on May 17, 2012
I've had my Samsung Series 7 Gamer laptop for over a week now, and I thought I'd share my thoughts on the machine since I haven't found much out there about it. Overall, it's a very fancy, very powerful piece of hardware. And the price certainly reflects that. While you could spend thousands more on even fancier, gobbed-out custom notebooks - or even a completely tricked out Alienware - the S7G was more than adequate for my purposes (and for the price of a top-end Alienware, you really should buy a desktop system, anyway). I bought the laptop for two primary reasons: 1) To run Guitar Rig 5, which is a very CPU-intensive virtual guitar amp/effects program used for performing and recording, and 2) to play games from the past several years at high levels. Gaming-wise, I'm primarily a console gamer, but since it's looking less and less like the next Xbox and PlayStation will be backward compatible with current-gen games (probably with the exception of platform-defining first-party titles like Halo and Uncharted), I wanted to start collecting my current favorites on the PC so I don't have to shelve and maintain extra consoles when the next-gen rolls around. I wanted titles like Batman: Arkham Asylum/City, Skyrim, the Mass Effect trilogy, GTA4, Fallout 3/NV, Dead Island, BioShock, and Metro 2033 to all be available when the mood strikes me. Not to mention the upcoming final round (for the Xbox 360 and PS3) of highly anticipated current-gen titles: Max Payne 3, Metro: Last Light, Far Cry 3, BioShock: Infinite, GTA5, etc.
While the S7G is definitely a brute of a laptop (in a good way), let me get its bad points out of the way first. The most negative aspect of this laptop is Samsung's proprietary Mode Dial. Basically you can turn a knob on the front of the laptop, and there are instructions built into the system to enable/disable certain features depending if you want quiet (no fan), battery savings (backlit keyboard off), or all-out gaming performance (everything on and maxed out, battery be damned). It's pointless, and what's worse, the interface that overlays on your desktop is annoying. It comes preloaded with desktop themes that will engage a screen saver after 60 seconds no matter what. The good news is from the desktop you can disable the themes and revert to a traditional Win7 desktop, which also kills the screen saver. However, there's still a clickable node in the upper-right corner of the desktop that allows you to tweak the Mode Dial settings; this will not go away. I personally have the dial set to "game" mode all the time; the likelihood that I'll used this laptop unplugged for more than a half-hour is close to zero.
The second biggest disappointment with the S7G is its plastic case. While it looks like a TRON wet dream when the lid's open, the laptop's housing is light-weight plastic. For almost 20 bills, this really needs to have a higher quality metal case. Perhaps it was an effort on Samsung's part to reduce weight, but it's probably an effort on Samsung's part to reduce its cost.
Other negatives: I have the laptop connected to an external monitor via HDMI, and I use an external USB keyboard and USB mouse (running through a USB hub). The laptop sets under a shelf, on which the monitor sits. I put the computer into sleep mode overnight and during the day when I'm at work. The problem is, the factory default settings kill the power to the USB ports when in sleep mode, and I could not get the external keyboard to "wake" the computer. The only way I could wake it is to unplug everything, move the keyboard out of the way, pull it out from under the shelf, open the lid, make sure it wakes, close the lid, slide it back under the shelf, reposition the keyboard, and plug everything back in. I wasted an hour on-line chatting with Samsung tech support, and never once did the support rep understand the problem, even though I explained it to him about 873 times. I went to Google and found the solution: you have to get into the BIOS and enable the USB devices to retain power while in sleep mode, which allows them to wake the computer. Shouldn't tech support know this? If you need to contact Samsung tech support, do yourself a favor and exhaust all other searches before you call because my on-line tech support chat session with Guptarjeeshaputa in Bombay was akin to slamming my face into a brick wall repeatedly for 60 straight minutes.
The final negative is one gamers want to pay attention to: the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 675M is a very, very nice GPU. However, it is essentially a rebadged GTX 580M from the previous generation. NVIDIA will soon release the new GTX 680M, which uses a whole new chipset, will be faster, and run cooler. If I did not need a new laptop immediately, I would have waited for the 680M. If you are concerned about such things, hold on a little longer until laptops are available with the new GPU.
This is not really a complaint, but more of a warning to those who might be unaware: this laptop is huge ("It sure is, Tiny Elvis!"). It's big and it's heavy, and it's not something you'll want to just pop out of your bag on the metro or an airplane. The power brick is also enormous. When I was unpacking the laptop, I saw the edge of the power supply and thought it was another box of parts. Not until I pulled it out did I realize it was the power brick! It's also worth noting that to order a second power supply, expect to spend some serious money. I ordered a travel/backup supply through Samsung parts (it's not available anywhere else), and it was about $150 for the brick and power cord (note: they are sold separately from each other, so make sure you buy both pieces). The battery also doesn't last long; expect maybe a couple of hours if you're lucky. Again, I knew this when I bought it, but if you've never owned a 17"+ high-power laptop, be aware of this stuff.
Okay, on to the positives. This laptop is very powerful. It has not choked at anything I have thrown at it (with one exception, see below). It also has a very eye-pleasing, modern design. While I normally use it with the lid closed, when I do open the lid it feels like you're at the helm of a spaceship. It's wickedly fast booting up Windows. I go from entering my Windows password to a fully ready desktop in about 10 seconds or less. This is thanks to the 8GB ExpressCache SSD. For everything going on under the hood, the heat output remains nicely under control, even under the duress of Battlefield 3 and Skyrim. While the built-in cooling system is nice, I still HIGHLY recommend a laptop cooling pad; they're inexpensive, easy to use, and keep your big investment running at a safe temp. It also has tons of storage (note that the system has two 750GB HDDs that are NOT in RAID 0, so it has a total of 1.5TB of storage, but not in a single C: drive). Also not listed in any spec sheets is the laptop uses DDR3-1600 RAM, so expect 1600 MHz speeds (verified with CPU-ID).
So far I have had a wonderful gaming experience with the S7G. I use 1920x1080 resolution for all games, and I'm generally able to get high performance numbers even at that high of a resolution. However, DirectX 11 is just a bit too much for the system to handle with some games at that resolution, and I sometimes back games down to DX10. Here are some of my performance numbers (collected using reports generated by FRAPS, or the game's internal benchmarking tool):
Batman: Arkham Asylum - 54 FPS (Ultra settings, PhysX on HIGH, 4x AA)
Batman: Arkham City - 47 FPS (Ultra settings, PhysX on HIGH, DX10, 4x AA)
Battlefield 3 - 30 FPS (Ultra settings, 2x AA)
Crysis 2 - 30 FPS (High Quality Texture Pack, Ultra settings, DX10)
Diablo III - 60+ FPS (Highest settings, 8x AA)
Grand Theft Auto IV - 62 FPS (Ultra settings, View Distance = 50, Detail Distance = 50, 8x AA, sometimes dips to < 30 FPS during top speeds in heavy traffic)
Max Payne 3 - 30+ FPS (with HDAO and minimum AA)
RAGE - 40 FPS (Ultra settings, 16x AA)
Serious Sam 3 BFE - 30 FPS (Ultra settings, 4x AA)
Skyrim - 54 FPS (Hi Res Texture Pack, Ultra settings, 8x AA, 13 additional user mods running)
The only game giving me problems is The Witcher 2. To get a playable frame rate of over 30 FPS, I have to switch everything to low. With medium settings I get less than 20 FPS, and it chugs and stutters. After doing some research, I'm finding a lot of people unable to get this game running well, even on machines exceeding the recommended specs from the publisher. I am still investigating this, but I believe this is a situation where the game has incredible graphics, but is very poorly optimized. I can play Battlefield 3, Max Payne 3, and Batman: Arkham City at very high quality and not run into the frame rate problems The Witcher 2 has.
In conclusion, if you're looking for a fast gaming laptop right now, the Samsung Series 7 Gamer should be at the top of your shopping list. I looked at several other brands (Alienware, HP, Sager), and the Samsung, more than any other brand/model, met my needs at a price I was willing to pay. You can spend thousands more if you can afford it, but you get a lot of bang for your buck with the S7G. It isn't perfect, but it sure will get the job done.
on June 2, 2012
Purchased this system as a Grad student for both college and play.
The screen is a beautiful HD 1920 X 1080 Resolution screen. I've never seen anything like this; not even on a television. It is a retina scorching 400 nits with superb contrast and very deep blacks.
Dolby home theater surround sound. System sounds lifelike and has a built in sub-woofer. I'm very pleased with the sound quality all though I think the JBL sound system on the new regular 17.3" Samsung series 7 sounds better.
Most comfortable keyboard I've ever used. The keyboard slopes back to accommodate wrists and sys cooling. The keys are a curved style like Lenovo's laptops. Very ergonomic. White backlighting; "WASD" keys light red in "gamer mode."
One of the best-performing systems available for the price. Runs cool and quite. One game won't run so far; "Tribes Ascend." I'm very upset about this as it's my favorite game to play right now. It will not run on any of the new gaming laptops with 3rd gen i7. Battery life is not that good (2.5-3.5 hours). No wifi or connectivity issues. Wifi has great range and seems a little above average.
The game would not run because of the Nvidia driver. I had to delete a file from the Nvidia driver folder. I don't recall what file was deleted. Tribes Ascend now runs on the system after deleting the file. I have not noticed any problems with the system since deleting the file.
Plastic Chassis, glossy black-like finish and black-anodized brushed aluminum palm wrest and keyboard area. Overall, a beautiful and sturdy computer. I'd prefer all aluminum, but Apple would probably start another lawsuit lol :-P. At-least Samsung didn't ripoff this design. System looks both fun for gaming and professional in office environments.
Great v competition in my own opinion i.e. Dell Alienware and Asus G75. I'm am biased as Samsung is my brand of choice and Apple second to Samsung.
Overall, I'm very excited and pleased to be the owner of Samsung's first gaming system. I think they are a company that takes themselves seriously and will continue to excel in their ventures. Thanks Samsung for a high-quality and innovative gaming system.
Hope this quick overview helps.
I read literally hundreds of reviews of everything I could find. Being retired I simply can NOT afford this. But it kept "calling out" to me....The wife "called out" a few things her own self when I showed it to her as well. But, I simply will cut to the chase and say I love this thing. I have no games that I can't run at their highest settings. To my amazement, it even plays Sid Meier's Civilization V: Gods and Kings so fast it literally altered game play. I mean, it was so slow on any of my other 4 computers I had abandoned it completely. now, it simply RIPS through all that used to flat kill my other rigs.
I will leave all the already repeated hype to the others...I just want to throw out there that this is rock solid for weeks now. Bummer was the price dropped a LOT within a few minutes of my buying it but I kept it anyway. Not going to make Amazon suffer & send it back then reorder! I guess I never paid top dollar before yet came away still so happy. Only weird glitch I have had is once I had turned Bluetooth on and my games ALL turned to crap. I mean this computer flat fell on it's face! More embarrassing was it took me 2 days to figure out the problem and what I had done to screw things up. Most of the reason it took me so long is I had been playing nonstop for 18-20 hours both days! I was mortified once I realized my stupid mistake.
Other weird thing is that every single time I open the lid I KEEP getting a damned warning that my auto update feature for Windows needs to be turned on. What pisses me off is I have changed to do auto update over 200+ times already and it simply won't hold that setting! I finally turned off the notification setting altogether so I don't completely lose my old mind. Go to change the speaker volume after a few hours of game play & risk burning your finger, it DOES get that hot. But...it has been rock solid unless I do something stupid to sabotage things so not going to ding it for that. I am giving this a rare 5 stars after honestly torturing it for a month now. I will downgrade it on the spot if it bites me in any way or as I find weaknesses that simply have not shown themselves to me yet. I SO wanted the Asus to save money but all the complaints in reviews scared me off. Glad they did too after a month with this beauty. Like so many, the black is uninspiring, wish it was the candy red like at the CES show. But if after all I have done to this, WITH this the past month, if I still love it this much, at this price and with me on my meager Social Security check to live on...well, it must have EARNED that 5 stars.
Sept 25 2012 UPDATE:
I know being retired is gonna wear me out.....Now I have a battery issue. I always have it plugged in yet after 10 hours of gaming my battery is dead (well, down to 12% remaining). I am forced to close the lid and it then takes a couple hours to slowly recharge so I can resume gaming. Not sure if I am the only one having this problem? Of course I should take a break by then anyway I suppose?
October 25 2012 Update:
Samsung Support (for ME) has been a pleasant surprise. A woman who spoke perfect English and in America now less (!!!!) advised me to do a battery recondition. I did this while explaining to her she was full of crap....well surprise, it solved my problem. I now have had 3 weeks of gaming 12-18 hours a day with my newer XCOM: Enemy Unknown as well as Medal of Honor: Warfighter both as max settings with ZERO issues. Due to this and some new negative reviews that look like scam reviews by LOONS or trolls I am raising this to a well deserved 5 stars. On it's own, this deserves it. I waited to go 5 stars until it had been time tested, not to just rush in when all excited etc. And 1 warning. If you ever have to use the supplied restoration disk that Samsung provides to restore? Well as another reviewer correctly explained, you LOSE EVERYTHING you need to make this computer work! I recommend you go to Samsung NOW and do the following. Go to their support area and download each & every available download so when & if you need to restore, you will have all these drivers ready to go. If not, no track-pad, no sound, no nothing....REALLY pissed me off. It was a nightmare experience but a lesson well learned. Trust me, you NEED to do this now, before you get stuck. Now that everything has "burned in", has a couple thousand (yes thousand) hours on it, all is rock solid. Gaming has become my life sadly, but I am all smiles so why worry? 5 solid stars all around. For the record I am not any kind of Samsung "fanboy" or even Samsung "fan codger"! I have adjusted my rating on this 3 times now and maintain my reviews to honestly reflect all that I spend my money on. I am loyal to NO brand. I just call em like I see em.
10 Month Update on June 19 2013: This computer has fully EARNED it's solid 5 stars. I can't kill it. NO game I have bought even creates any challenge for it. Other than my wife, this has been love at first sight, and a love affair than has never waned......
on May 22, 2012
I've had this laptop for about a week now and I absolutely love it. I have a busy lifestyle with kids so the only time I can carve out for gaming is late at night. I used to head down to the basement while my lovely wife would be in bed and play on my desktop. I got tired of feeling neglectful of my wife and getting eaten by spiders in my unfinished basement so I figured it was time to get a laptop for the bedroom.
I purchased this tray to use in the bed: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001GU7GAK/ref=oh_details_o02_s00_i00 and the laptop sits atop it perfectly.
After my wife drifts off to sleep I pull out this bad boy and am treated to spectacular gaming experience in ultimate comfort.
- Best screen on a laptop I have ever seen, it can even do 120Hz if you want. The brightness is nearly blinding (in a good way) and the black levels are excellent.
- Keyboard is pleasant to play on and the backlighting really helps when playing in the dark. The best part of this keyboard is that it doesn't feel cheap and it has extensive "anti-ghosting" for gaming. It really helps when playing games that require a lot of button pressing.
- Very quiet. This was a huge concern for me due to the fact I am lying next to someone while playing computer games in a bed. My wife says she has no problem sleeping with the small amount of noise it does make.
- Very cool, I've had laptops that feel like they could boil a pot of water, this laptop runs at a very reasonable temperature considering the internals.
- I can run all of my games on ultra (so far). I've only played Diablo 3, TF2 and SC2 so far but it looks a heck of a lot better than my desktop sporting an older 9800 GTX.
- It's HEAVY. Not really surprising considering what's in this thing but it's noteworthy. I will never travel with it so it's not a huge problem for me.
- Doesn't support RAID, it comes with 2 - 750GB drives but no hardware raid which is kind of silly. Not the end of the world but it would have been nice.
- The video card is not an AMD 7970M. The 675M is still a great card even if it's just a re-labeled 580m but it's not cutting edge anymore. I was aware of this fact when I bought it but it didn't stop me from forking over my cash based on how great this laptop is otherwise.
I would highly recommend this laptop to anyone who wants a great desktop replacement gaming laptop. It does not feel cheap; it's gorgeous and has all of the features you need for gaming. A job well done by Samsung.
on September 4, 2012
Final Update 6: I have dropped the rating to a 1 star, while the specs may be nice, you can get better spec'ed laptops for about the same price. They will probably last you a lot longer. I've had 2 warranty repairs in the first year of ownership and now the reliability has taken another hit, where the graphics card likes to crash on occasion, even after installing different drivers and such. I finally attempted a Windows 7 re-install and things seem to be running ok, though with 1 crash since the redo it makes me question it,but I haven't really used it too much as I NEED reliability. So I ended up getting a new Laptop. Better spec'ed and better built by far. Plus it was a little cheaper. Samsung also seems to have abandoned the Gamer series as there has been no Haswell refresh of the Gamer Series, where Asus, Alienware, even Toshiba has done refreshes and everything. When I bought this laptop, I expected it to last me at least 2 years, if not longer as the specs where higher than I needed at the time. (I expect this out of all laptops I buy. Since I tend to buy while thinking ahead.) Instead, it's been about a year and 3 months. It's now out of warranty, and I will not spend ANYMORE money on this laptop. It's just not worth it since the reliability is the most important thing to me and it's the one thing in question.
With all these updates I CANNOT recommend this laptop with the reliability issues I have had. To be fair I probably got a lemon, but also with everything else newer that has come out I can't recommend it. With this being said I will not be doing any more updates until it actually dies. (Even then it may be awhile before I update it as it's not at the top of my todo list.) I am still a student, and almost done with classes, but still use the computer for so much more. I can't have reliability issues. I have owned Asus before this and while I've had small issues here and there. They were ALWAYS fixable, but when primary parts fail like in this one. (Cpu first time, gpu second time and now maybe a third time and it's no longer under warranty.)
Will this marks the end of this part, read on for the whole shebang, but this is the most up to date one.
Update 5: I received my laptop back on June 14th (2013) after about 2 weeks of waiting. (This includes shipping it to them, which cost me another $50) It is running like new again. I added a star since the repair went pretty quick and seems good. I may add 1 more star if this lasts longer than that last repair (which was in November, so it was like 7 months.) I won't be giving 5 stars no matter what as this issue has soured my thoughts on Samsung now. (And I think I may be generous with the 4 stars, but I am also keeping in mind I may have gotten duds.) Again, 2 repairs in less than a year? It makes me question the lifespan of the laptop. Performance wise it's great, but it may go bad again, only time will tell and if it happens I will be completely re-writing my review from scratch. I really, really want to love this laptop, but it's becoming harder to do so.
Update 4: This is a minor update to Update 3 (Below): They have pushed my Estimated repair date twice now. Originally it was going to be done on June 4th, then it got pushed to June 10th. Now it's been pushed to June 11th. (They are probably waiting on a replacement part.) But this is just not good. I have docked another star due to the issues. It is making it harder and harder to suggest buying this laptop. I really WANT to love it, and for the specs you can't go wrong. But the issues I am having is just a big issue when it comes to making me wonder about longevity. I bought this laptop to last me for a long time, and now as stated later, I have had to send it in 2x in less than a year for repairs. Almost $100 more for shipping it. The brand Samsung, has always been the name of a great, wonderful and quality product to me. Now I am really starting to wonder if they have left me like other brands have. I am just glad I picked up an Asus G46 for under $700 at Best Buy so that I could still do my schoolwork and play games. I anxiously await getting my Samsung back, if only to have the horsepower again, and will just hope that all the delays allow them to really make sure that it is in full working order. If that happens and I don't need to send it in again, ever, I will restore this to a 5-star despite the issues, I'll know that Samsung still takes care of their customers. (I'm really hoping things will be great so I can do so. :)
UPDATE 3: I had to send my laptop in again for repair! This is starting to get ridiculous! I paid almost $2000 for a laptop that was suppose to last me a long time. (I bought it for gaming and so that even if the games started getting a little more advanced I figured that for the power it would last me awhile. But now after having ownership for about 10 months and needing to send it in twice now it's just mounting up to be even more expensive! It cost almost $50 to ship it both so add another almost $100 to the price I paid! I am now docking 2 stars from the perfect 5 stars I gave it. I understand things can go wrong, but twice in 1 year, scratch that less than a year? I'm sorry but this is drawing the line. I'm just hoping they will give me a whole new laptop instead. I don't know what else to say, I really want to love the laptop, it's great for the price and specs. But I'm questioning the purchase now. It's not about warranty service or the laptop itself, it's lifetime of the product, and I expected more than a year. I will update once I get my laptop back.
UPDATE 2: I recently had to send my laptop in for a repair. The cpu fan seemed to not be working properly and it would overheat when running almost all my games. Fortunately it is still in warranty. I sent it about 3 days before Thanksgiving and due to The holiday it didn't get there until Monday following Thanksgiving. They repaired it. (Seems the replaced the motherboard, gpu and the keyboard. (I now have a Windows 8 style keyboard where the Start key isn't the older orb shape but is the newer windows logo) All in all, it took about 2 weeks due to holiday to get my laptop back. Which isn't really bad considering I live in Ohio and had to ship it all the way to Texas. I shipped via UPS ground with insurance (I am paranoid about that stuff.) Samsung shipped it back with 2 day Air. I was able to track both ways and knew when it would be coming so I was ready for it. The fix is good! Now I no longer overheat. Now I think that my issue was just a fluke as I don't see many with the issue, so I'm not taking any stars away and would in fact add a star for good customer support if I could. I still recommend this laptop. As you still get a good bang for your buck.
UPDATE: Other have written that you can't turn down the brightness if you run the screen at 120Hz. This HAS been fixed! Download the latest video drivers from nvidia Geforce 310.33 beta or later and you CAN adjust the brightness level while on 120Hz. I already tried it with 310.33 beta and can confirm it works. Nvidia has also released another beta (310.54)today (November 12th, 2012) that I have yet to try, but can for sure say that the beta 310.33 works fine. So anyone who wants to adjust their brightness while on 120Hz, you can do so!
On to the review now.
I've owned quite a few gaming laptops, The Asus G73JH (I still have that one as a backup), Asus G53SW (I sold to get this one) are the closest in comparison. Though they are still decent gamer laptops. This one blows those out of the water. I have owned mine for close to 2 months now and don't have much to gripe about.
Comparisons (These are comparing the differences of the Asus's and this Samsung one):
* Asus used crappy Atheros Wifi cards in their laptops (I had to upgrade to in Intel card for better wifi. This one had an Intel in it already, I expected to have to change the wifi.
* Both My Asus's cost a max of $1,200 but after upgrading the ram and adding a second hard drive as will as upgrading the wifi + any labor expenses they each cost as much as this Samsung.
* All the laptops have a big rear. That's good for the cooling. 2 exhausts 1 is for the cpu and 1 is for the gpu. All laptops win in this category.
* The Asus's felt a little cheaper built than this Samsung.
* The Asus's Keyboards are of the chiclet style, this Samsung one offers something a little more traditional and feels great! A note on the G53SW and from what I have been reading all the
latest Asus Gamers seems to be a keyboard lag at times. When you type sometimes it would skip letters. This drove me crazy on the G53SW. To the point I ended up only using it's keyboard for
when I was in class. Not the case on the Samsung gamer. Typing is a dream.
* I can't really compare specs since I'd be comparing 1-3 year old tech to now. But I'm a gamer, music maker, photo editor and video editor (student in the last 2) and this laptop has yet to
disappoint in any of the categories. What I thought was an awesome gaming experience on my other laptops was nothing!
I don't have much to gripe about and have been very happy with this laptop but if I would have to nitpick:
* The glossy screen lid and screen are finger print magnates. Though a lot of manufactures use that stuff. It would have been nice to have a anti glare screen at least. But I'm used to it.
Considering I do a weekly cleaning and dusting of my laptops it doesn't bother me too much. I knew it would be this way by other reviews so I really can't gripe since I still bought it
* If you go to turn off Wifi with the shortcut button it turns off both wifi and bluetooth. It would have been nice to cycle or something like that. But I hardly use this function so it isn't a
big deal to me.
* The power brick is large, so get a large bag for it. I'm used to large power bricks as the Asus gamers had large ones, so I can't complain on this. Ideally I would love a small power brick
but think about how much power this laptop needs. The power brick is a 200W one. My Asus's were 150W.
On to any other thoughts:
This laptop does get warm when under heavy use. But it's never been so hot that I can't touch it. It's to be expected. Look what's in it. The I73610 ivy bridge is comparable to one of the most powerful mobile i7 sandybridge's (last generation) The gpu is comparable to a Desktop GTX 560 (I believe but don't quote me on that). frankly I'm astounded at how well this laptop stays cool. Warm laptops aren't new to me as I've had gamer laptops before. But honestly this one actually is a little cooler. I use coretemp and msi afterburner to monitor the temps of the cpu and gpu respectively and they have been cooler than my older machines.
I love the backlighting and how it changes colors for gaming mode. You can disable the screensavers that start up when you switch to gamer mode. It's under Mode Shift, then click Visual Effects.
I like the design and coloring, it doesn't really scream "I'm a gaming laptop!" Unless you put stickers or stuff all over the lid. I wanted something I could potentially use for taking to a job someday that still had a lot of power and this works fine for that. The samsung label on the lid lights up like the Apple logo lights up on macbooks. Just as a side note.
The 8GB Express Cache seems to work. I really can't tell other than things seem to run a little faster and boot up isn't bad. Better than my other laptops.
The screen is a vibrant one. I've always liked Samsung TV's for their screens and the screen on this laptop doesn't disappoint.
Battery runs for about 2 hours on normal use. Not much to write about. The battery is powering a lot of powerful components.
One heck of a laptop, you get what you pay for, and that is a lot of bang! You could pay more for an Alienware or such and not get as good of specs (I know because I priced them at the time I bought this machine some were as high as $1000 more!) This is one heck of a machine and you can't go wrong with it. I've been happy and surprised at how will it performs, yeah I'm still getting surprised 2 months after I bought it.
I wish to put the specs of my old laptops up for comparison to this one.
17.3" 1600x900 display
Core i7 740QM 1.73GHZ turbo to 2.93GHZ
8GB DDR3 Ram
500GB 7200rpm and 640GB 5400rpm drives
Intel Wifi and bluetooth
Ati Radeon HD 5870m 1GB GDDR5
Battery gets 1.5 hours if I'm lucky on normal use.
Asus G53SW (Sold to buy the Samsung)
Core i7 2630QM 2GHZ turbo to 2.9GHZ
14GB DDR3 Ram (upgraded by me)
2x 500GB 7200rpm drives (2nd drive added by me)
Intel 6230 Wifi and bluetooth (upgraded by me)
Nvidia GTX 460M 1.5GB GDDR5
Games I played on ALL machines: Torchlight, Command and Conquer Kane's Wraith, Sims 3, and Minecraft. They all played great and improved on each subsequent machine. Though Kane's Wraith couldn't do high detail on the G53SW when the nuke was fired. The Samsung has no problems. I didn't even buy Starcraft 2 until I bought the Samsung as I read people had issues with the 460M and SC:2. SC:2 plays at over 60Fps on the Samsung no problems. Minecraft would choke on some 256x and any 512x texture packs I tried on the G53SW though it was playable there were enough framerate drops for me to use only 128x or lower texture packs. Not so on the Samsung. I sued 512x packs and still got 60fps. (Contrary to belief you DO need a beefy gaming rig to play minecraft, ESPECIALLY with HD textures.
Hope this helps and feel free to ask me any questions if you have them and I will help you to the best of my knowledge. This review will be updated as the time comes so please check back every so often. Cheers!
on August 24, 2012
I feel like i really did my research before ending up at the series 7. I was torn between this, the MSI GT70 and the ASUS G75. At the end of the day it boiled down to professional comparisons, and build quality. I saw SEVERAL editors choice awards from different publishers. The stats are slightly better than the other two as well on paper. I read over 70 other customer reviews with the only CONS being stupid crap like the charger is too big and keyboard is too thick. Boo hoo. This thing is a big bad game devouring monster that could power the starship enterprise. The build is super solid, screen is amazing, and it hasnt broken a sweat with any game or task yet. Runs super cool as well. Amazon was amazing i had it to my door 22 hours after ordering. Couldnt have spent my money better.
on May 28, 2012
First of all - it's BIG .. it's big and heavy .. so if you're looking for a laptop you can carry around - just know in advance that it's really big, really heavy, and you'll need a really sturdy bag to haul it .. mine will mostly be stationary on my desk so the size/weight is not an issue for me.
I've had it about a week and so far the laptop is great. I've bought Asus laptops in the past (4 of them) but in the past 6 months I've gotten some Samsung products that made me want to get the Series 7 Gamer. I've gotten the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, the Galaxy Tab 7.7 and a LED-TV. Two things that are common in all of them - the screens are BEAUTIFUL. I don't think anyone makes a more beautiful screen than Samsung! And the quality of the finished product is really nice. For the comments from others that are put-off on the design of the laptop lid - it's intentional - it's a design feature - no matter how many times you send it back you're going to get the same thing. I think it looks pretty cool.
Another reason I got this is 'cuz I love Windows 7 - and I'm not really looking forward to Windows 8. I normally jump to the newest version (of most things in general, Windows in particular) but I'm not jumping this time. I needed to update my laptop - I wanted to do it before Win8 comes out later this year - and the Series 7 Gamer, for me, was the way to do it.
It's got enough memory to make everyone happy (16gb), it's got 2 big hard drives (750gb each - the C: drive is multi-partitioned to hold the recovery files), it has a BluRay drive and a good Nvidia graphics card, good sound .. exactly what I needed. So far there have been no issues with any of it. I'm happy with my purchase!
on September 8, 2012
Just basic information up front. I debated this purchase for about 2 months, looking at all of the different competitors' models, Toshiba, Dell, HP, and ASUS. For me it came down to Toshiba X875-7290 or this model. I had to wait for over 6 weeks for the Toshiba model to finally hit the market, in the end; I went with the Samsung model. (What you should know is that I own several High-end laptops already, I own 3 Toshiba Qosmio's systems and an earlier Dell Alien ware system, still went with this model based on the reviews that I had read!)
Consideration 1 - For the money, this is about the most cost effective laptop and the least expensive model. (I did not buy (this laptop) for this reason - it was just a strong selling point for me!)) Plenty of the competition that fell at the same price or slightly more expensive, had a weaker video card (important consideration), smaller HDD configuration or less system memory.
Consideration 2- Display. I kept reading about the amazing display, I had to check it out for myself. It is worth it, Resolution will match all others, but this display is bright, sharp and crisp. It is the best display that I have seen on the high-end laptop. (Included without an upcharge.)
Consideration 3 - Audio - well worth it - sound fantastic. Beats all others that I have, you can play music in one room and hear it clearly in another! (Not a technical review, true, but something that almost anyone can relate to.) This is a laptop, and sounds are natural, loud and clear.
Consideration 4 - Keyboard is fantastic. Keys are well spaced and feel great, again well done.
Consideration 5 - Plays all games that I have thrown out it with no issues. I am running Adobe CS Suite 6 and it is quick, by far the best experience that I have had with running the software on any system.
on May 4, 2012
I bought this a few days ago and it seems to be a great laptop very fast boot up and I like the mode changer gamer, balanced etc. This laptop is even faster than my current desktop gaming pc which I thought was interesting. I was worried about the over heating issues with ivy bridge but from I seem to be experiencing it seems to run very cool even on gaming mode. :)
the only downside is the power adapter is a 200w brick. it's big and heavy (about 5 lbs)
Very happy with my purchase and never regretted buying it.
on June 25, 2012
July 9 : After about 3 weeks of usage
The laptop still performs greatly. Let me recomment about a few things.
-still got a great look. Screen bright as ever. the keyboard feels much like that of the ones you actually buy separately, and comfort is the main strength for Samsung Gamer. I've used it for three weeks, and keyboard feels as if it's a part of you and built for you. The laptop is designed in a way that you go about 20 degrees above the surface of the desk so no wrist strain problems. It's aluminum(?) on the kayboard part and rest is plastic, but it doesn't feel super cheap, so don't worry.
2. Mode dial
-To be honest, I never use it because I'm currently using it mostly at home, and I'm not sure how much of use I'll have on this, but no harm not having it. Keyboard light turns white in balanced mode. Also heard a weird rumor that balanced mode performs better than gaming mode.
3. Booting speed
-As we know, there's ExpressCache 8GB, and there's no bluff. The booting takes about 10-20 seconds.
there's dual 750GB HDD, thus 1.5TB. I've not enough money, so I can't get SSD yet, but I heard switching one of them to SSD would optimize the laptop.
-actually I also tried Chronos 17.3inch and ASUS G75VW-BBK5 and I returned ASUS right away after 5 minutes of Diablo. The sound quality of the speaker is just unmatchable to other laptops. It's got a great sound and well balanaced. The subwoofer doesn't give you the strong bass like a speaker (obviously), but it's definitely an ear candy.
-According to review on notebookreview, GTX675M performs very well on most cases, and with the addition of i7 3rd gen, most of the plays so far flows smoothly. Other than some of the very demanding games like Metro 2333 (haven't tried) I assume, it will run amazingly well. Max Payne 3 ran on high no problem with some of the anti effects, etc. SC2 runs extreme 60fps, and D3 needless to say. As for D3, sometimes, I receive a lag spike, and I'm not sure if it's due to a ping lag, or HDD, but I set max fps to 60fps and I have no problem. Any games before 2012, you won't have problem running all on max setting and it will be good for more years to come.
With relations to #6, I'm sure you guys are concerned with heating. The laptop comes with dual cooler, and the laptop does a great job with heat solving. There's a ventilation hole at the back and you can feel the hot air coming out. The keyboard and the laptop doesn't feel hot at all, although you find it very slightly warm, but considering how it was running very demandingly, you won't have any discomfort with regards to heat problems. Just make sure you have a good enough space at the back of the laptop for the hot air to come out properly.
-It is heavy. The adapter is 200W and is the size of a brick. In my case I'm used to Lenovo laptop I'm used to this brick. It is portable, but you will need a good carrying bag for this.
-they say bloatware, but they're all very helpful actually. you have the Easy Settings and Gaming mode settings to help you optimize your settings, and you can update them using easy software manager, or also delete them at your convenience.
In overall, I wouldn't be able to find a high performance laptop with decent design, and amazing screen quality at this price point. I've done heavy research for two months. I've looked at Sager, Alienware, ASUS, MSI. Everything. I looked into all the youtube reviews, some I actually bought from Best Buy and gave it a go, and tried comparisons, but nothing can be compared to this laptop in terms of balance and spec, and price. I'd strongly advise you get it if you're looking for a gaming laptop. You won't be disappointed.
bought this in replacement of samsung chronos 17.3inch (too much overheat for gaming), and I'm loving it.
-played bf3, max payne3, d3, sc2 and they all run maxed 1920x1080 fine, but truly maxing all (turning all effects and all on, will of course give some lower fps)
2. everyday use
-internet surfing fast, 16gb ram. double 750gb drives make convenient use. instant booting.
-everyone says powerbrick is big, but for me it was alright because I've been too used to lenovo work machines. it's 200w power brick. laptop is indeed thick at the back side as there's dual cooler, but unlike my worries, it's not a monster that can't be carried, but still a bit heavy, but definitely portable.
Definitely the best for the price you get in this range.