Samsung Galaxy Ebook Odyssey Assessment: But One other Poor Show

Samsung Galaxy Book Odyssey

RRP $ 1,400.00

"The Samsung Galaxy Book Odyssey is fast for the productive user and can meet some entry-level gaming needs, but its poor display is a real disappointment."

benefits

  • Solid productivity performance

  • Good keyboard and touchpad

  • Attractive design

  • Great battery life

disadvantage

  • Build quality is a little below average

  • Display is a real disappointment

  • The gaming performance is a little overwhelming

Samsung has expanded its line of laptops with a new entry-level Galaxy Book and an updated version of the Galaxy Book Pro 360. One of the more interesting introductions is the Galaxy Book Odyssey, which Samsung positions as both a productivity and gaming machine with a nod to its creators. That's a fine line to walk both aesthetically, where the laptop has some frills, and in terms of performance.

Our review unit is priced at $ 1,400 but is currently on sale for $ 1,210, a more attractive price point for the Intel Core i7-11600H 11. You can spend another $ 100 and upgrade from 8 GB to 16 GB of RAM, but the 512GB PCIe solid state drive (SSD) is the only option, as is the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Ti GPU. The Galaxy Book Odyssey wants to play on either side of the fence, and in the end it doesn't shine as a productivity laptop or gaming device – and developers will be disappointed with the display.

draft

Mark Coppock / Digital Trends

The Galaxy Book Odyssey is made entirely of aluminum, which usually results in a rigid laptop. In this case, the lid was a bit flexible and the keyboard deck and the bottom of the case yielded a bit. I've noticed this tendency on a few other Samsung laptops like the Galaxy Book that show the same lack of rigidity. It's not bad, but laptops like the Dell XPS 15 and Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 4 feel significantly more durable. I've forgiven the Galaxy Book, which costs $ 900, more than the Galaxy Book Odyssey, which sold for $ 1,400. Even with a retail price of $ 1,210, I would expect a more solid feel.

Aesthetically, the Galaxy Book Odyssey is mostly a minimalist design, especially around the edges where the angles are simple and streamlined. Its “Mystic Black” is an attractive color that differs from the more common silver, and there are some decorative strips with a striking chrome logo on the lid, which add a little flair. It's not as harmoniously designed as the XPS 15, nor as colorful as some mid-range options from Asus and Lenovo, but it's a laptop you won't be embarrassed to carry around. As a gaming laptop, it's muffled.

Speaking of carrying around, the Galaxy Book Odyssey is pretty average size for a laptop with a 16: 9 15.6-inch display. The bezels are smaller, not as narrow as those of the XPS 15, only the lower chin is larger than it could be. Even so, there's not a lot of fat, and it's roughly the same width and depth as the Galaxy Book. It's 0.70 inches thick and weighs 4.08 pounds, which makes it just as thick but considerably heavier than the Acer Aspire 5, which weighs 3.64 pounds. The Galaxy Book Odyssey is pretty much in the Goldilocks zone, neither too small nor too big.


Connectivity is generous with only one disappointment. There's a full-size HDMI port, a USB-A 3.2 port, and two USB-C 3.2 ports on the left with two USB-A 3.2 ports, an Ethernet jack, a 3.5mm Audio jack and a microSD card reader on the right. The disappointment isn't Thunderbolt 4 support that is to be expected on a laptop in this price range. The fastest Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5 provide wireless tasks.

Power is supplied via USB-C via a large 135-watt power supply that exceeds the usual 100-watt USB-C limit.

power

Mark Coppock / Digital Trends

The Galaxy Book Odyssey is based on an 11th generation Intel Core i7-11600H, a 45 watt CPU with six cores and 12 threads. That lies between Intel's 4-core / 8-thread 28-watt U-series CPUs and the 8-core / 16-thread 45-watt H-series processors. So I expected a solid productivity performance and maybe even some creativity performance with the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Ti.

As it turns out, the Galaxy Book Odyssey performed as expected in our non-gaming benchmarks. It didn't impress in Geekbench 5, lagging behind the Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 71 Pro with a 35-watt 4-core / 8-thread Core i7-11370H, but ahead of the Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio with the same CPU. As expected, it couldn't keep up with the AMD Ryzen 7 5700U or the Core i7-11800H. In our Handbrake test, which encodes a 420MB video as H.265, the Galaxy Book Odyssey did well, beating all but the Ryzen 7 and the Core i7-11800H. Samsung took second place in Cinebench R23 and surprisingly beat the Ryzen 7, which typically does well in this benchmark. Finally, the Galaxy Book Odyssey took second place again in the PCMark 10 Complete benchmark, which is the best indicator of productivity performance, with a strong performance in the test's essentials, productivity and content creation.

I also ran the laptop through the Pugetbench benchmark running in Adobe Premiere Pro where it got 318 points. That is less than the Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio, which also equips the RTX 3050 Ti, and the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 4 with its Core i7-11800H and RTX 3060. It is faster than a laptop like the Samsung Galaxy Book Pro 360 with a U-series Core i7-1165G7 that scored 241 points but wasn't as high as I'd hoped. Creators can use the Galaxy Book Pro Odyssey for their work, but it will be delayed.

Overall, the Galaxy Book Odyssey is a strong productivity performer and good enough for creative lower-end tasks. Some other 15-inch laptops like the Dell XPS 15 and the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 4 are much faster, but also more expensive.

Geekbench (single / multiple) Handbrake
(Seconds)
Cinebench R23 (single / multiple) PCMark 10 Pugetbank
Samsung Galaxy Book Odyssey (Core i7-11600H) 1478/5366 151 1601/8571 5989 318
Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7i Pro (Core i7-11370H) 1578/5957 202 1514/5544 5149 N / A
Dell Inspiron 14 2-in-1 (Ryzen7 5700U) 1184/6281 120 1287/8013 5411 N / A
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 9 (Core i7-1165G7) 1327/5201 N / A 1469/4945 5147 N / A
Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio (Core i7-11370H) 1321/5131 179 1304/5450 5091 417
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 4 (Core i7-11800H) 1520/7353 106 1519/10497 6251 432
MSI Sumit E13 Flip Evo (Core i7-1185G7) 1352/4891 207 1360/4392 4872 N / A

Gaming performance

Since Samsung has positioned the Galaxy Book Odyssey as a part-time gaming machine, it's fair to compare it to its competition. Having an RTX 3050 Ti installed means low-end gaming laptops and non-gaming laptops that happen to have separate graphics cards.

I usually start to discuss benchmarks with 3DMark Time Spy, but for some reason the Galaxy Book Odyssey wouldn't install 3DMark. It did 60% of the way through the installation routine and then just hung around there until I restarted. So take this test.

With current games, the Galaxy Book Odyssey was not the fastest gaming laptop in our comparison group. It didn't rank first in any of our benchmarks, and in fact, it was last or second to last in most of them. His Assassin's Creed Valhalla score was particularly low at 15 frames per second (fps) at 1080p and ultra-high graphics and only lost to the equally strangely low Asus ROG Flow X13 gaming computer. In Battlefield V and Civilization VI, the Galaxy Book Odyssey was more competitive but still lagged behind the competition and was able to hold its own in Fortnite. Outside of Assassin's Creed Valhalla, the laptop was a decent entry-level 1080p game machine that lets you turn up the graphics in some games and still get playable frame rates.

That's a decent result since Samsung wanted this laptop to be both a productivity workhorse – where it performed well – and a part-time slot machine. For the most part, I would say Samsung succeeded.

Laptop Assassin & # 39; s Creed Valhalla
(1080p ultra high)
Battlefield V
(1080p Ultra)
Fourteen days
(1080p epic)
Civilization VI
(1080p Ultra)
Samsung Galaxy Book Odyssey
(RTX 3050Ti)
15 fps 40 fps 54 fps 61 fps
Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio (RTX 3050TI) 47 fps (1200p) 51 fps 47 fps 75 fps
Asus ROG Flow X13 (RTX 3050Ti) 7 fps (1200p 52 fps 57 fps 65 fps
Acer Swift X (RTX 3050Ti) N / A N / A 43 fps 66 fps
HP Victus 16
(RTX 3060)
59 fps 72 fps 99 fps 118 fps
Razer blade 14
(RTX 3070)
60 fps 96 fps 96 fps 111 fps

display

Mark Coppock / Digital Trends

Oops, they did it again. For a company that sources great displays for so many other manufacturers, Samsung can pick some inferior panels for its own laptops. I noticed the poor display in the Galaxy Book which kept this device from getting a higher score. Unfortunately, the more expensive Galaxy Book Odyssey shares a similar display.

Subjectively, the display doesn't look bad. For my productivity workflow, such as writing this review, it was sufficient. The colors were fine and the contrast wasn't so bad that black text was a light gray. But the screen didn't jump on me. It's only Full HD, which means it's not sharp at the 15.6-inch size, and it's old-school 16: 9 aspect ratio.

Perhaps most importantly, Samsung is at least partially targeting developers with this laptop and they would hate this display.

My colorimeter agreed. While the display was bright enough at 350 cd / m² (300 is our threshold for a display that can handle most bright conditions), its colors were incredibly narrow for a premium laptop at just 48% AdobeRGB and 65% sRGB – we expect that you'll see at least 70% of AdobeRGB and 95% of sRGB from similarly priced devices. Those colors weren't particularly accurate either, with a DeltaE of 2.37 (1.0 or less is considered excellent), with premium laptops typically under 2.0. And the contrast was 800: 1, lower than the 1,000: 1 we like to see, which guarantee deeper blacks rather than dark grays. For comparison: The Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7i Pro costs a little less than the Galaxy Book Odyssey, and yet its display comes in at 369 cd / m², 80% AdobeRGB and 100% sRGB, a DeltaE of 1.65 and a contrast ratio of 1,340: 1 .

Mark Coppock / Digital Trends

It's not that this is a terrible display for simple productivity jobs, but if you plan to use it to view photos and videos, the colors will leave you disappointed. And text didn't show up on a white background, which makes the ad less than ideal for writers and anyone who works with lots of numbers. Perhaps most importantly, Samsung is at least partially targeting developers with this laptop and they would hate this display. Overall, this was my biggest disappointment with the laptop, and frankly I don't understand why Samsung would choose an inferior panel for its own laptop.

The sound is provided by two downward-facing speakers on the front of the laptop, which ensure a clean sound with pleasant highs and mids and just a hint of bass. The only problem: The volume was incredibly low. I turned the speakers all the way up thinking I had 50% left to go. If you're in a quiet room watching Netflix, you'll be fine. But keep a pair of headphones handy.

Keyboard and touchpad

Mark Coppock / Digital Trends

The keyboard offers a lot of space and even manages to squeeze a usable number pad into it. The keycaps are big enough and sculpted very lightly to make them a bit more comfortable. The switch mechanisms are good too, they're a bit flat but make up for it with a comfortable floor movement with a bit of pressure. It's a sufficiently accurate keyboard that is a step ahead of the best, like the HP Specter range and Apple's great MacBook keyboards, but it keeps high-speed typists productive.

The touchpad is large and takes up most of the space on the palm rest. It has tactile feedback that helps with swiping, and as a Microsoft Precision touchpad (pretty much the norm today) it reliably and precisely supports all of Windows 11's multi-touch gestures. Unfortunately, the display cannot be touched, which I always miss and for me personally it is actually a deal breaker at this point.

Passwordless login under Windows 10 Hello is provided by a fingerprint reader integrated into the power button. It was quick and accurate.

Battery life

The Galaxy Book Odyssey has 83 watt-hours of battery capacity, a nice number for a device with a 15.6-inch Full HD display. I was hoping the laptop would live up to its productivity performance with all day battery life.

I was not disappointed. The laptop got 10.5 hours in our web browser test, which goes through a number of popular and complex websites, a solid score that is much better than the 8.3 hours of the Galaxy Book and nine hours of the Dell XPS 15 OLED. The Galaxy Book Odyssey lasted 14.25 hours in our video test repeating a local Full HD Avengers trailer. I also tested the PCMark 10 Applications battery test, the best indicator of battery life productivity, where the Galaxy Book Odyssey again scores well with 11.75 hours compared to the Galaxy Book with just under 11 hours and the XPS 15 OLED with eight hours . And finally, the Galaxy Book Odyssey got 93 minutes on the PCMark 10 gaming battery test, which shows how hard a laptop works when turned off, which is almost average and indicates that you aren't giving up much performance on battery power.

Overall, these are strong results that suggest the Galaxy Book Odyssey can handle a full day of work with some time for evening productivity or media strolling. Samsung did a respectable job of designing a laptop that would meet the demands of productivity workers.

Our opinion

I wanted to give the Samsung Galaxy Book Odyssey a higher score. It offers solid productivity performance with the ability to handle some creative tasks as well, and while its gaming performance was a little overwhelming, it can still handle 1080p games with decent graphical detail. It has great battery life, a good keyboard, and an excellent touchpad, and its build quality is just a little below average.

Unfortunately, the display is a huge disappointment. You just can't offer as narrow colors and low contrast on a laptop in this price range, especially one that is at least partially aimed at creative people. With a better display, I could have easily recommended this laptop, but I have to go through it as it is.

Are there alternatives?

You can get a Dell XPS 15 for roughly the same retail price if you go down the specs a bit, and it's probably worth considering for the XPS 15's great build quality and harmonious design. Or, spend and get a little more Get equivalent performance with a much better display.

The HP Envy 15 is a solid competitor to the Galaxy Book Odyssey. It costs less and performs better with a much better display.

How long it will take?

The Samsung Galaxy Book Odyssey has some bends and bends in the lid and case, but it's not exceptional. It should last several years of typical use, and its components are up-to-date and should also meet Windows 11 requirements for years. As always, the one-year warranty is disappointing.

Should you buy it?

No. The Galaxy Book Odyssey is competitive in many ways, but you can get much better displays for the same money – and that's very important.

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