at least a cable or two thrown in just to show us that our business is valued.

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On the software side, we found one of our biggest gripes with the system. Samsung includes Windows 7 Home Premium, a fine OS in and of itself. Problem is, they included the 32-bit version. Yet, they shipped it with 4GB of DDR3 memory. Due to limits of the 32-bit architecture, only around 3GB of that memory can actually be seen and addressed by Windows, so roughly 1GB of the RAM you purchase has little value whatsoever with this OS. If you were to upgrade to the 64-bit version, you'd obviously get to take advantage of all 4GB, but as it stands, you'll constantly be left wondering why in the world Samsung chose to include both 4GB of RAM and a 32-bit OS; those two just don't make sense together.

We also found way, way too much bloatware on this rig. Bootup took far too long for a Core i5 machine, and we found the reason just as soon as the desktop appeared: extraneous software. Samsung went on an installation spree before shipping this machine out, bogging it down with McAfee anti-virus software, CyberLink's YouCam, a 60-day trial of Office, AnyPC, Samsung's own Recovery Software, a Samsung "Support" app, Easy Network Managed, an automated Samsung Update app, GamePack, FailSafe and CyberLink's DVD Suite. We have no issues at all with Samsung including this software, but we want it on a CD or USB key in the box, not installed on the HDD nagging during boot. There's no doubt that having this all crammed on the machine significantly hindered the bootup speed and the overall snappiness of the system.

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