Earlier this year, when AMD released their new Fusion chips combining the power of ATI graphics with its own processors, they were touted as Atom-killers.
Despite the hype, however, actual models based on the revolutionary and bold architecture were few and far between to be seen in the Indian market. Sony was the first to go, announcing a 11.6 inch model sporting the more powerful of the two AMD Fusion chips shipping so far, the dual core 1.6 GHz E-350.
However, the model did not live up to the high expectations of 8 hours of battery life, though it did manage to fullfill the low price requirement to some extent. Sony was followed by Acer, which unveiled two full-size notebooks of 14 and 15.6 inches.
However, they were far from Atom or netbook killers because of one factor — price. While Atom netbooks are available for as little as Rs 12,000 and most are priced around Rs 15,000; all the above models were priced in the Rs 23,000 to Rs 25,000 band.
Now Samsung, known for its sturdy and much admired netbooks, has changed that with its first AMD Fusion based R Series notebook, the NP-RV513.
Not only is it as good as most entry level notebooks (2 GB DDR3 RAM, 320 GB hard-disk, bluetooth, WiFi etc.), in some ways it does better. For example, while many entry level notebooks have the traditional, power-sucking TFT lights behind the displays, this one has LEDs behind its 15.6 inch, HD display.
Again, while many of the traditional entry-level laptops will find it hard to play full HD video, especially on web-based services like Youtube, this one handles the task beautifully. While you can’t play PC games on the others, the integrated graphics card in this one lets you play most of the popular games in the market except perhaps the most demanding.
Moreover, while most entry level notebooks drain out their three-cell batteries in 2 hours, the six-cell batteries on this one should be good enough for four.
Perhaps the best part is the price. While entry-level notebooks of last year’s Intel chips (Core i first generation) start off at around Rs 25,000, the Samsung NP-RV513 is priced at less than Rs 20,000. (Online retailer Letsbuy.com, for example, is selling it at Rs 19,250 ($425))
On the downside, however, is the fact that the processor, a dual-core 1.6 GHz affair, will not be as powerful as a Core i3. But the power difference is unlikely to be felt by an ordinary user, but the flip-side, higher graphics power, is something even an ordinary user will be able to appreciate.