The Gigabyte P34G won't earn oohs and ahhs at the local Counter-Strike tournament or from your friends. But it will when you tell them what the laptop is packing – and how much you paid. That's the point of this machine, after all. This editor is impressed, especially considering the competition.
Let's make no bones about it: While Gigabyte has come a long way in build quality, the P34G still doesn't stack up to the likes of Alienware and Razer in terms of style. And despite the fact that gaming notebooks aren't known for their lasting power, the weak battery life on display here is tough to ignore.
Regardless, the competition simply cannot offer this level of performance for the price. This setup costs hundreds more in competing gaming laptops. And some competitors aren't even able to match the components on offer from Gigabyte here. Between that and fantastic software features like Ultra Boost, there's a lot to admire in the Gigabyte P34G.
Let's start with the obvious: the price. A similar combination of components costs another $300 in the Alienware 14. And, to even get remotely close, Razer will charge $400 more. The value here is undeniable, but of course comes with its trade-offs. Regardless, if your number one concern when buying a gaming laptop is price, the P34G is largely unmatched.
That you can easily overclock the P34G through UltraBoost is a major plus. Many competing gaming rigs offer similar solutions, but few, if any, are as simple. With one click, you're running at max GPU frequency with no worry of bricking your system. PC gaming purists might cry foul at the lack of fine control, but who cares? There are plenty of solutions available for those folks – this is the fast lane to upping the texture detail or anti-aliasing.
The P34G can play Titanfall, which hasn't even been released yet (as of this review, I sampled the beta), at its highest settings and 2x anti-aliasing. That said, the future looks quite bright for this mobile gaming rig. That's an important piece of knowledge when you're purchasing a gaming PC that isn't as easy to upgrade as a desktop.
It's a concession that shouldn't surprise you, given this laptops price and guts, but be prepared for a machine that doesn't feel as luxury as the boutique vendors'. While Gigabyte slapped an aluminum lid and base on the P34G, it's nowhere near as sleek as the Razer Blade.
The inputs available here aren't the best of the best, either. The keyboard deck clearly isn't a single cut of aluminum, and the touchpad isn't what I'd call a quality experience. While brightly backlit, accurate and well-spaced, the keys aren't as snappy as I'd like. And returning the to the touchpad: multi-touch gestures leave much to be desired.
Finally, battery life is basically nonexistent on this device. While it shouldn't be a terrible concern, given that gaming laptops aren't built with endurance in mind, it's definitely worth noting. At just 2 hours and 30 minutes, the P34G won't keep up with you even outside of your games. Basically, fight for that outlet adjacent table at the coffee shop.
The Gigabyte P34G might not look or feel all that luxurious, but after a week with this power-packed gaming laptop, I felt spoiled by its performance. When it comes down to parts for pennies, this system goes uncontested. And that the P34G can play Titanfall at the highest settings with no problem makes me confident in its lasting power.
While you won't get the flashy lights of the Alienware 14 or the slick build of the Razer Blade, you'll pay less for the same gaming experience and then some, framerate wise. You'll want to use a mouse, even when you're just poking around the web, and having a nice mechanical keyboard waiting for it on your desk wouldn't hurt either.
This notebook offers great portability without sacrificing power or ports. All considered, the Gigabyte P34G is an amazing value and a portable beast of a gaming rig.