Schenker XMG P506 review

This gaming dark horse can punch above its weight

Schenker XMG P506

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We liked

This P506's battery life, solid construction, upgradable memory slots (up to 32GB) and lack of horrible bloatware are all significant plus points. In benchmarks, Schenker's machine holds its own against more expensive rigs with better GPUs — particularly Gigabyte's P35X v5 and its GTX 980. The XMG might not boast a 4K screen but its 1080p display is a delight, and the aluminum backing means it's unlikely to get damaged when being carted about.

The placement of the power socket on the back edge is a rather pleasing part of the design as the cable won't get in the way of using an external mouse or drive. The 1TB HDD means big games like GTA V won't make a huge dent, and the inclusion of a generous 256GB Samsung SSD for the OS speeds up the wake and sleep. All that, and a free sticker and lanyard.

We disliked

Despite the impressive benchmarks we're unsure as to how future-proof this notebook is as some newer games had to be played on the lowest setting. It's also a pound heavier than its closest rival the MSI GS60 Ghost. Another potential downside is that the design might not be flashy enough for some gamers, though others may love its black brutalist architecture.

Final verdict

This is a well-performing midrange gamers' laptop that won't break the bank. In addition you get the benefit of the customizable elements and sound, if blocky design and oodles of ports. The P506 is hard enough to take many a knock too.

It might not be a 4K gaming marvel or have an Nvidia GTX 980M inside, but that's to be expected at this cost. Its battery life isn't market leading, but it's impressive for a gaming machine, and the screen is a marvel to behold. Overall, this is an above average performing gaming laptop which is more than the sum of its parts.