It’s not unusual for desktop replacements to have a bit of heft, but Samsung’s RF711 positively throws caution to the wind. Tipping the scales at an obese 2.9kg and measuring 416mm across (almost one-and-a-half feet), it’s only a laptop in the sense that the screen folds down to cover the keyboard when you’ve finished using it. …
Perfectly OK on laps
I had one of these beasties perched on my lap recently. It was neither uncomfortably heavy nor uncomfortably hot. Obviously, it's heavier than most of today's models, but it wasn't long ago that 2.9kg was par for the course for mere 15inch models. I don't think that the extra two or three inches of width is going to cause particular problems for use on a plane or train. Arm-rests are normally at least 20in apart.
All told, I was rather impressed.
Use this on a train?
Maybe an empty one. Try using one of these on the 0708 to Liverpool St, there is no way you will get four of these on one table. Try and use one of these on a tray back table, and I will fill with mirth.
Thumbs down for a 17", 3Kg laptop that still can't find full size keys for the top row of the keyboard.
Table? On a train in the UK?
You don't know what luxury you enjoy. The only table you get on the lines I use is your lap. That's on a good day. Otherwise it's standing room only. On a bad day, cross out "room" and insert "sardines". On a really bad day add "next to a flatulent garlic-eater, at a stand-still for three hours and counting, at 110F and rising"
Let me clarify tables
This is on the Norwich -> London route, which is actually quite a nice carriage, 2+2 configuration, with comfyish seats and reasonable leg room, with between 8-12 2x2 tables interspersed amongst airline style seats. I know the trains you are talking about, 3+2 layout, no tables, last cleaned in the 70s, I catch them now..
To get a seat on the train I mentioned, the latest you can get on is Ipswich - approx 70 min away from London - and only then if you are lucky.
If you get on at Manningtree, 10 mins closer to London, it's standing room only.
Tables are more readily available on the way back. Then, you just have to stand around on the main concourse at Liverpool St approx 20 min before it is scheduled to leave, and wait for the platform gates to be announced/opened and then sprint down the platform with the other 700 people trying to do the same thing.
I stopped doing this route 3 years ago and moved to London. The monthly bill for my ticket was £550. If you wanted a seat reserved there and back, thats an extra £90/month.
No power points on those relics of trains, which is why I always dread having to go out that way....
that this PC for the money has poor gfx and cant even do HD resolution. we have some crappy old laptops here from 4 years ago that have higher resolution and are only 15" screens!
Oh no, they've done it again.
I have a (similar) Samsung laptop to this one, and again, Samsung has made a horrible mistake on the keyboard.
Once again, they have slipped in a second "Fn" key on the right on the keyboard, between the righthand Ctrl key and the cursor keys. It drives me mad.
On every other keyboard, you can easily use shortcuts like CTRL+Left, or Ctrl+Right. But with these Samsung keyboards, you end up hitting Fn+Left or Right. It makes using applications like Word much more difficult, and your fingers end up playing a stretching game of Twister while trying to jump over words in your document.
Seriously, do we NEED two "Fn" keys on a keyboard ? Do Samsung users really change their laptop's brightness or Power settings that regularly ?
Bad Samsung. Bad !
Remap key, end of story.
Disappointing battery life...been waiting a while for decent laptop though...
My experience with the RF711
This model is sold in Canada too. I got one three weeks ago, and it's working great. Here are some actual observations:
- There are two physical hard disks. At setup, you will asked if the first one is to be partitioned, and if so, with what allocation. The second hard disk is left as one large partition.
- Having two physical hard disks makes for reasonably fast transfer between the two. Also, you can swap one of them with an SSD without seriously compromising the computer's capacity (due to the second HD).
- The RF711 is not wide in the sense that if you want a 17.3 inch display, you cannot go much narrower than the RF711. The left and right margins are reasonably small.
- I dislike how opening the lid forces the computer to come out of sleep. (I don't mind that closing the lid will put the computer to sleep.) I cannot disable this in the BIOS.
- There are two memory slots, and these are filled with 4 gbs and 2 gbs.
- Hard disk access/removal is easy.
- The computer feels cool to the touch, both at the keyboard and the rear vent.
- The computer feels fast, even when a dozen programs are running. Cold starting a program like Photoshop is not much faster than with my older Core 2 Duo, also a Samsung. I guess the hard disk is a bigger factor than the CPU for Photoshop startup.
How is "wakeup when opening" a problem?
What is the point of opening the screen if not to wake up the machine? Count the keyboard keys, retouch your makeup in the screen's reflection, I dunno?
I'm quite serious, is there something obvious I miss?
What I meant was....
You're perfectly right, opening the lid should normally wake up the computer. That's the way I use computers too.
However, Samsung forces you into that power configuration by locking the power options for the lid. You cannot configure closing the lid to go to hibernation or shutdown, only sleep. I actually prefer hibernation, but I am not given a choice. In fact, some other power options are also disabled (greyed out). I want to choose for myself.
My experience with the RF711 - Part 2
Some more observations about the RF711:
- The keyboard feels good for typing but is not quite as solid as the MacBook keyboard.
- The audio is clear even at high volume. Good for watching movies, especially with the display's wide-angle-view.
- The lid invites fingerprints but the keyboard wrist area has no visible fingerprints.
- The four metal keys near the power switch are: mute, volume+, volume-, wifi on/off.
- The Samsung disk imaging software is as easy as it can get. Without leaving Windows, it creates an image of drive C in drive D (or another drive of your choice). The ease encourages me to do several images, each with a progressively increasing installation of programs.
- For those who dislike stickers: there are five stickers on the wrist area of the keyboard.
- The computer is almost totally silent during operation.
- The USB3 ports are tight for USB cables (some force required).
- Pulling out an SD card takes some fidgeting.
"For those who dislike stickers:"
As one who dislikes stickers I can assure you I don't give a flying f*** how many it comes with, as the first thing I do with a new machine is peel 'em all off anyway.
I've never actually bothered counting how many I peel off as I am merely obsessive, not completely anal.
How gummy are stickers in your experience?
Any tips about removing gum?
Cleaning gum from stickers
Some high alcohol content wipes are the way forward.
My experience with the RF711 - Part 3
Concerning the keyboard:
- I like the feel of the keyboard. I type very fast on it.
- The keys feel solid, but slightly less so than those of the MacBook Pro.
- I wish there was a wider separation between the main keyboard and the keypad.
- I wish the four cursor keys could stand out more.
- The width of the main keyboard area (i.e. minus the keypad) is exactly the same as that of my expensive Razer Black Widow gaming keyboard.
All very interesting - but where can I get one?
This all seems to be somewhat moot, as I've just wasted 30 minutes or more trying to locate one.
The Amazon link in the article points to an i5 model.
The Samsung product page rather pathetically points to retailers who don't stock it.
Quite a few retailers suggest it has been discontinued.
I'd be delighted if someone could demonstrate otherwise...
I don't understand the whining about width and weight
If you are getting a 17.3 inch laptop, you have certain expectations about its weight and width. Just like if you are buying a limo, it will be harder to park than a subcompact.
You cannot have a 17.3 inch laptop that is going to be narrow enough for the meal tray of an airplane. It is an inherent and innate characteristic of a laptop with a large screen, unless Samsung designs a foldable screen (and even then, when you unfold it on a meal tray, it becomes big again).
Am I stating something that is not obvious?
By the way, 2.9 kgs is below average for a 17.3 inch laptop.
If you think that weighs too much you should try cycling with a Dell Precision M6500 (and power supply) on your back.
I just looked it up...
Yes, that's hefty alright.
any backlight on the keyboard?
it looks like a slaptop I could use...
Just need to know if the keyboard is backlit...?
The keyboard has no backlight
Sorry to disappoint you.
Look at it!
seriously, the good people at Samsung must have seen a Macbook, there's no reason for computers to look this hideous, looks like some nerd knocked it together using bits from Maplin.
mac rip off?
The keyboard looks like a MacBook rip off. This is enough to put me off. They keyboard on a macbook is fairly iconic, I'm not sure how Samsung or Sony can so blatentley copy it.
I thought Sony came out with a chiclet keyboard first in a laptop? Besides, the style is prior art in the Speccy ZX and entire generations of Casio calculators!
I don't get the point of this configuration
Who wants the size and heft of a 17 inch notebook without high-end graphics capabilities? You can get similar visual specs and performance in a lighter-weight 15 inch form factor, so why choose this?
The Asus N73V, previously reviewed, has a 1080p screen. Dell offers such a screen on their XPS models, and I'm sure others do as well. The graphics card and graphics memory are also quite middle of the road.
I understand sacrificing portability for performance, but this box sacrifices portability for ???
@Big Nose In China, I absolutely agree. I looked earlier this year for a 17" laptop which supported full HD, they're really few and far between. Add to that retailers determination to hide screen resolution figures and it's a really touch job.
I ended up plumping for a Sony F series and so far haven't been disappointed.
- Hi-torque tank engines: EXTREME car hacking with The Register
- Product round-up Ten excellent FREE PC apps to brighten your Windows
- Review What's MISSING on Amazon Fire Phone... and why it WON'T set the world alight
- Product round-up Trousers down for six of the best affordable Androids
- Why did it take antivirus giants YEARS to drill into super-scary Regin? Symantec responds...