* Posts by Andrew Martens

2 posts • joined 28 Apr 2010

Want Olympic tickets? Better get a VisaCard then

Andrew Martens

Not a surprise

This is exactly the same thing that happened in Vancouver for the 2010 Winter Olympics. No real surprise - sponsorship dollars buy major concessions of this kind. Just wait for the inevitable crackdown on pre-existing local businesses that have "Olympic" in their names.


Samsung R580 15.6in notebook

Andrew Martens

Good system, crappy keyboard on Canadian model.

I picked up an R780 in Canada about a month ago after my wife's Dell Inspiron 1420 suffered a sudden GPU failure and we needed an immediate replacement. With a GT330M GPU and an i5-430 CPU, it was reasonably specced for both everyday computing tasks and even some light gaming. On the plus side, it's a lot quieter than the Dell that it replaced, and the performance is notably better.

There are a number of downsides to it, however. Samsung really should have done something better with the large swath of plastic between the keyboard and the screen. The odd-looking speakers and the power button still leave a large chunk of real estate empty.

Furthermore, the keyboard of the Canadian model is not the same as the one pictured in this review. The Enter key is double-height but narrower, and the pipe/backslash key has been located to the right of the apostrophe key! If that wasn't annoying enough, they also made a duplicate of the *same* key on the left-hand side of the keyboard between the Z and the now half-width shift key. A poor design choice.

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