Samsung has been making some pretty killer premium laptops for a long time, including the very slim Notebook 9 series, so it’s surprising the company has never done a full-on gaming laptop before.
At CES 2017, Samsung is launching its first dedicated gaming line, a new series called Odyssey. The initial lineup includes the Notebook Odyssey 15 and the Notebook Odyssey 17, which are (you guessed it) 15- and 17-inch laptops. It’s a new look for the normally very minimalist Samsung laptop line, with a bold backlit icon on the back, multicolored keyboard lights, and an angular decorative outline around the touchpad.
Flip the system over and the bottom panel stands out as well. It has a series of cooling vents across the bottom in a crosshatch pattern Samsung calls its “hexaflow vent” design.
Design aside, these are fairly standard current-gen gaming laptops. The 15-inch, about 5.5 pounds, offers the Nvidia GeForce 1050 GPU, which is a solid mainstream graphics chip for new games at high detail settings and full HD resolution. It’s not quite enough for VR, for which you’ll need a step-up Nvidia 1060. The GPU for the 17-inch model (8.3 pounds) hasn’t been locked in yet, but it’ll hopefully be an Nvidia 1070 or 1080, which are the current top of the line for laptops.
Both Odyssey systems have standard 1,920×1,080 resolution screens. Some gaming laptops go higher, but I liked that these are antiglare screens, which I find useful for gaming.
Interestingly, the Odyssey joins Lenovo’s new gaming line, Legion, in bold names for gaming PC brands. Your Legion can go on an Odyssey, because it had an ominous Omen (to work in HP’s existing gaming brand). These don’t have a final price or release date yet, but expect them in the spring of 2017.