Samsung has unveiled the Galaxy Book Odyssey, a new slim gaming laptop with powerful components, swappable memory, and the first Nvidia RTX 3050/3050 Ti GPUs we've seen.
It's clear Samsung is positioning the 4-pound Odyssey as a machine for gaming on the go, and with good reason: the specs suggest it will be a contender for a spot among the best gaming laptops on the market, at least for those who want something highly portable.
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The Odyssey was unveiled alongside the Galaxy Book Pro and the Galaxy Book Pro 360, two powerful ultraportable laptops sporting AMOLED screens. With these new notebooks Samsung is making a bold push to be more dominant in the premium laptop market. Here's what we know so far about the Samsung Galaxy Book Odyssey.
Samsung Galaxy Book Odyssey: Release date and price
Samsung confirmed that it plans to sell the Galaxy Book Odyssey for a starting price of $1,399, though the price can likely range much higher depending on how you configure the laptop.
In terms of the Galaxy Book Odyssey release, Samsung has said that the Odyssey is expected to go on sale in August, and will be available in Korea first. We're waiting to hear a more specific date, as well as when we can expect the Odyssey to be available in other markets.
Samsung Galaxy Book Odyssey: Specs
|Header Cell - Column 0||15.6-inch Galaxy Book Odyssey|
|Screen||15.6-inch TFT LCD (1920 x 1080)|
|Processor||11th Gen Intel i5/i7|
|Graphics||Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050/3050 Ti Max-Q graphics|
|Storage||Up to 1 TB (NVMe SSD)|
|Memory||8GB, 16GB, 32GB DDR4x|
|Ports||2 USB-C, 3 USB 3.2, 1 HDMI, Security slot, MicroSD reader, headphone/mic jack, RJ45|
|Security||Fingerprint reader on power button|
|Audio||Dolby Atmos support|
|Connectivity||Wi-Fi 6 (Gig+), Wi-Fi 6E ready, Bluetooth 5.1, 802.11 ax, Gigabit Ethernet|
|Dimensions||14 x 9 x 0.7 inches|
Samsung Galaxy Book Odyssey: Design
The Samsung Galaxy Book Odyssey appears to have a pretty nondescript chassis which belies the powerful components packed inside. It comes in whatever color you want, as long as what you want is Mystic Black; so if you're in the market for a low-key ultraportable that can handle all the latest games, the Odyssey might be a good fit.
What's especially exciting about the Odyssey's design is the way it's built to allow you the option of expanding your memory or storage options down the road. The choice to swap out RAM or upgrade the SSD yourself is a big deal for gamers, and the laptop reportedly ships with spare SO-DIMM and PCIe slots for just that purpose.
Samsung Galaxy Book Odyssey: Performance
Samsung's Galaxy Book Odyssey is one of the first laptops in the world to ship with Nvidia's new RTX 3050/3050 Ti GPUs, which is potentially a big deal for anyone who appreciates good gaming performance on a laptop.
The Nvidia RTX 3050/3050 Ti GPUs are so new that we don't have much in the way of test results to suggest how they'll stack up against the competition. However, since the Odyssey pairs these new GPUs with a 1080p screen and plenty of RAM it's likely that any modern game you play on it will look great and run smooth, hopefully on the highest quality settings.
Samsung Galaxy Book Odyssey: Display
The Odyssey comes equipped with a 15.6-inch 1080p TFT LCD screen, which should be able to handle whatever videos, pictures, and games you throw at it.
Whether it will look particularly good doing it remains to be seen; we'll have to get one in for review so we can measure the brightness and color performance to see how it stacks up against other gaming laptops on the market.
It's a little disappointing to see the Odyssey debut with this LCD screen when its siblings, the Galaxy Book Pro and Galaxy Book Pro 360, are both shipping with OLED displays. Presumably the decision to go with a TFT LCD screen over OLED was made for cost reasons, given that the Odyssey's already has the highest starting price of any new Galaxy Book, but still it's hard not to daydream about what an AMOLED-equipped ultraportable gaming laptop might have been.
Samsung Galaxy Book Odyssey: Ports
The Galaxy Book Odyssey will ship with a slew of ports, though none of them are the latest and greatest. With 2 USB-C ports and 3 USB 3.2 ports the Odyssey is ready to play with just about any PC gaming accessory made in recent memory, so you should have no trouble hooking up your favorite keyboards, mice, and headsets.
The included HDMI port and RJ45 jack are nice touches, too; the former will let the laptop output to an external display, while the latter gives you the option of jacking into an Ethernet port for good wired Internet speed.
However, it's a little disappointing to see that this premium-priced laptop doesn't appear to include any USB 4 | Thunderbolt 4 ports, potentially limiting your peripheral options down the road.
Samsung Galaxy Book Odyssey: Outlook
By packing an 11th Gen Intel CPU and one of the first Nvidia RTX 3050/3050 Ti cards on the market into a slim chassis that's lighter than most gaming laptops, Samsung has made the Galaxy Book Odyssey a very attractive option for anyone seeking a high-performance ultraportable.
When you factor in the fact that you have the option to upgrade or swap out the RAM and SSD yourself, the Galaxy Book Odyssey starts to look like it could be one of the best gaming laptops you can buy in 2021 -- and perhaps one of the best laptops, period.
What remains to be seen is how good that screen looks playing all the latest games, and how long the battery lasts while doing so. We're hoping to get one in for testing and review soon, so stay tuned for a full report.
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