Sunday, December 18, 2016

Gigabyte P37X v6

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Gaming laptops with 4K displays were for a long time beautiful yet frustrating machines. High-resolution video, websites and icons may have looked razor-sharp on the desktop, but try to fire up a triple-A title and you’d be met with frame rates sludgier than a snail caught in a trail of treacle.


Thankfully, gaming laptops like the Gigabyte P37X came along to solve that. Powered by Nvidia’s new GTX 10-Series of graphics cards, they’re capable of desktop-like performance and make it possible to game at higher resolutions without titles running like slideshows.


Compared to newer entrants like the Acer Predator 17 X that sport 4K displays and are running on Nvidia’s older Maxwell-based GPUs like the GTX 980, the P37X makes much more sense. 


Gigabyte P37X v4 rear


Right on cue, the sixth iteration of Gigabyte’s P37X has turned up packing beefy GTX 1070 graphics and rocking a pin-sharp 4K display. It follows on from its predecessor, the P37X v5, which we reviewed almost exactly one year ago.


The generational leap in graphics is reflected in this new model’s price tag. As configured, our review unit will set you back £1,949 (around $2,431), which positions it out of reach of casual gamers.


With more affordable 17-inch laptops with GTX 1070s and 4K displays out there such as the HP Omen 17, does the Gigabyte P37X v6 do enough to impress? 



Specifications


CPU: 2.6GHz Intel Core (quad-core, 6MB Cache, up to 3.5GHz with Turbo Boost)
Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 with 8GB GDDR5, Intel HD graphics 530
RAM: 16GB DDR4 (2,400MHz) Max 32GB
Screen: 17.3-inch 4K (3,840 x 2,160) anti-glare LCD
Storage: 1TB HDD + 512GB SSD
Ports: HDMI 2.0, Mini DP, D-Sub, USB 3.0 x3, USB Type-C 3.1 x 1, Earphone, Mic-in, SD Card Reader
Connectivity: LAN, Wireless LAN 802.11 ac, Bluetooth V4.1+ LE
Camera: HD Camera
Weight: 2.8kg (6.17 pounds)
Size: 41.7 x 28.7 x 22.5cm (W x D x H)




Design


At 22.7mm in thickness, the P37X v6 is ever-so-slightly thinner than its 23mm-thick predecessor. Its 17.3-inch screen is one of the biggest you’ll see on a gaming laptop these days, and its looks haven’t really changed since the last model, with the laptop being decked in a sea of black plastic.


A silver power button, which feels a little spongy to press and doesn’t always turn on the laptop at the first time of asking, is all that breaks that up. The P37X’s design is low-key enough not to draw too much attention if you got it out in public, which may feel like you’re not getting a machine with enough gamer-cred considering its substantial price tag.



For better or worse, having such a demure design on a 17-inch laptop is actually something of a rarity these days. And, although it’s fairly thin, the P37X is pretty wide due to having both macro keys (to the left of the keyboard) and a full-sized numberpad to its right.


If you’re concerned about fitting your gaming laptop into a narrow backpack, or on a on a train table, then this could easily be a problem.


On the connectivity front you’ll get a plethora of ports, including HDMI 2.0 (for hooking up a compatible display) and USB 3.0. Gigabyte still feels the need to include a VGA port for some reason, which is a curious decision considering that the P37X’s 4K display will be far better than any VGA-equipped monitor out there. And it’s probably not for business users to hook up projectors, either.


The most interesting port here is the USB 3.1 connection, which uses the new USB Type-C standard. It doesn’t support DisplayPort Active, so you aren’t going to be using it to hook up an external USB-C monitor.


However, you can use it to connect a USB-C hard drive or any other number of compatible peripherals. We previously moaned about the not-so-subtle bright yellow USB-C port in the P37X V5, and Gigabyte has thankfully changed it to a black design for this edition.

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