The Samsung Series 7 Gamer laptop is a bit of a gilded lily. It's got the hardware and performance that gamers care about, and a price tag that we would deem fair. Samsung's custom UI, however, doesn't add much to the experience. Short of one or two niceties, like being able to disable the trackpad and Windows keys, it mostly detracts from the overall experience.
Can the Series 7 still be recommended in light of its hardware, annoying software notwithstanding? We think so.
The hardware. The Series 7 Gamer has got it going on where it counts: inside. Its i7-3610QM processor is no longer the new, fastest kid on the block (we're looking at you, i7-3632QM debuting in the Razer Blade) but it's no slouch. It honestly blew us away with its Borderlands 2 Physx performance. We're sure that generous 16GBs of RAM had a something to do with it as well.
It's also pretty cool and quiet, which you don't often find with a powerful gaming machine. Sure, it gets warm, but it's no space heater like the Toshiba Qosmio X870. Even its brick of a power supply doesn't get that hot.
Samsung's UI. At its worst, it was tacky and a little annoying. It gets out of the way once you disable it, but we just didn't want to deal with it. We found the case lights ridiculous and always wanted to disable them.
The lack of 3D support is a little disappointing, only because you can get a 3D capable machine with the comparably priced Toshiba Qosmio X870. We also found the keyboard to be slightly subpar, and while the touch button toggles for volume, WiFi, mute and case lights are nice in theory, in practice it was a little too easy to accidentally trigger them.
From a purely processor to pennies perspective, the Series 7 Gamer is worth the money. Its a gaming machine capable of playing the latest titles at respectable settings. With all its case lights and fancy UI, its a bit like a party guest who arrives overdressed. You're glad they showed up, but the bow tie they're wearing just makes them look silly.
At 9 pounds, the Series 7 isn't the heaviest gaming laptop we've ever encountered, but you wouldn't want to haul it to and from work everyday. It's a great option for the occasional LAN party or gaming session at a friend's house. To get something easier to haul, you would have to spend quite a bit more, and we think most gamers would rather save their wallet then their back. After all, you've got to leave some money for your Steam wallet.