Gigabyte Ultrablade P35K review - hands on
Posted on 6 Jun 2013 at 02:40, by Tom Morgan
Gigabyte launched several new laptops at Computex this year, but one of the most interesting has to be the Ultrablade P35k - it's an incredibly portable 15in notebook with a high-quality IPS display, optical drive and dedicated Nvidia graphics, which should be able to handle even the latest games. We spent some time with the system on the Gigabyte stand here in Taipei to bring you our hands-on impressions.
Even before opening it up, the Ultrablade P35K makes an impression with its sand-blasted aluminium lid, which changes colour from gunmetal grey to a shiny purple shade depending on how the light hits it. At 21mm thick and weighing 2.2kg, it's practically an Ultrabook, so you should have no trouble fitting it in a bag for taking on the move.
Despite its slim proportions, there are plenty of ports around the sides of the P35k - twin USB3 ports, HDMI and VGA outputs on the right and two regular USBs, twin 3.5mm audio jacks, Ethernet and a multi-format card reader on the left. We also noticed a Thunderbolt port on one side, although it was covered up on the demo unit on display - according to a Gigabyte representative, it will be an option when the laptop goes on sale.
Internally, you'll find the latest 4th Generation Intel Core i7 processors (previously known as Haswell) and 8GB of RAM. The display model was using a Core i7-4950HQ CPU running at 2.4GHz, but Turbo Boost can push all four cores up to 3.6GHz when thermal limits allow.
Nvidia's GeForce GTX 765m provides the graphics capabilities. It has 2GB of dedicated video memory, so should easily handle new games with high resolution textures. Unfortunately there were no games installed on the demo unit, so we weren't able to put it to the test. Nvidia's Optimus technology is also on-board, meaning the laptop will default back to Intel's integrated graphics when running on battery power.
Gigabyte has moved the optical drive from it's traditional location at the side of the laptop to the front, just below the touchpad. There's a release switch on the underside that will let you swap it out for an extra hard disk, should you need more storage. There's already room inside for twin mSATA SSDs and a 1TB mechanical hard disk, so you could potentially have a massive 3TB of storage if you wanted.
The keyboard uses full-size, Chiclet-style keys and is fully backlit, letting you keep working - or gaming - in the dark. We had no trouble typing, thanks to the responsive keys that bounced back quickly after each press, although we did spot a bit of flex in the keyboard tray. The touchpad is an all-in-one design, which felt reasonably accurate, although we'll have to wait until we get the final version in for review to fully judge it.
One of the Ultrablade's defining features is its display - the Full HD, 1,920x1,080 resolution panel uses IPS technology, which means fantastic viewing angles. Despite some bright overhead lighting on the show floow, we had no trouble viewing the screen, which was vibrant, colourful and very sharp.
We have yet to learn pricing or availability for the Ultrablade P35K, other than the fact it should be on sale later this year. With its impressive build quality, high performance components and beautiful screen, Gigabyte could be on to a winner if the price is right. As always, we'll be bringing you a full review a little closer to launch.
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