Packing a lot of power into a laptop is no easy task, especially if you want that laptop to be light and thin. That hasn't stopped Gigabyte from trying, though, as it is now introducing the "Ultraforce" P35X, which is a 15.6" gaming laptop that weighs in at just 2.2 kg and measures 20.9 mm thin at its thickest point. That's a little thicker than the Razer Blade's 17 mm, but you'll understand why momentarily.
We've mentioned that the laptop comes well-spec'd, but what exactly does that entail? For starters, it comes with either the Intel Core i7-4860HQ or the Core i7-4710HQ. Both are quad-core chips, although the former model comes with the more powerful Intel HD 5200 graphics built in. Factory memory configurations are either 4 GB or 8 GB, although this can be user-expanded to 16 GB if so desired.
For graphics, Gigabyte has filled the Ultraforce P35X with an Nvidia GTX 980M, which comes with 8 GB of GDDR5 memory. This GPU carries 1536 cores, and runs at 1038 MHz base, boosting if there is thermal headroom and throttling down when running on battery power. One of its features is a battery boost mode, which uses the Nvidia Geforce Experience application to change the game settings to battery-friendly levels when the system is unplugged.
Gigabyte didn't take it easy on the storage front, either. The laptop can hold up to two 512 GB mSATA SSDs as well as two 2.5" 2 TB HDDs, depending on the configuration. That might have forced Gigabyte to make the laptop a little thicker, because 2 TB 2.5" hard drives are thicker than 1 TB drives, and the heatsinks in the laptop probably have less wiggle room, meaning they also had to be thicker. However, it definitely puts this laptop in a desktop-replacement class for many potential buyers.
For a display, Gigabyte packed the Ultraforce P35X with a full-HD IPS panel, although variants will be available with 2880 x 1620 pixel resolutions, too. Topping it off, there is also a fully-backlit keyboard, a Blu-ray burner, and all the I/O connectivity you'll ever need from a laptop. In addition to the standard connectivity and ports we find on most laptops, the Ultraforce P35X includes a Mini-DisplayPort interface and a headphone jack with an SPDIF output. It also comes with 802.11ac WiFi.
Gigabyte told us that the laptop would be available starting December 5, although it did not give any information on pricing. When fully spec'd, though, we don't expect this one to come cheap.
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If they had made it any deeper or wider this thing would have become a 17" laptop the size of the GS70, that or they go the GS60 route and ditch the ODD.
On a positive note, mSATA SSD drives are much cheaper now and more widely available -- I have no idea how much PCIe version costs but I'm guessing a pretty penny more than mSATA.
In my bargain basement Acer laptop (which surprisingly meets or beats my gaming class laptop on almost all metrics)? It does not even have one and I'm fine with that.
ODD's are going to go the way of the dodo soon with streaming video and torrentable video.
This is an expensive GTX980M notebook , a high end . 50$ more for PCIe SSD wont make big difference at all .