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Our Verdict

The P55K V4 is a somewhat clunky beast and doesn't offer great battery life, but the performance you're getting for the money is undeniably tempting.

For

  • Speedy performance
  • Accurate full HD IPS display
  • Great virtual surround
  • Good connectivity

Against

  • Large screen bezels
  • Chunky body
  • Plastic all round
  • Average battery life

Serious gaming on PCs has never been a particularly cheap hobby, but as powerful desktop rigs have become more affordable, so too have gaming laptops that pack enough power to satisfy all your gaming needs.

Gigabyte may be better known for its quality desktop motherboards than its laptops, but after releasing the less powerful Gigabyte P35K V3 into the wild earlier in the year, it's back once again with the P55K V4. Featuring an Intel Core i7 CPU coupled with an Nvidia GeForce GTX 965M GPU, you can expect impressive performance at a bargain price that undercuts the HP Omen's price tag considerably.

Whilst the specifications may be good value for money, there is just enough detail in the P55K's design for it to stand out from other non-descript portable powerhouses and make it a genuinely appealing gamer's machine.

Design

Whilst we may not be dealing with a design award contender or a slim model with beauty pageant potential, the P55K V4 has a sleek sports car aesthetic that will appeal to young gamers, particularly with the orange accents that flank the sides and hinges.

Whilst the angular lines and mean-looking grilles may look ever-so-slightly Lamborghini-esque, every inch of the P55K's exterior is honed from relatively uninspired matte plastic. This means there's a little flex in the screen and a lack of the premium feel that you get from the latest (albeit more pricey) Dell XPS 15. Underneath all this plastic is a sturdy aluminium body, but you can't help but feel that a bit of variance in the materials used on the outside would have made a big difference.

Gigabyte P55K V4 side

The plastic finish is rather uninspired, though

Open up the lid and you'll notice that the plastic bezels above and particularly below the screen are also rather large, which unfortunately is necessary to allow the lid to line up with the body; were it not for the powerful components held within, I would have definitely expected a little less of the wasted space. Whilst the bottom bezel is home to nothing more than the Gigabyte logo, the top at least plays host to an HD webcam and microphone.

The full-size chiclet-style keyboard is responsive yet quiet, and spans most of the width of the laptop, which allows gamers plenty of room to thrash out commands or more productive types to slog through a few thousand words. The keyboard – like so many on gamer-centric laptops – is backlit with a blue LED hue that makes it easy to find the all-important W, A, S and D keys, or whichever other letters your game of choice might require.

Gigabyte P55K V4 keyboard

The keyboard is responsive, and keeps the noise down

The trackpad is very spacious, accurate and responsive, and it recognises the common gestures that Windows 8 users will be familiar with; though if you're a first-person shooter fan you will no doubt want to plug a mouse into one of the four USB 3.0 ports (two on either side). Of course, the Gigabyte P55K V4 is now upgradable to Windows 10 for free.

On the left edge there are also 3.5mm microphone and headphone sockets, as well as an optical drive. A Super Multi DVD RW drive featured on our review model, which can be exchanged for a rewritable Blu-ray drive for a little more. The left edge harbours both HDMI and VGA video outputs, along with a network port and a rather monstrous fan grille. The only other port worthy of mention is the SD card slot on the front, but unlike the P35K, there are no additional drive bays.

Gigabyte P55K V4 trackpad

The trackpad is also accurate and responsive

Weighing in at 2.5kg (5.5 pounds) and at 34mm deep it may not be the most svelte of 15.6-inch laptops around, but then with great power comes... a few extra millimetres around the waist.

The Acer Aspire V15 Nitro may be skinnier, and the pricey Alienware 13 more trendy, but the P55K V4 has just about enough to stand out from many of the other dull laptops lining the shelves.

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