Gigabyte P55W v5 review

Tiger stripes on a gaming laptop that roars

Gigabyte P55W v5

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Its design might not excite, but Gigabyte's P55W v5 has many redeeming qualities. Its Nvidia GTX 970M inside is a capable performer, and although it's not quite as strong as the 980M in other laptops Gigabyte's choice of mobile GPU helps keep costs down.

We liked

You'll never have to worry about which games will play well at 1080p thanks to the GTX 970M inside. Its 3GB of video memory isn't huge, but it's easily enough for you to load up even the most demanding titles and flick the quality settings all the way up.

Featuring a pleasingly bright display and tactile, deeper-travel keyboard, the P55W v5 also excels as a general-purpose computer that you can get work done on inbetween bouts of gaming. Whether using it for entertainment or being productive, the P55W's battery life can extend past the four-hour mark which is a rarity for gaming-focused machines.

We disliked

The P55W's display is bright, but it isn't sharp. I would prefer to see a QHD+ display option at the very least; it's not a huge resolution leap over 1080p these days but makes Windows 10 much more usable - especially when it comes to reading text on websites or typing up documents. And while the P55W is more portable than its P57W cousin thanks to its smaller chassis, it's not exactly Ultrabook-sized and isn't the most suitable option if you're going to be transporting it daily.

Final verdict

Gigabyte has achieved an impressive balance with the P55W v5. A combination of Intel's most power laptop processor and Nvidia's highly capable GTX 970M makes for a machine that can reach the golden 60 fps with graphics details dialled up to 11 in the latest games. Its efficient cooling system and well-positioned vents means you can game with it on your lap for hours on end, and games look great on its bright display.

Although 1080p is the best choice for gaming, it goes against the P55W's excellent productivity chops which are helped by its comfortable keyboard and above-average battery life for a gaming machine. If the P55W's successor loses some thickness from the body, sheds some weight and ups the screen resolution while keeping the same powerful innards, Gigabyte could really be onto a winner.

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.