Gaming laptops fall into a funny position in the marketplace - something akin to that of clock radios. A computer is fine for gaming if it's a console, whereas a laptop is fine for mobile computing if it's portable.
However, the combination of gaming and laptops is almost like a paradox - they can't be fast enough for gaming and remain small enough to be truly portable. Like a clock radio on those cheap Korean Hi-Fi systems of old, it just doesn't work and the crossing makes it seem that bit less appealing, though you may be getting more.
From the very first look you are sure you're getting more with the Samsung Series 7 Gamer. It's not notably bulky or nearly as distracting as some of the Alienware machines, but it does have its now array of lighting, some vents and that mean look you associate with gaming laptops.
Saying that, it's an attractive light and metal laden beast and comes in under the equivalent M17xs price radar.
Weighing in at 3.8KG you wouldn't carry it around for anything other than necessity or exercise. This size means it's nearly 2 inches or 44mm thick, though it is slanted from back to front like most machines nowadays are.
Its most notable aesthetic is its dial, which is situated at the top of the device. Characteristically laden with flashing blue, it switches between four separate modes. Choose from all systems go gaming mode, silent library mode, power limiting and screen dimming green mode or balanced mode.
The brushed metal body is a dark DeLorean like texture and just like Doc Brown's car picks up finger prints like a dating artist members of the opposite sex. Of course, the lights can be changed in colour and tone via software, which alters the aesthetics of this strong, well-built machine.
These lights are most apparent on the keyboard and gaming mode turns the WASD gaming buttons a different shade to the keyboards blue. The keyboard itself is nice and offers accurate, if maybe quite deep keys - something common with gaming laptops.
It does have a feel of quality, so we can't complain, as does the touchpad. It's an accurate, nice area with two well weighted buttons. Though, many gamers may still want a separate gaming mouse for their high-end playing needs. Speakers also fit the bill quite nicely and in both gaming mode and when listening to music we were impressed. We also liked the 2mp camera, which though a tad blurred at times looked good on the 17inch display.
That said it's nothing to do with the 1920x1080p screen, which really impressed. It's clear, vibrant and extremely bright with 325 Lux. This brightness and clarity worked great when browsing, working and especially when playing games. It's also 3D enabled and Samsung throw in a pair of glasses with the device and they work great may we add.
The significant power of course means gaming and HD videos are no struggle. An Intel 2670QM processor and AMD HD6970m provide the power for games and all your other needs. Add to this a pretty decent 8GB of RAM and some AMD HD3D technology and you have the makings of a very competent machine.
Gaming was smooth thanks to the spec and the active 3D really added something. We found it quite feasible to play most games on the highest settings thanks to the processing and graphical abilities.
The Samsung doesn't come with an SSD, though the ExpressCache software does mean a sub 30 second boot up and quick wake from sleep. There is a 1.5 TB HDD, which is comprised of two 750GB drives - plenty of room so.
Connectivity is provided for with four USB ports - two of which are USB3.0, a BluRay drive, 7in1 card reader, HDMI port, and headphones jack. More than enough for all quarters, all shapes and all sizes of media really. Wi-Fi and Ethernet is also top notch and are of the N and 2GB kinds respectively.
Battery life however was a little lacklustre and the device scored just over an hour in our rigorous battery eater test. Expect about 2.45 to 3 hours under normal use. Like most gaming laptops this is down to hungry compnents being a little bit too taxing on a battery laden laptop.
We must say we really liked the Samsung. It undercuts the Alienware M17x, while is a better machine than many of the MSI and Asus breeds of gaming machine. It may suffer from the age old problem of having to compete with desktops as regards power and upgrading and laptops in the case of size and portability, however, it still has its benefits.
It's a well built, fast machine with plenty going for it in terms of speed, aesthetics and looks and we recommend it thoroughly.
Intel i7 2670QM