Gigabyte P55 V4 gaming laptop review

Intel’s Broadwell mobile quad-core processor finally emerges in this Gigabyte gaming laptop. Find out how it performs in our Gigabyte P55 V4 review. See also: Best gaming laptops of 2015

Gigabyte is better known for PC motherboards, but the Taiwan company is bringing gaming laptops to the UK – under its own name and upmarket sub-brand Aorus. The Gigabyte P55 is an otherwise unremarkable 15-inch gaming laptop, its strong graphics abilities supported with a powerful GTX 970M graphics processor.

Move along Nvidia though, because while the GPU is the beating heart of a games station, the Gigabyte P55 V4 gains a new brain in the first quad-core 14 nm Broadwell chip for mobile notebooks. This gaming laptop is the first to use the new Intel Core i7-5700HQ, clocked at 2.7 GHz with Turbo to 3.5 GHz. See all laptop reviews.

Gigabyte P55 V4 review: Build and design

Gigabyte P55 V4 review

Black plastic with a satin sheen forms the casework of this chunky Gigabyte P55 V4 laptop, 36 mm thick and over 2.6 kg in weight. There’s a DVD drive to the right, a useful two USB 3.0 each side, HDMI and VGA on the left but no DisplayPort. A large exhaust vent whistles with warms air, turning to hot while gaming.

No access doors or removable battery are offered on the underside, and meshed air intakes here mean it’s less suitable for lap-top or carpet parking. Overall fan noise is not terrible but louder than the best of the current breed.

We found the Gigabyte P55 V4's keyboard somewhat clackety, and it gets warm. Backlighting has just two levels, while the Elan trackpad has no two-finger right-click option, nor felt particularly precise in use. Also see: Best budget laptops 2015.

Inside Gigabyte missed a chance to include faster 1866 MHz memory, instead using a single 8 GB module at 1600 MHz. The new CPU is an Intel ‘tick’ upgrade, a process shrink with potential energy savings. We measured 4 hr 07 min battery life from the laptop.

The 15.6in full-HD display is IPS-based but was unusually limited to 85 percent sRGB, and while the LG panel is specified to 300 cd/m^2 this dim sample couldn’t exceed 130 cd/m2. A viewing angle issue meant slight but noticeable colour shift with head movement, even face-on.

Storage is two-fold – a 128 GB boot SSD and 1 TB hard disk. For Wi-Fi the Gigabyte P55 V4 takes a recent Intel two-stream 802.11ac wireless adaptor.

Gigabyte P55 V4 review: Performance

Geekbench 3 scored the Gigabyte P55 V4 with a healthy 13,178 points (3349 points single-core), and the PCMark 8 result reinforced this result with 3328 points (Home Accelerated).

Most Windows action games should play at native screen resolution and high or even highest available detail – Tomb Raider 2013 zipped along at 163 fps average (Normal) and could still manage 59 fps at Ultimate.

The Batmark has a smaller range of adjustment, where the P55 ranged from 71 fps at 1080p and Medium, to 64 fps at Extreme. Metro: Last Light played at 69 fps (High) and 27 fps (Very High, all effects).

Read next: Best laptops 2015.

Gigabyte P55 V4: Specs

  • 15.6-inch (1920 x 1080) 141 ppi
  • IPS matt anti-glare
  • 2.7 GHz Intel Core i7-5700HQ (3.5 GHz Turbo) 4C, 8T
  • Nvidia GeForce GTX 970M + Intel HD Graphics 5600
  • 8 GB (1x 8 GB) 1600 MHz DDR3
  • 128 GB SSD + 1 TB 7200 rpm SATA HDD
  • gigabit ethernet
  • 802.11ac 2x2 MIMO
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • DVD±RW DL, tray-load
  • 4x USB 3.0
  • HDMI, VGA D-Sub
  • Kensington lock slot
  • SDXC card slot
  • stereo speakers
  • 3.5 mm headphones, S/PDIF optical
  • UK tiled keyboard with white backlight and numberpad
  • buttonless multi-touch trackpad
  • 150 W mains adaptor with IEC C5 inlet
  • 377 x 268 x 35.6 mm
  • 2615 g
  • 15.6-inch (1920 x 1080) 141 ppi
  • IPS matt anti-glare
  • 2.7 GHz Intel Core i7-5700HQ (3.5 GHz Turbo) 4C, 8T
  • Nvidia GeForce GTX 970M + Intel HD Graphics 5600
  • 8 GB (1x 8 GB) 1600 MHz DDR3
  • 128 GB SSD + 1 TB 7200 rpm SATA HDD
  • gigabit ethernet
  • 802.11ac 2x2 MIMO
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • DVD±RW DL, tray-load
  • 4x USB 3.0
  • HDMI, VGA D-Sub
  • Kensington lock slot
  • SDXC card slot
  • stereo speakers
  • 3.5 mm headphones, S/PDIF optical
  • UK tiled keyboard with white backlight and numberpad
  • buttonless multi-touch trackpad
  • 150 W mains adaptor with IEC C5 inlet
  • 377 x 268 x 35.6 mm
  • 2615 g

OUR VERDICT

We had issues with the Gigabyte P55 V4's underperforming display and keyboard and trackpad don’t meet quality for the price but this laptop is assuredly fast for gaming and other applications.

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