Gigabyte P55W v5 review

Tiger stripes on a gaming laptop that roars

Gigabyte P55W v5

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When it comes to specs, the Gigabyte P55W is primed for 1080p gaming at high quality, if not maxed-out settings. Nvidia's Maxwell-based GTX 970M, which is still the second-most powerful single-configuration mobile GPU available in gaming laptops, is more than up to the task of chewing through the latest titles thanks to its 3GB of video memory.

Spec sheet

Here is the spec sheet of the Gigabyte P55W v5 provided to techradar:

  • Processor: 2.6GHz Intel Core i7-6700HQ (quad-core, 6MB cache, 3.5GHz with Turbo Boost)
  • GPU: Nvidia Geforce GTX 970M (3GB GDDR5); Intel HD Graphics 530
  • RAM: 8GB DDR4
  • Screen: 15.6-inch full HD 1,920 x 1,080 IPS anti-glare LCD
  • Storage: 128GB SSD; 1TB HDD
  • Optical drive: Super Multi DVD-RW
  • Ports: 3 x USB 3.0 Type-A, 1 x Type-C USB 3.1, HDMI 2.0, Mini DP, VGA, RJ45, microphone-in, analogue/optical headphone-out, SD card reader
  • Connectivity: 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1
  • Camera: HD webcam
  • Audio: 2 x 2 watt speakers, microphone, Dolby Digital Plus Home Theatre certified
  • Battery: Li-ion 6-cell 5400mAh (63Wh)
  • Weight: 2.5kg (5.5 pounds)

Having Intel's flagship mobile processor, the Core i7-6700HQ, only helps the P55W eke out maximum gaming performance. Its abililty to run eight virtual cores through hyperthreading is a particular boon if you use video-editing and other applications that can take advantage of multithreading.

The internal SSD is large enough to store a small selection of files that you require faster access to, along with two or three medium-sized games. It also helps the machine boot in a snap, and any applications loaded from it spring into life almost instantly. The majority of your Steam library will sit on the capacious 1TB spinning hard drive.

Gigabyte P55W v5

The trackpad and keyboard are located along the left-hand side of the base, which takes some getting used to if you've been using centered laptop keyboards. The upshot of that is the right-hand numberpad, which is an advantage for number-crunchers but I would prefer to see a row of dedicated macro keys along the left-hand side instead. The P57W v5 benefits from macro keys and that machine a much more viable option for MOBA and MMORPG players.

Gigabyte P55W v5

There's a decent amount of travel in the keyboard's keys which makes it more comfortable to type on than other aaming laptops with short-travel keys - including the P57W v5. If you're looking for an entertainment machine that's equally suited for typing up long documents, the P55W is a fine choice.

A small amount of flex is detectable in the keyboard in the keyboard if you press down hard on it, particularly around the centre which never proved a problem under general use. Its accompanying trackpad is is roomy and provides plenty of space for executing Windows 10's various gestures.

Gigabyte P55W v5

Port selection is decent, with VGA, ethernet, HDMI, micro USB and a traditional USB-A port on the left-hand side. On the right hand side are two more USB-A ports, headphone and microphone jacks, a DVD writer and the power connection. The P55W's power brick is large but not excessively so - it's certainly no monster like the breezeblock that accompanies the Octane II.

Kane Fulton
Kane has been fascinated by the endless possibilities of computers since first getting his hands on an Amiga 500+ back in 1991. These days he mostly lives in realm of VR, where he's working his way into the world Paddleball rankings in Rec Room.