First Look: Samsung NoteBook Odyssey 17

Samsung has been reinventing itself in the computing world with an excellent Ultrabook, a bargain convertible, superb Windows 10 tablet, and now its next frontier is gaming.

Enter, on the CES 2017 stage, the Notebook Odyssey 17 – Samsung’s first gaming laptop, and proof that the company is very serious about delivering the experience and aesthetics gamers crave.

Samsung looks to have got a lot right first time with the design of the Odyssey 17. Its simple, smooth and all-black exterior is a nice minimalistic breath of fresh air in an ocean of gaudy, overwrought designs.

When folded up, the only noticeable feature is the Odyssey logo that lights up. What’s more, the logo is patterned beneath a transparent framing to liven things up even when the laptop is off or asleep.

Open up the laptop and you’re treated to a full RGB keyboard, which is still only available on a few Razer, MSI and Aorus laptops so far. On top of just looking great, these are some of the biggest keycaps we’ve ever seen on a notebook keyboard, and they offer solidly tactile feedback.

Additionally, the trackpad has a bit of flair of its own, with an light-up rhombus surrounding the pointing device. We feel it’s a little superfluous – but we’re always open to something we’ve seen never on any gaming notebook before.

The most alluring aspect of the Odyssey 17 is its gorgeous 17-inch matte screen. Samsung is only offering Full HD (1920 x 1080), but you’ll be too busy being mesmerized by its HDR-like colors to care.

Beyond looks, Samsung promises the Odyssey 17 be a high-performance engine featuring quad-core Intel Core i7 Kaby Lake processors. Graphics options have yet to be announced, but given the size of this laptop we can imagine a Nvidia GTX 1070 or higher is on the cards.

Systems can also be configured with up to 64GB of DDR4 memory and up to a 512GB PCIe SSD + 1TB HDD, Dual SSD plus an HDD and other triple storage drive arrangements.

If users want to further upgrade their system they can easily pop off the bottom cover, which is also heavily vented to provide intakes for Samsung’s unique HexaFlow Vent system.

Despite all the power packed into this machine, Samsung claims the Odyssey 17 will only weigh 3.79kg. Comparatively, that’s much lighter than other 17-inch desktop-replacement beasts like the Origin EON17-X and the MSI GT73VR Titan Pro, but not quite as light as the spectacularly thin Razer Blade Pro.

Overall, the Odyssey 17 looks like a very promising platform from which Samsung can pursue its gaming aspirations. The 17-inch laptop has made a great impression on us, with Samsung getting many things right first time; we can’t wait to see the full specs on this machine, and test it in our full review.

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Kevin Lee

Kevin Lee was a former computing reporter at TechRadar. Kevin is now the SEO Updates Editor at IGN based in New York. He handles all of the best of tech buying guides while also dipping his hand in the entertainment and games evergreen content. Kevin has over eight years of experience in the tech and games publications with previous bylines at Polygon, PC World, and more. Outside of work, Kevin is major movie buff of cult and bad films. He also regularly plays flight & space sim and racing games. IRL he's a fan of archery, axe throwing, and board games.