The Gigabyte P35W v5 is currently available with a 1920×1080 display from Overclockers UK for £1199.99 plus shipping. This edition is the main unit designed for the UK market but a 4K model will be released at a later date. According to Gigabyte, the 4K version will cost £1399.99 when it finally arrives in major stockists. In terms of value, the P35W v5’s base model offers compelling value due to a very potent specification when compared to rival products. The 4K model does have a premium associated with it, and I honestly feel for gaming purposes it’s not the unit you should be choosing.
Gigabyte’s gaming laptop range traditionally adopts a more understated design philosophy compared to their nearest rivals which makes each model a suitable choice for business scenarios. This means you can leverage the extra power to do photo editing or light video work, while playing games in your spare time using one device. This level of versatility is excellent and greatly helped by the 20.9mm frame. Personally, I’m extremely fond of the matte finish and subtle styling which evokes a professional feel. Of course, it might not cater to consumers wanting RGB illumination and a colourful theme but at least there’s something to suit varying tastes.
The 2.3Kg weight isn’t a huge barrier to portability and it didn’t feel too cumbersome when carrying the system in public places. However, I would like to see the weight reduced to under 2Kg to provide a better user-experience. On a more positive note, the matte coating is able to resist fingerprints and maintain a clean aesthetic. The chiclet keyboard is comfortable and my typing speed didn’t dramatically reduce after switching from a mechanical keyboard. I wasn’t overly impressed with the integrated audio and Gigabyte needs to do some work to improve in this department. Although, it’s not a shocking revelation given the thin form factor. Overall, the system’s build quality is excellent and demonstrates a high level of expertise.
Another highlight is the laptop’s battery life which provides enough longevity to complete rudimentary tasks for a considerable amount of time. The duration compared favourably to other products and it’s even more impressive when you think of the space limitations on such a compact model. Of course, intense tasks like gaming drain the battery quickly like any other gaming laptop on the market. Usually, consumers like to disconnect the power cord when writing documents, watching the odd video or web browsing without feeling attached to a power outlet.
This particular variant of the P35W v5 is confusing due to the 4K panel and GTX 970M 6GB chipset. Even high-end desktops struggle to play modern games on a 4K monitor and requires major concessions. Subsequently, it’s almost impossible to enjoy any mainstream release using the system’s native resolution. The 1920×1080 model makes a lot more sense and finds the perfect balance between image quality and performance. Similarly, some applications struggle to scale well on a screen with such a large PPI. As a result, text can be difficult to read, or there’s a lot of empty space. In my opinion, the 4K option is utterly pointless for a gaming laptop, and I’m glad Gigabyte is keeping the 1920×1080 laptop as the default option.
On a more positive note, the boot NVMe M.2 SSD is absolutely stunning and capable of astonishing read/write speeds. The 128GB capacity is just enough to install the operating system and a few programs. In theory, I’d like to see a 256GB drive as standard but this would increase the asking price by a decent amount. I do think the ultra fast boot drive, and large 7200RPM mechanical storage allows the operating system to perform brilliantly while having enough room to install various games.
During idle conditions, the P35W v5 is ridiculously quiet which results in a glorious user-experience. Once stressed the laptop’s noise increases by a respectable amount and it’s perfectly usable. Although, users who demand silent running will find the noise output a little bit irksome. To be fair, it’s a vast improvement over the P34W v3 and very good for a laptop of this ilk. Sadly, the system’s cooling hardware isn’t up to scratch and unable to tame the CPU’s thermals under load. In fact, the CPU thermal throttled and reached a eye-watering maximum result of 99C. Gigabyte desperately needs to address this in future models and ensure the CPU load temperatures are in the low 90s at worst. Thankfully, the system is cooler during games and the CPU runs at the maximum turbo frequency without throttling. The GPU fared much better and remained quite cool throughout the testing procedure.
When deliberating if the P35W v5 was worthy of an award, I really felt torn because of the thermal loads. The system, provided you opt for the 1920×1080 offers superb value, and has a great specification. Furthermore, the performance in games is brilliant and it’s surprisingly portable. However, the 99C temperature in AIDA64 is a real cause for concern and made me hesitate when making a final decision for some time. Eventually, I believe the laptop just about deserves our gamer’s choice award because the high thermals are limited to benchmarking programs. If the situation occurred during games, I would refrain from granting any award because of the performance constraints.
- Comfortable keyboard
- Extremely quiet during idle states
- Fantastic networking
- Ingenious swappable storage bay included
- Great battery life
- Matte surface resists fingerprints quite well
- Sophisticated styling
- Superb frame-rates up to 2560×1440
- Thin display enhances portability
- USB 3.1 Type-C connectivity
- Very easy to open to perform upgrades
- Wonderful NVMe read and write performance
- Audio solution is lacking compared to MSI alternatives
- 4K resolution doesn’t match the GTX 970M’s graphical capabilities
- Extremely high thermals under load
“Gigabyte have made real progress with the P35W v5’s to construct a stunningly quiet, high performing gaming laptop which retails for a very competitive price. However, the cooling apparatus struggles to keep the CPU running optimally and needs to be improved in future products.”
Gigabyte P35W v5 Gaming Laptop Review
Thank you Gigabyte for providing us with this sample.