Samsung Notebook Odyssey NP800G5M-X01US Review

The Samsung Notebook Odyssey NP800G5M-X01US is a brand new gaming laptop. Considering its price, you’d be tempted to think this is a mid-range notebook, but after a short glance over the spec sheet, we quickly notice Samsung is offering more value for money than its competitors.

Review

Samsung have built a gaming notebook that’s not only innovative in certain areas, but which works well across a wide range of applications. Despite its rather aggressive looking touchpad, I don’t think the rest of the laptop is that flashy.

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The Samsung Notebook Odyssey NP800G5M-X01US features a rather large series logo on the cover. Its cold dark gray exterior is only countered by the orange/reddish accents found when the keys are illuminated. Other than that, it looks just like an ordinary, albeit bulkier, everyday laptop.

Don’t be fooled though, because that extra space is there to ensure optimum performance for when the hardware might need extra cooling when the workload gets intense.

Performance

The Samsung Notebook Odyssey NP800G5M-X01US is powered by a 7th generation Intel Core i7-7700HQ processor. This is a state of the art CPU that’s been launched earlier this year. And although it’s not the pinnacle of processing technology, it’s a great choice for gamers and not only.

It has a frequency range between 2.8GHz and 3.8GHz, a cache size of 6 megabytes and four physical cores. It’s powerful and it will require extra cooling efforts, but the Samsung Odyssey has that covered as well.

You see, the Notebook Odyssey NP800G5M-X01US has a large ventilated bottom, right under the processor and the graphics card. This area covers roughly a half of its underside, which makes dissipating heat that much more efficient.

System memory comes in the form of two 8-gigabyte DDR4 memory modules. The good news is that a total of 16 gigabytes of dual-channel memory should be enough for most users. The bad news is that even if you’d want to upgrade, you can’t. Because those 16 gigs represent the maximum allowed system memory.

Still, there are no current games that require more than 8 to 16 GB of RAM to run properly. You may struggle if you’re into heavy 3D rendering activities. Otherwise, you’ll be covered for at least 3 years.

As for storage space, there’s a 128-gigabyte high speed NVMe Solid-State Drive to hold the operating system and the most important programs, and a 1-terabyte Hard Disk Drive for your media collections and whatnot. Although it would have been nicer to see a 512-gigabyte SSD, this fast-speed/large-storage combo is not so much a compromise, as it is a feature.

Graphics and display

The Samsung Notebook Odyssey NP800G5M-X01US features the latest and most advanced mobile graphics architecture that’s currently available on the market. Called Pascal, this framework allows for unheard of performance in gaming laptops.

Specifically, it comes equipped with a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050. This GPU has seen its performance ratings influenced by how well the notebook is being cooled, so this should be great news with Samsung’s innovative cooling system.

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To give a couple of examples, you’ll be able to play Battlefield 1, Titanfall 2 and Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare on high or ultra settings at Full HD display resolution. I should mention that games like Rainbow Six, Dota 2, FIFA 17, Starwars: Battlefront and other similar multiplayer games will run as smoothly as possible.

In contrast with the processor and the GPU, the Samsung’s Notebook Odyssey has a good, but not exceptional display. Its 15.6″ panel produces a display of 1920 x 1080 pixels, but isn’t as bright as other models (just 280 nits). This doesn’t mean the display is low-quality, it just means this isn’t the most impressive.

If your routine or work involves working with photo editing software, or making illustrations, I’d advise against buying the Samsung. Otherwise, you’ll barely even notice the difference when gaming or during everyday activities.

Interface and connectivity

An interesting tidbit I’ve noticed is the lack of an USB-C port. In a time when every manufacturer scrambles to adapt this new interface, the Samsung Notebook Odyssey NP800G5M-X01US has completely ignored it. And for good reason, I believe. They know their audience, and they realize gamers need one or two peripherals with an extra screen on hand, and that’s it. Here are the available I/O ports:

  • 1 x USB 3.0 port
  • 2 x USB 2.0 ports
  • 1 x HDMI-out
  • 1 x COMBO audio jack
  • 1 x RJ45 (LAN)
  • 1 x SD/HC/XC card reader

As for connectivity, the Samsung has a standard 802.11ac 1×1 wireless card with built-in Bluetooth 4.1 technology. I must say I would have liked to see 2×2 MU-MIMO WLAN instead of the standard wireless protocol, because gamers need and expect low latency and reliable connections.

Portability and battery life

Now, it’s obvious that after all the features I’ve covered, this model won’t be a staple of portability. Especially since it’s available at a lower price than I’ve expected. The Samsung Odyssey NP800G5M-X01US weighs 5.5 pounds, which makes it 10% heavier than standard, mid-range laptop nowadays.

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It’s not especially thin, either: 0.94 inches thick. But we can easily forgive that, since gaming laptops need that extra volume for all the components and cooling mechanism to work properly.

As for battery life, I’m happy to say the 43Whr battery pack can hold a charge for up to 9 hours of use. Of course, we’re not talking about gaming, but when doing everyday stuff, or when traveling, it’s good to rely on a all-day battery life to get you through.

Conclusion

All in all, I believe the Samsung Notebook Odyssey NP800G5M-X01US is a surprisingly balanced gaming laptop. Furthermore, you can use it as an everyday notebook, as a workstation, or as a (sort of) portable device – if you don’t mind the extra weight. It will work great for gamers, students and young professionals who want a device that can handle every usage scenario you can think of.

Summary
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Samsung Notebook Odyssey NP800G5M-X01US
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