Gigabyte P35X v6 suitable for both work and play

The laptop's Blu-ray combo drive can be swopped for a hard drive.
The laptop's Blu-ray combo drive can be swopped for a hard drive.PHOTO: GIGABYTE

The Gigabyte P35X v6 is a gaming laptop that does not look remotely like one. It does not have colourful LEDs, logos that pulse rhythmically or muscle-car-inspired ventilation grilles.

Its keyboard backlight is the standard white, not red or blue.

And it has a plain, all-black chassis (with the Gigabyte logo on its aluminium lid). Its dark metal finish does become grubby after some use, but I prefer its solidity over a plastic chassis.

At around 2.4kg, the P35X is about as heavy as a typical 15-inch notebook. The Dell XPS 15, for instance, is about 2kg.

But when it comes to running the latest games, the performance of the P35X will blow away most 15-inch laptops, including the XPS 15, which has a dedicated GeForce GTX 960M graphics chip.

In fact, the P35X is probably faster than last year's gaming laptops, thanks to its new GTX 1070 graphics chip.

In my testing, it managed around 84 frames per second (fps) in Crysis 3 at 1,920 x 1,080 pixels and at Very High setting. In comparison, last year's Asus ROG G752 gaming laptop, which has an Nvidia GeForce GTX 980M chip, scored 55fps in Crysis 3 at the same settings.

  • TECH SPECS

  • PRICE: $3,399

    PROCESSOR: Intel Core i7-6700HQ (2.6GHz)

    GRAPHICS: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 8GB GDDR5

    RAM: 16GB

    SCREEN SIZE: 15.6 inches, 1,920 x 1,080 pixels

    CONNECTIVITY: 1 x USB 3.1 Type-C, 3 x USB 3.0, HDMI, Mini-DisplayPort, VGA, Ethernet port, SD card slot, audio jacks

    BATTERY: 75 watt-hour


    RATING

    FEATURES: 4/5

    DESIGN: 4/5

    PERFORMANCE: 4/5

    VALUE FOR MONEY: 2/5

    BATTERY LIFE: 1/5

    OVERALL: 4/5

Most of the credit goes to Nvidia for the dramatic improvements in its latest 10-Series graphics cards that make the P35X powerful enough to drive a virtual reality headset.

This dedicated graphics chip also makes the P35X suitable for content creators and professionals, as it is handy for tasks such as video rendering and photo-editing.

However, Gigabyte was unable to reduce the fan noise one often associates with gaming laptops. The P35X is fairly noisy when a game is running and, despite the cooling fans, the keyboard gets warm too.

My review set comes with a 1,920 x 1,080 pixels IPS display, though Gigabyte has a 4K (3,840 x 2,160 pixels) screen option.

I would be hesitant about taking up this pricier 4K option, simply because running a game at the higher resolution, while feasible, may require you to turn off some graphical effects to maintain a smooth gaming experience.

Below the touchpad and at the lip of the laptop is a Blu-ray combo drive. You can swop it for a hard drive to supplement the 512GB solid-state drive and 1TB hard drive already present.

The P35X's HDMI port supports version 2.0 - a useful feature for those with a 4K monitor.

This means that it can output video to an external display at 4K resolution and at up to 60 frames per second.

At $3,399, the P35X costs more than the similarly configured Asus ROG Strix GL502 ($2,698) that I tested recently.

I am not a fan of the plastic-clad Strix's appearance, but its pricing is more attractive.

Vincent Chang

• Verdict: Those who prefer a more understated, less gaudy-looking laptop for work or play will find the P35X to their taste.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 02, 2016, with the headline 'Gigabyte P35X v6 suitable for both work and play'. Print Edition | Subscribe