The video game industry has only gotten bigger over the years, so it’s not surprising that gaming laptops were one of the main attractions at CES 2017. From Lenovo’s surprisingly decent Legion gaming notebooks to Razer’s ambitious Project Valerie, there’s no shortage of gaming laptops at the trade show.
In a bid to get into the gaming market, Samsung unveiled a brand new lineup of gaming laptops: the Odyssey. While this is a pretty big deal for a company like Samsung, the Odyssey laptops are not exactly…remarkable.
There are two laptops in the Odyssey series: a 15.6-inch model, and a beefier 17.3-inch offering. The most noticeable difference between these two laptops are their graphics cards: the smaller 15.6-inch Odyssey is powered by an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 GPU, while the larger 17.3-inch variant comes with a much more capable GTX 1070 GPU.
Aside from that, the keyboards of these two Odyssey laptops are also quite different. I found the 15.6-inch model to have a…softer keyboard, which wasn’t very enjoyable to type on. Naturally, the bigger 17.3-inch Odyssey has a better keyboard; the keys have plenty of travel, and they’re quite tactile too. Let’s not forget the fact that it’s an RGB keyboard as well; the 15.6-inch Odyssey only has a red-backlit keyboard.
Despite being “gaming laptops,” I was pleasantly surprised by how responsive the Precision Touchpad of these Odyssey laptops are. The surface of the trackpads are smooth enough for my fingers to glide effortlessly, and they’re very accurate. As for the glossy plastic frame surrounding the trackpad, let’s just say…it’s an interesting design element.
Despite packing a very capable GTX 1070 GPU, I was quite taken aback when I found out that the 17.3-inch Odyssey only comes with a 1080p display. With so much power under its hood, this laptop can easily run games at 1440p. Not surprisingly, the 15.6-inch model also comes with a 1080p display, which makes a lot more sense; it’s packing a more modest GTX 1050 GPU, after all.
But the displays of these Odyssey laptops aren’t their biggest shortcoming: it’s their build quality. See, these two laptops are made entirely out of plastic, which make them feel particularly…cheap. The chassis of the Odyssey laptops feel hollow when tapped, and they don’t feel very durable at all. This is especially the case with the smaller 15.6-inch laptop.
At the end of the day, the Samsung Odyssey laptops are…forgettable. They don’t give the best price-to-performance ratio, and the build quality of these gaming machines pale in comparison to more mature gaming laptops in the market. On top of that, it’s worth noting that these Odyssey laptops may not reach Malaysia at all; it has been quite some time since Samsung introduced any new laptops locally.
Samsung’s new Odyssey gaming laptops do not reflect the work of a company with years of experience under its belt. While these laptops are not “bad products” per se, they don’t exactly stand out either. In a segment where competition is tough, the Odyssey laptops are just another range of gaming laptops in the market.