Thursday, 10 March 2016

Gigabyte P57W

Gigabyte P57W

A reasonably priced laptop that combines both performance and looks

We’ve had a few high-performance laptops through our doors recently, each as good as the last and each offering some pretty impressive mobile gaming.

We thought we’d seen everything the industry has to offer – until Gigabyte sent us its latest gaming laptop.

The Gigabyte P57W is monster laptop with a 17.2" IPS display, an equally impressive 2.6GHz Intel i7-6700HQ processor, 16GB of DDR4 memory and a three-storage system that includes a 256GB Liteon M.2 SSD (with Windows 10 64-bit Home preinstalled), a second 1TB Hitachi hard drive and a swappable DVD optical drive – with an included SATA bay caddy to change the optical drive for another hard drive or SSD.

Graphics come courtesy of an Intel HD530 for traditional 2D work, and for gaming there’s an Nvidia GTX970M with 3GB of memory to help shift those polygons around the screen.

Connectivity is good, with three USB ports (one 3.0 type-A, one 3.1 type-C and a standard 2.0 port), HDMI, VGA, gigabit Ethernet, mini-DisplayPort, an SD card reader and a pair of audio/headphone ports.

Obviously, there’s 802.11ac and Bluetooth 4.1 available as well, along with a 720p HD camera and a pair of 2W speakers. The keyboard is a fullsized anti-ghost 30-key rollover backlit affair, which is well laid out and a pleasure to use, even when you’re not gaming. The touchpad, too, covers a large area, is responsive enough for Windows use and some gaming – if you’re one of the lucky few who can effectively use a touchpad for gaming.

The design of the P57W is very similar to that of the other Gigabyte P-range laptops. A jetblack with orange trim colour scheme is used throughout, with a kind of rubberised look to the chassis, which is quite a decentlooking effect.

In terms of performance, the P57W managed to score an overall 9,655 in 3DMark 11, which puts it pretty high on our list of tested systems. In realworld gaming, though, we’re talking about Fallout 4 at maximum settings at 1080p, as well as other titles such as Star Wars Battlefront, Tom Clancy’s The Division and Elite: Dangerous. In short, you can happily play the most recent games without too much trouble.

The battery was surprisingly good with the P57W too – something we’ve found Gigabyte does well when producing its laptops. Looping a full HD video, a full charge battery lasted just over four hours before we needed to plug it back in again. Gaming too managed a decent three hours before the warnings started to appear. Obviously less intensive applications could push the battery life well over five or six hours, depending on what you’re doing.

Naturally, you’re going to pay a fair bit for this level of performance. However, the Gigabyte P57W is one of the best gaming laptops we’ve tested for some time. It looks great, performs magnificently and has some great features. So price isn’t so bad when you think about it. If you can afford it, then it’s certainly one to consider. David Hayward

Good performance, and it looks superb.