The news of an upcoming gaming laptop from Samsung came as something of a surprise, coming from a company that hasn’t focused on gaming products at all in the past (or focused on laptops, for that matter).
That doesn’t change the fact that the new Series 7 Gamer looks like a very competent piece of equipment. It was initially announced with an AMD GPU, but this was changed to an Nvidia card in the final specs.
The base configuration–selling for $1,899–ships with an (Ivy Bridge) Intel Core i7-3610M running at 2.3 GHz or up to 3.3 GHz with Turbo Boost. It is also equipped with no less than 16 GB of RAM and dual 750 GB hard drives for a total of 1.5 TB of storage space. On top of that, Samsung includes an 8 GB mSATA solid state drive that uses the ExpressCache feature to improve boot times and frequently used apps. It also helps the laptop wake up from hybrid sleep in just 2 seconds and cold boot in 19 seconds, allegedly.
Since this is a gaming laptop, all of those features are of course secondary to the graphics card. Samsung went with the GeForce GTX 675M, which is a renamed GTX 580M (benchmarks here) from the previous Fermi generation, but still Nvidia’s fastest GPU for the time being. It would have been more interesting to see AMD’s new 28nm flagship, the Radeon HD 7970M in this laptop, but apparently the 28nm generation GCN and Kepler GPUs will have to wait.
The design is relatively discreet for a gaming laptop, with a low-key dark casing, but once you open it up it reveals itself for what it is with a backlit keyboard and highlighted gaming keys, as well as some original design choices including a control wheel similar to the one on the new Envy 17 from HP. With a $1,900 price tag, the new Series 7 is not exactly cheap, but neither is it expensive considering the hardware, or compared to the competition. The Series 7 Gamer is already available and shipping.