It only makes sense that Samsung would enter the gaming notebook market at some point. The Korean manufacturer is situated in the world’s most competitive pro-gaming scene and has been the main sponsor of the World Cyber Games (WCG) since its formation in 2000. And while Samsung hardware at the WCG is currently limited to monitors, could we possibly see future WCGs held on their Series 7 700G7As? In our opinion, you can pretty much bet on it.
Equipped with a Sandy Bridge Intel Core i7-2670QM (2.2GHz quad-core) processor, 8GB of DDR3 SDRAM, an AMD Radeon HD 6970M graphics module, and 1.5TB storage space (comprising of dual 750GB, 7200RPM hard drives), the Samsung Series 7 700G7A has more than enough power to play any current game. To boost its appeal as an entertainment powerhouse, Samsung has also equipped it with a 17.3-inch 1920 x 1080 pixels full HD 3D display and a Blu-ray combo drive. To top it off, the unit has an 8GB SSD express cache that Samsung claims speeds up boot times and commonly used programs. Windows 7 Home Premium loaded for us in about 30 seconds, which seems about average. The 700G7A weighs a moderate 3.5kg, heavy but not above average for a 17.3-inch desktop replacement (DTR) machine.
Now consider all of what we've said for a mere S$2899 – one of the lowest starting prices we’ve seen for a serious gaming notebook. We detail you more in this review to ensure we cover all that you need to know of this model's capabilities.
We’ve always admired the aesthetics on Samsung products and the new Series 7 700G7A is no different. Moving away from the usual ‘gamer’ design of flashing lights and angular vents (ahem Alienware), the 700G7A sports a more a high-end business notebook design, with a black chassis, complimented with sleek, smoke-brushed aluminum-looking accents. The lid features a glossy panel with the same smoke-brushed aluminum pattern underneath. A simple Samsung logo lights up when the machine is on.
The 700G7A sports plastic hinges, which is a bit disappointing - if there's just one metal component on a notebook, we feel it should be the hinges. On the plus side, they do feel sturdy, and the unit opens very smoothly.
Opening it up, the smoke-brushed aluminum look continues inside, with the palm rest and keyboard area topped with a thin sheet of the aluminum-esque metal alloy. Above that, a dark mirror-finish plastic panel houses the speaker vents, power button and notification lights for some tasteful, low-key bling. The lights on this panel will pulse and flash according to context - for example, when a grenade explodes during your game, they will flash brightly, then pulse and stutter off as the rumble subsides. It's a nice touch that adds to the experience.
Even though the entire unit is constructed from plastic, it feels solid and well built. The use of thin sheets of aluminum-looking metal used on most of the areas you actually see and touch give the notebook a high-end look and feel.
The 700G7A boasts a generous number of ports. Most can be found on the left side: (from front to back) headphone jack, microphone jack, two USB 3.0 ports, a 7-in-1 card reader, DisplayPort, HDMI port, VGA port, RJ-45 Gigabit LAN port and the power jack.
On the right side, two USB2.0 ports flank the Blu-ray combo drive. We appreciate Samsung putting most of the ports on the left, freeing the right side up for just your mouse and avoiding potentially disastrous cable tangle.