The Samsung RF510-S01 15-inch notebook is an impressive computer with an Intel Core i5 CPU, 4GB of RAM and a discrete Nvidia graphics system. It is quite bulky and heavy, which restricts its portability dramatically, but a few other shortcomings also may deter some buyers.
The RF510-S01 from Samsung weighs 5.6 pounds and measures 14.9 x 10 x 1.4-inches, which is too large and heavy to carry around all day at school or work, so consider using this notebook in situations where only occasional portability is needed. The body of the laptop is a sleek black finish that is quite sturdy and has a glossy black lid, which shows only some fingerprints. It's definitely a style that looks to please the professionals out there.
The keyboard's keys are quite smooth and flat, which actually work out to make for a comfortable typing experience. The keys are all slightly rounded at the corners, which give them a nice aesthetic appeal. To the right of the keyboard is a full-size numeric keypad, which again owns to the notebook's professional design touches. The matte finish touchpad provides a good amount of space and also allows for some multitouch gestures, like pinch to zoom.
Samsung included a 15.6-inch HD LED-backlit display with a native resolution of 1366 x 768, which qualifies as 720p HD and not the full 1080p HD. The display is quite glossy, so reflections from overhead lights sometimes pose an issue. The image quality of this laptop is quite good, but viewing angles were strangely much less than we would've hoped to see.
The Samsung RF510-S01 laptop is quite connected with some latest-technology ports. On the right side are two USB 3.0 ports, which is a much welcomed feature. The left side has two USB 2.0 ports, HDMI, VGA, Ethernet and audio ports. One of the USB 2.0 ports on this side doubles as a charging port which will charge USB devices, like cell phones, even when the computer is asleep or turned off. There is a also a 4-in-1 memory card reader on the front of the unit too. The only port we perhaps would've liked to see is a USB/eSATA combo port, but we aren't griping over it too much.
The specifications of the Samsung RF510-S01 include the ever-popular Intel Core i5 460M CPU (2.53GHz), 4GB of RAM and a 500GB hard drive. The graphics system is an Nvidia GeForce 330M with 1GB of discrete RAM to boost performance. There is also 802.11b/g/n and Bluetooth 3.0+EDR wireless connectivity and a dual-layer DVD+/-RW optical disc drive. Samsung pre-installs Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit) with this model.
Performance with this 15-inch notebook is excellent, including tasks like large file transfers and playing today's demanding 3D games. Because of the discrete 1GB RAM for the video processing system, you can play 3D games with better than average performance compared to similar notebooks. Boot times were under a minute and with Samsung's Fast Start feature, which wakes the computer from a low-powered sleep mode, you can get to a usable state in just three seconds. Samsung definitely prefers that you put the computer to sleep rather than completely off, which is not only apparent by this feature but also the way they've configured Windows 7's start menu power button.
During testing, the Samsung RF510-S01's battery life was quite poor at only an average of about 2:30, which is way less than comparable models. This is really the main issue with this computer, so make sure you consider it wisely before you decide to purchase this laptop. If you don't intend to use it away from a power source, it's a wonderfully powerful and stylish computer.