Page 1: Reviewed: Gigabyte P37X v5 with GTX 980M
With a height of 22.5 mm, the Gigabyte P37X v5 is one of the thinnest gaming notebooks in the 17.3” class. Inside a brisk Skylake CPU is offered alongside a GeForce GTX 980M with 8GB of GDDR5 memory. Rounding off the core specifications are 16 GB of DDR4 RAM and a fast 256 GB SSD. Whether the low height impacts the cooling, though, is something we’re certainly going to be keeping an eye out for today.
The Gigabyte P37X is one of the thinnest gaming notebooks with 17.3” display. In terms of hardware, though, the v5 edition makes no compromises. The new version brings with it a height of just 22.5 mm making it much slimmer than most of its competition. Only the Razer Blade remains thinner at just 17.9 mm.
Performance doesn’t have to be compromised. On the contrary: The basic equipment includes an Intel Core i7-6700HQ, up to 16 GB DDR4 RAM and a GeForce GTX 970M. Those wanting to spend a little more money can choose to upgrade that to a GTX 980M. There is also a M.2 SSD with NVMe protocol and PCIe connectivity alongside a more traditional magnetic hard drive. In terms of display you can choose between a Full-HD 1920 x 1080 or UHD 3840 x 2160 which comes combined with the higher end GTX 980M. Rounding out the list of features is Wireless 802.11ac connectivity, Bluetooth 4.1, two 1.5 W speakers, Gigabit LAN, USB 3.0 and USB Type-C.
Our sample today comes nearly maxed out with a Intel Core i7-6700HQ and GTX 980M. However, we’re lacking the higher resolution UHD screen and instead find our GTX 980M paired with the Full HD 1920 x 1080 display. Gigabyte offer Windows 10 Home 64-bit on our 256 GB NVMe SSD. Additional storage is offered via a 1 TB HDD. Finally, we finish off with 16 GB of memory and a DVD burner.
Simple housing without flaws
Everything sits inside a 417 x 287 x 22.5 mm plastic housing. Both the screen cover as well as the top and bottom of the case are matte dark grey with a light brown passing through depending on the ambient light. In terms of flaws, nothing could be seen on our test system. The case is very resistant to pressure, however, the resistance to deformation in the display could be more stable.
On the back there are a few air vents that help fresh air circulate throughout the system. The base finds a cover that helps access the memory while other components are accessed by taking apart the housing.
Directly below the screen we’ve got two 1.5 W speakers with a power button located in the center. At the base of the screen frame we’ve got the Gigabyte logo while a boarder of about 1.5 cm is seen on the side. The top and bottom of the frame come in larger at around the 2.5 to 3 cm mark making room for a HD webcam at the top.
Thanks to the larger 17” size a numpad is seen on the right side of the keyboard. However, unlike so many other notebooks, GIGABTYE has left the keys quite large here coming in at 16 x 16 mm. The end result is a typing feel that overall is very good with a pleasant key stroke and excellent feedback. In order to make using the device easy in darker environments, Gigabyte offer backlighting throughout the keyboard along with highlights on the WASD keys. Not only that, gamers also get five macro keys located down the left side of the notebook.
Bloatware and added software is fortunately lacking. After all, most of the important settings are down via Smart Manager, including screen brightness, volume, camera, WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0.
Good touchpad and plenty of connections
Pleasing is also the touchpad that comes in at 100 x 70 mm which isn’t particularly long, especially considering the left and right mouse buttons are integrated into the touchpad. However, sliding properties and reaction times are both good. For a gaming notebook, the touchpad may be above average, however, the fact that it’s moved to the left can cause accidental triggering of the mouse during intense gaming sessions. Of course, most gamers are going to opt for an external mouse at the end of the day.
Those wanting to make use of an external mouse can of course use one of the two USB 3.0 ports that are offered on the left side of the P37X v5.
Rounding out the connectors here is a Kensington lock, SD card reader and obligatory 3.5 mm jacks for connecting a headset too.
Those wanting to make use of an external display can do so via one of the three available video out connectors which include HDMI, DisplayPort and an older D-Sub connector for those who are possibly using something like an older projector. Also on offer here is our power connector, third USB 3.0 port and a newer USB 3.1 Type C connector that also supports Thunderbolt. Internally we’ve got dual-band Wireless 802.11ac networking and Bluetooth 4.1.
A peculiarity is found directly beneath the keyboard. Here, either a DVD Burner or a Blu-ray Combo drive can be installed. On request, this can also support an additional 2.5” hard drive or SSD for those wanting even more storage.