Samsung finally makes gaming laptops: this is the Notebook Odyssey

Samsung is stepping up to the portable gaming PC in a big way with the new Notebook Odyssey. This purpose-built machine is Samsung's first proper gaming laptop, and it makes quite the statement in both the design and technology departments.

Inside the Samsung Notebook Odyssey you'll find the latest 7th-generation Intel Core i7 processors, the brand-new NVIDIA GTX 1050 GPU, and at up to 32GB of RAM on the 15-inch or a whopping 64GB on the 17-inch. Both offer dual-drive storage, with your choice of dual SSDs (up to 512GB on the 17-incher) or an SSD + a 1TB HDD. It's not the most powerful gaming laptop we've ever seen, but it's also no slouch. Port-wise you're looking at USB-C/Thunderbolt 3, full-size USB-A (2 on the 15 and 4 on the 17), HDMI, Ethernet, combo audio, and an SD card slot.

All of that powers a 15.6-inch or 17.3-inch Full HD IPS display that's covered in a nice anti-glare film and supports HDR for high-contrast colors. The keyboard sports red backlighting and highlighted keys, and the trackpad also has a slick and angular red accent lighting ring that runs around it. Also on the keyboard you'll find hot keys to optimize performance and quickly start screen recording.

And it'll hopefully get plenty of battery life, too — you'll find a 43Wh pack inside the Odyssey Notebook 15 and an enormous 93Wh pack in the 17. For reference, the FAA draws the line at 100Wh for what they'll allow on an airplane. All of that means these aren't exactly thin-and-light notebooks, but the 15-inch was lighter than I expected. The 15-incher is 28mm thick and weighs 5.6 pounds, while the 17-inch is a beefy 37.7mm thick and 8.36 pounds.

The styling of the Samsung Notebook Odyssey is rather restrained for a gaming laptop. The case itself has comfortable rounded corners where many gaming laptops would have sharp edges, and the new Odyssey gaming sub-brand logo on the lid is large and glows red, but even it isn't overly aggressive. And in an oddity for a gaming laptop, it's available in white as well as the traditional black.

Flip the Notebook Odyssey 15 over and you'll see that about half of the bottom of the laptop is a vent for cooling. Samsung dubs the vents a "HexaFlow" design, allowing for better ambient heat dissipation. There's a rather thick lip at the back edge of the laptop to help maintain an air gap for circulation, but I can see that being of little use if you're planning to do some gaming with the laptop on your lap.

Samsung's not yet giving a release date, but the Samsung Notebook Odyssey 15 will retail for a starting price of $1,199 when it hits shelves. We're looking forward to it, too — Samsung's impressed us with their previous Windows laptops, and the Notebook Odyssey looks likely to do the same.

Derek Kessler

Derek Kessler is Special Projects Manager for Mobile Nations. He's been writing about tech since 2009, has far more phones than is considered humane, still carries a torch for Palm, and got a Tesla because it was the biggest gadget he could find. You can follow him on Twitter at @derekakessler.