Samsung is making news at CES 2019—but not for an obvious reason. The Korean manufacturer announced its first new gaming laptop in quite some time: the Samsung Notebook Odyssey. While Samsung has made gaming devices with the Odyssey name, this new notebook appears to compete with similarly powerful and portable gaming PCs from the likes of Acer, Alienware, and Razer.
Most noteworthy is the graphics card inside the Notebook Odyssey: the Nvidia RTX 2080. Nvidia just announced these new graphics cards, which will come to at least 40 laptops soon. The RTX 2080 and RTX 2060 cards promise big performance and efficiency gains over their GTX counterparts, with the RTX 2080 serving up 20 percent more performance when compared to the GTX 1080 GPU. They also bring ray-tracing abilities to the PCs they power, a process used in films to make live-action graphics look hyper-realistic.
But ray-tracing requires a lot of computing power, so the PCs sporting Nvidia’s newest graphics have to be prepared to support it. The new GPUs use Mac-Q tech to ensure they can run properly inside the relatively small and thin chassis of gaming laptops (there’s obviously not as much space to work with as in a desktop). Samsung is employing a new “penta-pipe” cooling system in the Notebook Odyssey as well, which uses two fans with more than 83 blades each to help the machine run as fast and as cool as it can in any situation.
Also inside the Notebook Odyssey is an 8th-gen hexa-core Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB of RAM, and space for two NVMe SSDs and one HDD. The laptop’s 15.6-inch FHD display runs at 144Hz and has Nvidia G-Sync support. It’s disappointing to see that it only comes with an FHD panel, but it will undoubtedly speak to gamers who care don’t mind forgoing 4K screens in favor of smooth, high frame-rate performance.
Samsung didn’t design the Notebook Odyssey to look identical to other gaming laptops, but it does employ a few signature features common to gaming devices, like a colorful keyboard backlight. It has a strange centered hinge as well that prompts questions about its stability and durability, but we can’t judge it thoroughly until we have the device in our hands.
Samsung wasn’t going for thin-and-light either: the Notebook Odyssey weighs 5.3 pounds, but at least the company included a number of ports on its chunky edges. The laptop has 1 USB-C port, three USB-A 3.0 ports, one HDMI port, and one Ethernet port.
Pricing hasn’t been released yet for the Samsung Notebook Odyssey, but it’s expected to be available early this year.
Listing image by Samsung
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