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Gigabyte P57W-CF2 review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £1345
inc VAT

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


Processor: Quad-core 2.6GHz Intel Core i7-6700HQ, RAM: 16GB, Dimensions: 421x290x25.4mm, Weight: 2.9kg, Screen size: 17.3in, Screen resolution: 1,920×1,080, 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.

Performance and Battery Life

Under the hood, the P57W’s quad-core Intel Core i7-6700HQ processor is an impressive performer. This has a base clock speed of 2.6GHz but can Turbo Boost up to 3.5GHz when there’s enough thermal headroom. Paired with 16GB of DDR4 RAM and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 970M graphics card, this laptop is more than capable of running the majority of today’s games, packing a real punch no matter what you throw at it.

Admittedly, the GTX 970M is the same chip Gigabyte used in last year’s P37W, so you might find it tends to struggle with the very latest titles when played at the highest graphics settings. For example, the graphically demanding Metro Last Light ran surprisingly well at 30.1fps at a 1,920×1,080 resolution on Ultra settings with SSAO turned on, but turn SSAO off and you’ll see the frame rate jump up to a much more playable 51.8fps.Of course, with an HDMI 2.0 port at its disposal, the P57W is primed and ready for 4K gaming provided you have a compatible external monitor. Again, you’ll have to temper your expectations on graphics quality when playing games at this kind of resolution, but I managed a surprisingly good average of 30.2fps in Metro Last Light on Ultra graphics with the SSAO turned off. Turn SSAO back on and you’re looking at a much jerkier 22.3fps.


The P57W shouldn’t have any problem running older games, though, as our Dirt Showdown test produced an excellent 72fps at 1,920×1,080 on Ultra settings and 4x anti-aliasing. It is worth noting, though, that the Gigabyte P57W became quite warm during our game tests, with the fans kicking in quite loud as a result. This also meant the keyboard and palm rest heated up as well, making them slightly uncomfortable to use after prolonged periods.However, for more general Windows tasks, the P57W’s i7-6700HQ processor proved more than capable of handling our demanding 4K CPU benchmarks. With an overall score of 93, it’s almost as quick as our reference Core i5-4670K desktop processor. However, it’s also the lowest score we’ve ever recorded for this particular processor, so you’re not getting as much speed as you might expect. The Acer Predator 17, for instance, scored 108, the Dell XPS 15 came in higher at 111, but the Chillblast Samurai came in higher still at 115.

The P57W’s battery life isn’t something you’d write home about, either, as it only lasted 3 hours and 46 minutes in our continuous video playback test with the screen brightness set to our standard measurement of 170cd/m2. The P37W, by comparison, achieved just under 5 hours under the same conditions. Of course, considering the size of the P57W, you’re probably not going to be moving this laptop very far away from your desk, and it’s certainly no worse than the battery life on the Acer Predator 17, so it’s not really that bad all things considered.

With a 1TB hard drive and 256GB SSD drive on board, there’s plenty of space for your files and media. The P57W also allows for more flexible choices with regards to storage options, as it comes with an easily swappable bay for additional HDD storage, which replaces the disc drive.


However, the 17.3in, 1,920×1,080 IPS display on the P57W is arguably the laptop’s main downfall, as it didn’t exactly wow during testing. The screen is relatively bright at 329.2cd/m2, but this has a negative effect on black levels, which came in at a rather mediocre 0.32cd/m2. Likewise, with an sRGB colour gamut score of just 87.1%, it all adds up to make a rather dull and lifeless-looking display, with colours looking quite drab overall.

This lack of vibrancy is partly down to the fact the P57W’s display has a matt finish instead of a glossy one, which is great for combatting reflections, but less so for producing great-looking images. Still, its contrast ratio of 1,005:1 was pretty respectable, so at least you’ll see plenty of detail, even if the colours aren’t particularly rich.


All in all, the Gigabyte P57W is a perfectly commendable gaming laptop. Its GTX 970M is more than capable of handling most of today’s games, and its ability to venture beyond the realms of 1,920×1,080 gives it a unique advantage over its main competition. It’s also one of the subtler gaming laptops out there, which is a welcome change after the big, bulky designs of the Acer Predator 17 and Asus ROG GL552VW.

However, you’re also making a few compromises by choosing the P57W, as its day-to-day performance isn’t quite as good as it could be, and the sub-par accuracy of its display lets it down. As a result, those who don’t want to go down the Acer Predator route would be better off spending a little bit more to get the equally svelte Chillblast Samurai, as this is both faster and lighter than the P57W despite having the same internal components. Alternatively, those looking to save a bit of money should consider the Asus Vivobook Pro N552VW. This doesn’t have as fast a graphics card as the P57W, but it is roughly £300 less and comes with a 4K display as standard.

Alternatively, check out our Best laptops and buying guide for a conclusive list of all the best gaming laptops to spend your money on this year. Buy Now from Amazon

Core specs
ProcessorQuad-core 2.6GHz Intel Core i7-6700HQ
Memory slots (free)2 (0)
Max memory16GB
SoundRealtek HD Audio (3.5mm headphone and microphone port)
Pointing deviceTouchpad
Screen size17.3in
Screen resolution1,920×1,080
Graphics adaptorNvidia GeForce GTX 970M
Graphics outputsHDMI, Mini DisplayPort, VGA
Graphics memory3GB
Total storage256GB SSD, 1TB hard disk
Optical drive typeDVD-RW
Ports and expansion
USB ports3x USB3, 1x USB3.1
Networking1x 10/100/1000, 802.11ac
Memory card readerSD
Other portsNone
Operating systemWindows 10 Home
Operating system restore optionRestore partition
Buying information
Parts and labour warrantyTwo year RTB
Price inc VAT£1,277
Part number9wp57w005-TW-A-001

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