Gigabyte P34G v2 review

23 Apr 2014

Gigabyte packs giant-slaying performance into a compact, portable 14in laptop with decent battery life

Price when reviewed 
989
5

Look at the name and the photos and you'll see nothing remarkable, but the Gigabyte P34G v2 is a gaming laptop that flies in the face of convention. On paper, the combination of an Intel Haswell CPU with Nvidia's latest 8 Series GPU isn't strictly new; the giant-sized MSI GE70 2PE Apache Pro has already beaten Gigabyte to the punch in delivering that combination. But the P34G v2, which will hit the shops later this month, performs the impressive feat of squeezing those high-power components into a slim, portable 14in chassis.

The Gigabyte doesn't wear its heart on its sleeve. The exterior is finished in an understated palette of matte-grey plastics, and it's only once you tilt back the slim, sturdy-feeling lid that proceedings are enlivened by a keyboard surrounded with a plate of silver metal.

Gigabyte P34G v2

Compared to the slick, stylish exteriors of cutting-edge Ultrabooks, the Gigabyte is less than enticing. That's not to say build quality is bad, though – it's anything but. The 1.7kg chassis feels well put together, and although it measures a relatively dainty 23mm across its thickest point, there's barely any flex or give anywhere.

The two sizable fan exhausts on each rear corner give a clue as to this laptop's capabilities. The quad-core 2.4GHz Core i7-4700HQ is normally more at home in 15in or 17in designs, and Gigabyte has partnered the powerhouse CPU with Nvidia's recently launched GeForce GTX 860M GPU, which is why it requires such a beefy cooling system.

Gigabyte P34G v2

There's even a modest amount of upgradability. Our review unit came with a single 8GB DDR3L SODIMM installed, leaving one RAM slot free, and a 128GB Lite-On mSATA SSD drive. Other models of the P34G v2 also have room for a secondary 2.5in HDD, but in this model there isn't enough room due to the larger battery.

Alongside the fastest laptops and mobile workstations on the market, the Gigabyte P34G v2 can hold its head up high. In our Real World Benchmarks the P34G v2 scored 0.99, a whisker ahead of far larger laptops such as the 3kg MSI GE70 2PE Apache Pro and the Dell Precision M3800.

Details

Price ex VAT £824
Price inc VAT £989
Overall rating 5
Features & Design 5
Value for Money 5
Performance 6

Physical specifications

Dimensions 340 x 239 x 23mm (WDH)
Weight 1.700kg
Travelling weight 2.35kg

Processor and memory

Processor Intel Core i7-4700HQ
RAM capacity 8.00GB
Memory type DDR3
SODIMM sockets free 1
SODIMM sockets total 2

Screen and video

Screen size 14.0in
Resolution screen horizontal 1,920
Resolution screen vertical 1,080
Resolution 1920 x 1080
Graphics chipset Nvida GeForce GTX 860M
VGA (D-SUB) outputs 1
HDMI outputs 1
S-Video outputs 0
DVI-I outputs 0
DVI-D outputs 0
DisplayPort outputs 0

Drives

Battery capacity 4,300mAh
Replacement battery price inc VAT £0

Networking

Wired adapter speed 1,000Mbits/sec
802.11a support yes
802.11b support yes
802.11g support yes
802.11 draft-n support yes
Integrated 3G adapter no
Bluetooth support yes

Other Features

Modem no
ExpressCard34 slots 0
ExpressCard54 slots 0
PC Card slots 0
USB ports (downstream) 2
FireWire ports 0
PS/2 mouse port no
9-pin serial ports 0
Parallel ports 0
3.5mm audio jacks 1
SD card reader yes
Pointing device type Touchpad
Integrated microphone? yes
TPM no
Fingerprint reader no
Smartcard reader no
Carry case no

Battery and performance tests

Battery life, light use 7hr 26min
3D performance (crysis) low settings 91fps
3D performance setting Medium
Overall Real World Benchmark score 0.99
Responsiveness score 0.93
Media score 1.03
Multitasking score 1.00

Operating system and software

Operating system Windows 8 64-bit
OS family Windows 8