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Gigabyte P57W-CF2 review

Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
1,345
inc VAT

The Gigabyte P57W doesn't disappoint when it comes to performance, but its screen and overall build quality could be better

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Specifications

Processor: Quad-core 2.6GHz Intel Core i7-6700HQ, RAM: 16GB, Dimensions: 421x290x25.4mm, Weight: 2.9kg, Screen size: 17.3in, Screen resolution: 1,920x1,080, Graphics adaptor: Nvidia GeForce GTX 970M, Total storage: 256GB SSD, 1TB hard disk. 

The P57W leads the charge in Gigabyte's new flagship gaming laptop range, coming in at just over £1,200. However, while it’s one of Gigabyte’s higher-end gaming machines, it falls short when it comes to build quality, using a cheap plastic chassis that lacks any kind of premium physical features.

As far as gaming laptops go, the Gigabyte P57W definitely falls in at the chunkier end of the spectrum, weighing around 2.9kg. This is much heavier than Gigabyte’s P37W v4 we reviewed last year, and you'd struggle to carry it around on your travels. Still, when you sidle it up against some of its rivals, such as the Acer Predator 17, it’s still comparatively slim, coming in at 25.4mm with the lid closed.

Keyboard and touchpad

However, its black plastic chassis lacks the kind of premium build quality you’d expect from a high-end gaming laptop, and the keyboard housed within was particularly disappointing. The keys showed a noticeable amount of flex when pressed, resulting in a bouncy feel when typing, and the hinge also seemed a little flimsy, as the screen often wobbled if I was typing particularly heavily.

That said, the P57W was still very comfortable to type on, and Gigabyte’s so-called “anti-ghosting 30-keys rollover keyboard” never once missed an input, even when typing at speed. Admittedly, ‘ghosting’ (when keys don’t register properly after you press them) is a pretty rare occurrence, but at least gamers needn’t worry about missing an action when they’re knee-deep in their favourite twitch shooter.

For everyday use, though, all the keys are relatively well-spaced. As is the case with many of Gigabyte’s gaming laptops, though, there’s no gap between the number pad and the rest of the keyboard. This can sometimes make the keyboard feel a bit cramped when typing for long periods of time, which isn’t exactly what you’d expect on such a large, 17.3in laptop.

The P57W’s also lacking the P37W’s gaming macro keys. In fact, the only 'gamer centric' functions you’ll find on the keyboard are the outlined WASD keys. This is a shame, as there’s more than enough space above the keyboard for extra buttons and features.

At least the sizeable touchpad makes good use of the space below the keyboard. However, I found its integrated buttons could be quite temperamental. For instance, a left click was often mistaken for a right click, and it resulted in some rather frustrating misclicks. It’s also prone to picking up greasy fingerprints, which left me having to clean the keyboard much more frequently than other laptops I’ve used in the past. If you're a bit of a clean freak, this laptop may not be for you.

Ports and connections

At least you’re not left wanting when it comes to ports and connections. With three USB3 ports and one USB 3.1 port, there’s plenty of room for connecting multiple peripherals, and there’s even a USB 3.1 Type-C port, allowing you to charge modern smartphones like the Nexus 5X and LG G5 while also benefitting from faster transfer speeds. There's also an SD card reader, a DVD drive, a Gigabit Ethernet port and separate headphone and microphone jacks.

You also won’t struggle to connect the P57W to an external display either, as there’s VGA, DisplayPort and HDMI 2.0 connections. The latter will be particularly good news for those with a 4K monitor, as HDMI 2.0, which lets you take full advantage of your monitor’s 60Hz refresh rate, unlike HDMI 1.4 which limits you to 30Hz. Just make sure your monitor supports HDCP 2.2. Continues on Page 2

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