Samsung Notebook Odyssey Z brings vapor chamber cooling to a 17.9 mm thick design
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Just when Asus decided to move its Zephyrus keyboard back to the "regular" position, Samsung swoops in and brings the keyboard back down to the front yet again. The Odyssey Z is the latest in the gaming-centric Odyssey lineup and it's definitely a head-turner in more ways than one as Samsung's attempt to distinguish itself from the competition has created interesting results.
For one, the Odyssey Z aims to compete directly against super-thin gaming systems like the MSI GS series or the Razer Blade series. In order to reach such a thin design, however, Samsung has repositioned the keyboard in order to make room for a larger cooling solution towards the rear. The result is a repeat of the Zephyrus with an awkward trackpad and lightweight keyboard keys that will feel odd to first-time users.
In terms of cooling, the Odyssey Z utilizes a vapor chamber instead of traditional heat pipes similar to many high-end desktop graphics cards and the Razer Blade Pro GTX 1080. The improved cooling potential comes at the cost of weight as the Samsung is 500 g heavier (2.4 kg vs. 1.9 kg) than the competing MSI GS63VR.
Samsung Notebook Odyssey Z
8th Generation Intel® Core™ i7 Processor
Up to 16GB (DDR4)
Up to 1TB SSD (NVMe PCIe)
NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 1060 Graphics with GDDR5 6 GB Graphic Memory
375.6 x 255 x 17.9 mm
USB-C x 1, USB 3.0 X 2, USB 2.0 X 1, HDMI X1, HP/Mic, DC-in
15.6” | Full HD (1920 x 1080)
1.5w X 2
Backlit KBD, Precision Touchpad
180W Adapter (DC-in)
From our short time with a pre-production unit, the keyboard keys feel a bit firmer than on the Zephyrus GX501 and the fans were not audible at all. The base is similarly firm like the Asus equivalent and also quite dense, but the lid is again more flexible than we would like. We'll reserve final judgment for a more thorough review in the coming months. As odd as it may be, its unique thermals and design philosophy have us more intrigued than its 8th gen Core i7-8750H CPU and standard GTX 1060 graphics.
The Titan Silver chassis is otherwise matte from top to bottom save for its uniquely brushed aluminum outer lid. Gamers will either love or hate Samsung's approach here, but we can at least appreciate the fact that the manufacturer is trying something very different.
The Odyssey Z launches this month in Asian territories with a planned Q3 2018 launch for North America.