Schenker XMG P505 review

Michael Passingham
4 Mar 2015
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Schenker XMG P505
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
inc VAT

More powerful and better built than its predecessor, but competition is tight at this end of the market


 Nvidia's new generation laptop graphics processors have made their way into plenty of high-end gaming laptops, but to date we’ve only tested machines with the GTX 970M on board. The Schenker XMG P505 is our first opportunity to take a look at the top-end GTX 980M. It's fitting the chip arrives inside a Schenker laptop, as nearly a year ago it was this model's predecessor, the XMG P504, that gave us our first taste of the then top-end 880M.

Schenker XMG P505 back lid

There are some big differences between the two models, the most notable and obvious being the styling. The P504’s ugly box has been thrown out, replaced with a brand new Clevo-designed chassis with a thinner profile, better keyboard and more attractive materials. The P505 feels less like a utilitarian container for components and more like a laptop we wouldn't mind showing to our friends.

Schenker XMG P505 keyboard

The boxy edges of 2014 have been replaced with chamfered corners at the front of the lid and wrist rest. It's thinner, too, at just over 30mm compared to the older model’s 45mm, and it weighs just 2.5kg; the old model was a hefty 3.3kg. All this makes for a much more elegant laptop, although it's still very much stuck in "desktop replacement" territory.

Part of the reason for this slimmer, lighter chassis is the omission of an optical drive. This won't be a problem for buyers who have fully embraced streaming services, but anyone with extensive disc libraries may be disappointed. You’ll have to buy an external drive if you really need it, as there’s no option to add an internal one.

Connectivity is otherwise generous. On the right side you get two USB3 ports, gigabit Ethernet, an SD card reader and three 3.5mm audio jacks. There's also a slot for a SIM card, but this looks to be a leftover from an alternative product because the P505 does not have a 3G or 4G modem on board, and the slot is blocked off. On the left there's a third USB3 connector alongside an HDMI port and two DisplayPort connectors, making this laptop perfect for connecting to multiple monitors. Dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi comes as standard, too, so if you have a compatible router you should be able to achieve wireless speeds beyond 800Mbps.

The more compact chassis is still able to keep the new-generation Nvidia graphics chip cool under load; it maintained a steady 60 degrees Celsius throughout our testing. The 980M draws the same amount of power as the outgoing 880M, so this is quite the achievement.

Actual gaming performance at Full HD resolutions is very impressive. Although the 83.5fps scored in Dirt Showdown is actually less than what we achieved with the previous generation GPU, Crysis 3 saw a more noticeable improvement. 50fps was more than playable at 1080p and High quality settings, and was also a 10% improvement over the P504. Performance will vary from game to game, but the new 980M graphics card is undoubtedly a more powerful chip than its predecessor.

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