Good gaming laptop, good value for money

You can adjust the Gigabyte P55K display colour temperature to be warmer or cooler using an app.
Photo: Gigabyte

The Gigabyte P55K is one of the more affordable gaming laptops on the market at $2,099.

It is $300 cheaper than another recently released gaming notebook, the Lenovo Ideapad Y700. And the P55K has better graphics performance to boot.

In Crysis 3, it scored around 53 frames per second (fps) at High settings, while the Ideapad Y700 managed around 30fps. The Ideapad did have a slight advantage in general system benchmarks like PCMark 8 because it has 16GB of memory compared to the P55K's 8GB.

Still, compared to high-end gaming laptops, the P55K's performance is middle-of-the-road.

In fact, Gigabyte sells more capable gaming machines under its Aorus brand.

The good news is that the same useful, game-centric apps on the Aorus models are also in the P55K.

One such app is the Gigabyte Smart Manager, which lets you adjust the speed of the internal cooling fan, disable the Windows logo key to avoid accidental key presses during games, and change the colour temperature of the display, to name but a few of its functions.

Also preloaded on the P55K is the CyberLink DVD app, which is handy when playing a DVD using the laptop's optical drive. I was pleasantly surprised to find this feature because PC-makers often omit it in their latest models.

But I believe Gigabyte missed an opportunity here by equipping the P55K with a DVD writer over a Blu-ray drive. This is because the laptop has a HDMI 2.0 port that can output 4K content to an external display. With a Blu-ray drive, it would have been possible to use the P55K to watch a 4K Blu-ray movie on a 4K display.

The optical drive makes the P55K a bit thicker than some of its competitors. The laptop weighs around 2.5kg, which is reasonable for a 15.6-inch model.

But the P55K is a Plain Jane compared to the typical flashy gaming machine. It is almost entirely black, with two thin orange strips at the sides. Besides the white LED keyboard backlight, there are no decorative LED lights.

The full-sized keyboard has decent key travel, but it still feels mushy. The touchpad is smooth, but the buttons felt stiff when pressed.

Like most gaming laptops, the P55K has a 1,920 x 1,080-pixel matte display. Viewing angles are excellent. As mentioned earlier, you can adjust the display's colour temperature to be warmer or cooler using an app.

The exhaust vents are at the sides of the laptop. Rest your hand at the side during a gaming session and it will get uncomfortably warm. Gigabyte should consider moving these vents to the back of the laptop.

A mid-range gaming laptop that provides good performance and value. But its exhaust vents could be better placed.

Compared to high-end gaming laptops, the P55K's performance is middle-of-the-road. In fact, Gigabyte sells more capable gaming machines under its Aorus brand.

TECH SPECS

PRICE: $2,099

PROCESSOR: Intel Core i7-6700HQ (2.6GHz)

GRAPHICS: Nvidia GeForce GTX 965M 2GB GDDR5

RAM: 8GB

SCREEN SIZE: 15.6 inches, 1,920 x 1,080 pixels

CONNECTIVITY: 1 x USB 3.1, 3 x USB 3.0, HDMI, VGA, Ethernet port, SD card slot, audio jack

BATTERY: 63 watt-hour

RATING

FEATURES: 4/5

DESIGN: 3/5

PERFORMANCE: 4/5

VALUE FOR MONEY: 4/5

BATTERY LIFE: 2/5

OVERALL: 4/5

vinchang@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on February 03, 2016.
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