Gigabyte P34G v2 review
Gigabyte packs giant-slaying performance into a compact, portable 14in laptop with decent battery life
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.
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.
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.
|Price ex VAT||£824|
|Price inc VAT||£989|
|Features & Design||5|
|Value for Money||5|
|Dimensions||340 x 239 x 23mm (WDH)|
Processor and memory
|Processor||Intel Core i7-4700HQ|
|SODIMM sockets free||1|
|SODIMM sockets total||2|
Screen and video
|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|
|Replacement battery price inc VAT||£0|
|Wired adapter speed||1,000Mbits/sec|
|802.11 draft-n support||yes|
|Integrated 3G adapter||no|
|PC Card slots||0|
|USB ports (downstream)||2|
|PS/2 mouse port||no|
|9-pin serial ports||0|
|3.5mm audio jacks||1|
|SD card reader||yes|
|Pointing device type||Touchpad|
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|
Operating system and software
|Operating system||Windows 8 64-bit|
|OS family||Windows 8|