PC gamers generally have a tall order when it comes to a laptop that can handle a weekend marathon of a new game release or a LAN event. It has to look good, with a large enough display, beefy components to handle the latest and greatest as well as plenty of storage space to hold games, music and video libraries. In effect, serious PC gamers are generally looking for a laptop that can serve as a desktop replacement. This appears to be the target audience for the Samsung Series 7 Gamer, a laptop whose power is matched only by its pricetag.
The Samsung Series 7 Gamer is a hefty machine for a laptop and weighs in at 8.39 pounds. Compared to the weight and bulkiness of carting around a full-size desktop rig and monitors though, most gamers aren’t going to be concerned with weight, given the power this thing is packing in its 1.96-inch thick chassis.
Speaking of the chassis, many gaming laptops these days tend to have “extreme” design options that make them look like the laptop equivalent of a souped-up Honda Civic. Not so with the Samsung Series 7 Gamer, which could easily be used for work as well as play without drawing unwanted attention. When closed, it has a black glossy finish which does pick up fingerprints fairly easily, so be sure to pack some cleaning cloths. Inside, the brushed metal keeps in line with the almost professional feel of this gaming laptop.
Along the side of the Samsung Series 7 Gamer is the standard array of I/O ports. On the right is a Blu-ray drive with USB 2.0 ports to either side. The left side sports standard audio I/O jacks, two USB 3.0 ports with a multicard reader just above, display ports including HDMI, VGA and DisplayPort sockets, Ethernet and the AC adapter and security lock. Nothing fancy here, but everything a gamer needs to hook up and get playing.
Inside the Samsung Series 7 Gamer is a nice backlit keyboard that feels good when typing; silent, but with enough push back to not feel like a cheap afterthought. The trackpad is the standard affair with a nice size and responsiveness. However, most gamers tend to prefer the feel of a solid mouse in their hands and thankfully the trackpad is easy enough to disable when in “gaming mode” (more on that shortly).
Next to the hinge are the bulk of the status indicators and controls for the Samsung Series 7 Gamer. These touch-sensative controls include power and mute buttons, WiFi, volume as well as a dial for quickly managing the laptop’s energy modes. These four modes include a “Green Mode” for energy efficiency, “Library Mode” for quickly muting audio during study sessions, “Balanced Mode” and “Game Mode”. The “Game Mode” optimizes the display’s brightness and contrast as well as switching the backlit keys from white to blue (except for the WASD keys which turn red).
Once booted up, the first thing you’ll notice about this machine is the beautiful display. The LED-backlit, 400-nit SuperBright Plus panel is 1,920 x 1,080 pixels of glass beauty. The vibrant colors and dark blacks are brought to light with an intense luminosity making the world of Skyrim appear as if looking through a window. This beautiful screen, combined with the built in Blu-ray player, also makes the Samsung Series 7 Gamer an excellent machine for watching HD movies on the go.
The audio on the Gamer is loud, especially compared to other machines in its category though it’s no comparison to a good set of headphones. Still, if there are no external speakers available the Samsung Series 7 Gamer can pump out enough sound to fill a room, plenty well enough to share a YouTube video with friends.
When taking the Samsung Series 7 Gamer on the go make sure to bring along its AC adapter and keep near a power source. While it claims a 3.7-hour lifetime in reality this falls short, particularly if you have it set to “Gamer Mode”. Still, one can hardly fault it considering the hardware that powers this beast.
Here are the exact specs of the unit we reviewed:
We’ve gone ahead and ran a few of our usual benchmarks, so you can get an idea of how this laptop performs. Unfortunately, this is the first laptop we’ve reviewed, so we aren’t benchmarking it against any other hardware.
The Samsung Series 7 Gamer does perform rather well, which means that you’re going to be able to play most games on high settings, though some of the more demanding ones will need to be turned down a bit. But for a mobile machine, it should definitely live up to your expectations.
At $1,900 the Samsung Series 7 Gamer is not a playtoy, but for serious gamers looking for a portable desktop replacement this machine is well worth the consideration. It has a few minor flaws such as battery life but one look at the beautiful 17.3-inch glassy screen will have any gamer forgetting they’re plugged into an outlet.