Samsung Series 7 Gamer (700G7A) review
17.3 in 1,920x1,080 display, 3.5kg, 2.2GHz Intel Core i7-2670QM, 8.00GB RAM, 1,500GB disk, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Samsung’s latest high-end laptop, the Series 7 Gamer, has been designed with one thing in mind – as its name suggests, the 17in desktop replacement is aimed at anyone looking for a portable gaming powerhouse.
The laptop is powered by a quad-core Intel i7-2670QM processor running at 2.2GHz and has 8GB of RAM, so unsurprisingly flew through our multimedia benchmarks with an overall score of 82. The laptop's performance is helped by its 8GB SSD, which is configured as SmartCache to speed up transfers of frequently used files. The SmartCache / hard disk combo isn't as quick as having an SSD as your system disk, but anyone with a large game library will probably appreciate the 1.4TB of storage space the laptop's two 750GB hard disks give you.
The laptop's 3D performance is even more impressive. With an AMD Radeon 6970m graphics card equipped with 2GB of RAM, it ran our Dirt3 laptop benchmark at a silky smooth 103fps frame rate. We could even play at 1080p with the graphics settings set to Ultra and still get a perfectly playable 35fps.
The power takes its toll on battery life, though; even with the more powerful graphics card deactivated in favour of Intel’s integrated GPU, the Series 7 Gamer could only manage a little over two and a half hours in our light-use battery test. At 3.5kg, it's not a laptop you'll want to take on the road, anyway.
The Series 7 Gamer has an incredibly bright 17.3in display – it's rated at 300 candela per square metre (nit), and we had no problems working even under bright fluorescent office lighting. Viewing angles are exceptional, so the relatively small amount of screen tilt wasn’t a problem. The glossy finish can make light reflections a little troublesome, but it helps bring out vivid colours and plenty of contrast, making both still images and video look gorgeous. Because it has a 1,920x1,080 resolution, you can watch high definition films at their native resolution using the internal Blu-ray optical drive, and even enjoy 3D video using the pair of active shutter glasses included with the laptop. Sound quality was surprisingly good, mainly due to the internal small subwoofer - this is one of the few laptops that let us enjoy streaming YouTube videos without reaching for a pair of headphones.