Price Analysis And Conclusion
Gigabyte seems to have found a winning formula with the P57W v6. We noted that one of Gigabyte's other offerings, the P37X v6, had a couple of issues. For one, the build quality wasn't solid, and the chassis was susceptible to flex. It also had the poorest thermal dissipation out of any gaming laptop we've tested thus far. The P57W seems to defy these issues: the build quality feels solid, while cooling the solution is one of the best we've seen. The P57W has the GTX 1060 GPU, whereas the P37X uses the GTX 1070. But because of this and some of the other component choices, the P57W provides a good value.
Our Gigabyte P57W v6 configuration performed slightly better than we've come to expect GTX 1060 laptops to perform. In synthetic and productivity tests it battles fiercely against the other GTX 1060 laptops, and loses out only against its more powerful cousin, the P37X v6. Our biggest performance concerns regard the storage speeds, which suffer due to the use of Plextor's LiteOn CV3 SSD, which falls short against the Samsung SM951, which seems to be the popular choice in gaming laptops.
In our game benchmarks, the P57W separates itself from both the Asus Strix GL702VM and the MSI GE72VR Apache Pro on numerous occasions, particularly in extremely demanding games. In Grand Theft Auto V, the P57W scores better than either laptop almost across the board, and in one scene manages 30 FPS while the others cannot quite get there. The P57W also maintains over 30 FPS in Rise of the Tomb Raider, whereas most GTX 1060 laptops cannot. The only system that definitively outperforms the P57W is Gigabyte's own P37X, and that's because it's packing a much more powerful GTX 1070.
The P57W's battery life is also exceptional, and during our Tomb Raider battery run-down we came just seven minutes shy of two hours. This comes close to matching the Asus Strix 17, one of the few laptops we've tested that actually surpasses the two hour mark.
Additionally, the P57W's display is incredibly accurate as far as gaming laptops are concerned. The contrast levels are great, although white luminance can be improved. It loses a bit of RGB balance at mid-level brightness settings, but they even out at higher brightness settings. Grayscale and overall color errors are comparatively low as well.
Our biggest critique of the P57W is strictly aesthetic. Whereas most gaming laptop vendors try to differentiate products with overly aggressive designs and flashy lights, Gigabyte plays it safe, or perhaps too safe. There's nothing wrong with how the P57W looks, but in a market that is dominated by ostentatious designs, there isn't much that makes it stand out. For some of us, that could be a good thing, but we prefer just a little flair.
With the release of Intel's 7th generation Kaby Lake processors, the price on Skylake-equipped laptops is falling (we'll be covering Kaby Lake laptops soon, so stay tuned). The Gigabyte P57W v6 originally retailed for $1,700, but it's now available for under $1,500. The P57W's biggest price competitor is the MSI Apache Pro, which it handily beats in all aspects, bar storage. Asus's Strix 17 provides ample competition, beating the P57W in a handful of metrics, such as battery life and doing so for nearly $100 less, the trade-off being no SSD storage.
If you have $1,500 to spend on a 17" gaming laptop and looks aren't a priority, we'd recommend the Gigabyte P57W.
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