Although Gigabyte may be more renowned for its range of desktop motherboards and graphics cards, it has more recently become deservedly well-known for its variety of gaming-focused laptops.
Following up from the notable Gigabyte P55K V4 we looked at last year, the Taiwanese manufacturer brought a new selection of gaming laptops to CES 2016, the pick of which may well be the 17.3-inch Gigabyte P57Wv5.
Although it may not be quite as slim, light, or pack quite the graphical processing power of the top-end Gigabyte P37X, the P57W has more than enough to chew through any game you might throw at it. Under the hood, a speedy combination of the latest Intel Core i7-6700HQ Skylake processor and Nvidia GTX 970M graphics rivals most desktop gaming rigs for power.
While it is not as thin as the Acer Aspire V15 Nitro, or as quite as trendy as the Alienware 17, the Gigabyte P57W makes for an enticing package that – on paper at least – strikes an even balance of price and performance.
Finding an angle
The subtle, angular aesthetic combined with a dash of orange accenting does not make this the most outlandish of gaming laptops, but there are more than enough stylistic details to let onlookers know you're suitably equipped to take on any game of your choosing.
While it looks and feels nice enough, the polycarbonate shell is missing the swathes of aluminium you'll find on alternatives such as the Asus ROG G752, and doesn't quite look as premium as the HP Omen.
Inside there's a full-sized backlit chiclet-style keyboard, which has W-A-S-D keys that are specifically outlined to signify their obvious importance on a laptop built with gaming in mind. The chunky bezel around the 17-inch IPS screen means that there's plenty of space surrounding the keyboard and trackpad, which makes for easy simultaneous use of the large trackpad and keyboard.
Though it may be large, I did find the trackpad overly sensitive, sometimes picking up the subtlest of movements when I was simply trying to double tap. This resulted in a few windows being flung across the screen unnecessarily, and pages sometimes scrolling a little when I clicked. Of course, if you're planning on doing any serious gaming on the P57W, it's likely you'll want to invest in a decent mouse anyway.
Underneath the trackpad, the DVD drive ejects towards you – an unusual configuration that makes it a little trickier to cater for when using a slimmer desk. If you're of the opinion that physical media is a thing of the past, then you will be pleased to know that Gigabyte includes a weight-saving facia to replace the disc drive – should you wish.
On the left side there are two super-speed USB 3.0 sockets, an SD card reader, network and audio connectivity. On the right edge you'll find another USB 3.0 socket, a Type-C USB, HDMI, Mini DisplayPort, analogue video output and the power connector.
Though there are thinner alternatives, the Gigabyte P57W isn't the bulkiest 17-inch laptop around, and a respectable weight of 2.9KG makes it only 400g heavier than its 15.6-inch cousin, the P55K V4A. At 421(W) x 290(D) x 24.9(H)mm, it's a shade thinner than the less powerful MSI GE72 Apache Pro.