Our fellow bloggers and press people officially hated us when we won the grand prize last Tuesday in Intercontinental Hotel at Samsung’s Notebook Launch. The grand prize – the Samsung NP-R440. Owning this during the night of the launch makes Gadget Pilipinas the first ever owner of a Samsung laptop in the Philippines. We nailed it, bigtime. We hurriedly went back to our base after a dose of San Mig light and unboxed our prize with too much enthusiasm.
It wasn’t that hard to open the box and I was quite surprised that it contained a free bag inside. The free bag looks pretty sweet but it can literally expose the fact that I’m carrying around a precious hardware. I continued on removing the other boxes inside the big box and saw usual stuff in a brand new notebook – manual, warranty and intro leaflets, the power cord, adapter and battery. And then finally, it was time for me pull up the main package – the Samsung NP-R440.
If you are like Shawn Spencer of the TV series Psych – which means you diligently look for details -, the R440 doesn’t look like your average notebook. This model comes in Samsung’s new Touch of Color crystal finish, with an S pattern elegantly designed in the notebooks front cover. Translation: it has this Piano-black finish with S-pattern, which in turn make it look like a piece of art with an attitude.
I opened the notebook and the chiclet keyboard and the regular sized multi-gesture trackpad said ‘hello’, while the 14.0″ LED HD gloss screen said ‘hi’. The experience was not that awesome but it felt really good. I readied the 6-cell battery, which I found really nice because of its Macbook-like consumption meter, and hooked it into the computer. I pressed the ON button, which by the way lit the small blue led indicator, and looked at the magic of the OEM Windows 7 Home Basic’s post installation processes.
After the installation process, it was time for me to test the embedded beasts in the notebook – the i3 350M (2.26 Ghz, 3MB) processor, 2GB DDR3 memory, ATI Mobility Radeon HD5145 (512mb) and the 320gb SATA hard drive. The parts make a mid-range notebook, but decent enough to fulfill your media-oriented work and leisure goals.
The i3 processor may be the lowest variant among the line of iCore processors but its capability can rival its brother, i5 processor. On the plus side, the i3 is the cheaper alternative of the i5 processor without the Turbo mode. In my opinion, someone who isn’t so much of a power user like me and uber-geeks like Bill Gates does not need the i5 nor the i7 processors.
Playing video games or rendering your latest youtube video masterpiece is pretty decent on the R440. Of course, expect it to be less stunning because of the embedded mid range (class 2) graphics card, the 512mb ATI Mobility Radeon HD5145. With this video card, I was only able to play Modern Warfare 2 at playable 55-60fps (low settings).
I was inspired to give Samsung a warm round of applause when the desktop finally loaded because I didn’t find more than 3 crapware (pre-installed applications that ruin that optimal startup/boot up time). Plus, the performance of Windows 7 Home Basic is topnotch; thanks to its powerful hardware.
Overall, the Samsung NP-R440 is a well-crafted device with hardware specifications that wouldn’t disappoint you. In terms of price (SRP PhP 39,999), it may be far more expensive that its closest rival (which is quite a downer), the Asus K42Jr, but it doesn’t fall short in meeting my creative demands of producing home-made movies, photo manipulation projects and video gaming frenzies. The good thing is that we got lucky last Tuesday so we didn’t have to pay anything for this baby.
Giancarlo Viterbo is a Filipino Technology Journalist, blogger and Editor of gadgetpilipinas.net, He is also a Geek, Dad and a Husband. He knows a lot about washing the dishes, doing some errands and following instructions from his boss on his day job. Follow him on twitter: @gianviterbo and @gadgetpilipinas.