The Bottom Line
Feb 6 2012 - The latest revision of the Samsung Series 7 aims to make the system more affordable but also has the disadvantage of just not offering the same level of 3D performance as its predecessor or its competition has. It makes up for this by having a bit better level of storage performance and a greater amount of storage space along with a Blu-ray compatible drive. The result is a more general purpose 17-inch laptop than a gaming specific model.
- Excellent Display
- Lots Of Storage Space With Above Average Performance
- Blu-ray Compatible Drive
- Graphics Performance Below Past GeForce Based Model
- Yellow Color A Bit Too Bold
- Lots Of Preinstalled Software
- Intel Core i7-3630QM Quad Core Mobile Processor
- 8GB PC3-12800 DDR3 Memory
- 1TB 7200rpm Hard Drive with 16GB Solid State Cache
- Blu-ray Reader And Dual-Layer DVD Burner Combo Drive
- 17.3" WXGA (1920x1080) Display With 2.0 Megapixel Webcam
- AMD Radeon HD 7870M Graphics With 2GB Memory
- Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11a/g/n Wireless, Bluetooth
- Two USB 3.0, Two USB 2.0, DisplayPort, HDMI, VGA, 7-in-1 Card Reader
- 16.1" x 11.2" x 2" @ 8.4 lbs.
- Windows 8, Office Starter
Review - Samsung Series 7 Gamer NP700G7C-T01US
Feb 6 2013 - Samsung's Series 7 Gamer takes their standard designs and expands the performance and size. It stands out from the crowd from its bright yellow exterior color scheme. Thankfully this color is confined to the exterior and a standard black color frames the display and keyboard areas of the system. It features a fairly angled tilt from the front that is just 1.3-inches tall to the back at nearly 2-inches to form a wedge shape.
Samsung still powers is Series 7 Gamer model with the latest generation of Intel procesors. The Intel Core i7-3630QM offers plenty of performance for those using the laptop for PC gaming or even high demanding tasks such as desktop video work. One unique feature on the Samsung model though is a dial that can adjust performance depending on tasks. This essentially tweaks the clock speed of the processor such that if you are just browsing the web you can turn it to the Green mode for sufficient performance but improved battery life. Frankly, it is more gimmick than functional as many users will just set it to the standard level of leave it there. Included with the processor is 8GB of DDR3 memory for a smooth overall experience with Windows.
The storage for the Samsung Series 7 Gamer is a bit different from what many other companies use. Samsung essentially has setup a hybrid storage system by taking a large one terabyte hard drive and matching it up with 16GB of solid state cache for their ExpressCache setup. This gives it an edge compared to straight hard drive based laptops when it comes to booting into Windows or loading applications. It still trails behind straight solid state based laptops and has more limited space for cache than some that use up to 64GB. Still, the performance is above average for its price range where hard drives are still standard. If you need additional storage space, there are two USB 3.0 ports for use with high speed external storage. Movie buffs will be happy to see a Blu-ray compatible drive for watching the high definition movie format. The drive also supports playback or recording of CD or DVD media.
The display panel for the updated Series 7 Gamer uses the same 17.3-inch display panel. This is good because it offers a very bright display with solid color at the 1920x1080 native resolution to support 1080p high definition. In fact, the panel is so bright that many users will need to turn it down in most situations. The big change here is the switch from NVIDIA graphics to the AMD Radeon HD 7870M graphics processor. In terms of performance this is actually a step down from the GeForce GTX 675M that was previously used. This is closer to the GeForce GTX 660M as it will play some games up to the full panel resolution but will still struggle with many of the latest graphically intense games that will require running at lower resolution levels. It still offers a strong level of acceleration for non-3D applications such as folding or Photoshop. Also unique is the inclusion of a DisplayPort connector which is atypical of many consumer based systems but there is an HDMI port for use with most TVs and monitors.
They keyboard for the Samsung Series 7 is certainly different than the isolated designs used by many companies including Samsung. The keys have a fairly high level of travel and are more tightly space which gives a very different feel. The w, a, s and d keys are highlighted with a different color which is useful for those playing games. There is a full size numeric keypad and a set of arrow keys but the right hand shift key is moved over to make space. The trackpad for the system is a nice size and offers a high level of accuracy. Multitouch gestures were fully supported for Windows 8. Since most gamers don't tend to use the trackpad on laptops, Samsung has an included feature to disable it to prevent accidental bumps that can affect gameplay.
The battery pack takes the yellow color of the exterior fully and is a more brick like shape compared to other systems. The previous model offered some very limited overall performance when tested through video disc playback. In digital video playback, the latest model is able to run for just under four hours. This puts it above many other laptops in its price range that have between three and three and a half. Of course, PC gaming will be much more demanding and result in roughly half this running time or less. The Alienware M17x R4 still offers some of the best battery life thanks to its high capacity battery at over five hours.
With a list price of $1500, there are plenty of competitors for the 17-inch gaming laptop segment. The Alienware M17x R4 as previously mentioned offers a bit more stylish design with a similar level of graphics performance but with much less storage space and a lower resolution display. The ASUS G75VW doesn't have the same amount of storage or Blu-ray but offers a slightly faster graphics system. The MSI GT70 is similar to the ASUS by offering faster 3D performance with more RAM but sacrifices some storage.