Samsung Series 7 Gamer review
Whatever your opinion of the technology, there’s no doubt that 3D is here to stay, with a stream of 3D-ready TVs in the shops, 3D films in the cinema and even 3D sports coverage from Sky. And the technology is slowly infiltrating other aspects of tech as well, as the latest entertainment laptop from Samsung proves.
This beast of a machine comes with a pair of active-shutter 3D glasses in the box and couples that with an AMD Radeon HD 6970M mobile graphics chipset. Combined with TriDef’s software and 3D drivers, this allows you to play games, watch 3D movies and even convert 2D DVDs into 3D.
It isn’t the first 3D laptop we’ve seen, but it is the most convincing. Although the TriDef system requires a little setting up before games work properly – games’ executable files need to be launched from within the TriDef Ignition application and a game profile selected from a list – the 3D is very effective indeed. The jungles of Crysis seem almost to brush against your face as you bushwhack through the jungle, and scenes seem to leap right out of the screen.
For 3D movies the laptop does a good job too. A copy of Cyberlink PowerDVD 10 is also included, which makes a better stab at converting 2D movies to 3D than the TriDef software, and this will also play 3D and standard Blu-ray discs. The slim, light Samsung-branded glasses included with the laptop are the most comfortable we’ve used in any 3D system.
What’s most impressive about this laptop, though, is the 17.3in 1,920 x 1,080 screen. With our X-rite colorimeter, we measured it at a maximum brightness of 360cd/m2 and a contrast ratio of 923:1, which is plenty enough to offset the darkening effect of the 3D glasses, and when you’re not watching in 3D it looks gloriously crisp and colourful.
The 3D is by no means this laptop’s only strength. It has a big, beefy quad-core 2.2GHz Intel Core i7-2670QM CPU, backed up by 8GB of RAM, and storage is about as comprehensive as you’re likely to see on any laptop. The Series 7 is equipped with two 750GB hard disks, plus an 8GB SSD which is used in Samsung’s ExpressCache system. The latter is aimed at speeding up application and Windows launch times, although our tests indicated only small improvements of a second or two at most.