In order to give this laptop a fair shake, I’ve used it for three weeks as my go-to machine at work and home. That includes writing and graphics work, as well playing a nice assortment of various videogames. These included World of Tanks, Borderlands 2, Neo Scavenger, Super Hexagon, StarCraft II, Call of Duty: Ghosts, Counter-Strike Global Offensive, Kerbal Space Program, Bioshock Infinite and Trackmania Stadium.
I’ve also performed a range of benchmarks on the machine to get a quantitative sense of its performance. Let’s see the results!
The Gigabyte P27K is heavy. Carrying it from place to place is a chore, particularly as the large dimensions preclude it from fitting into most messenger bags or on train tray tables. Once you’ve reached your destination though, you’re rewarded with a very comfortable work machine.
The 17″ screen at 1080p resolution offers enough space to multi-task comfortably, while Windows 8.1 provides a good blend of new-style Metro apps and classic Windows applications. The keyboard and touchpad are usable enough here, and I’ve written the bulk of this review on the laptop without issues.
Performance is good for day-to-day use, with the SSD making short work of loading up applications and the HDD allowing for plenty of media storage as well. The 128 GB SSD filled quickly – a 256 GB model is definitely the ideal – but with careful consideration I was able to fit everything I needed on there. The Core i7 CPU and 8GB of RAM were also sufficient for my needs, with even heavy Photoshop workloads unable to bring the laptop to a crawl.
Battery life was acceptable – between four and five hours in most situations, but using the graphics card (e.g. on games or heavy Photoshop work) cut this in half, at best.
Overall, this is a capable work machine – it’s too heavy and large to make transporting it convenient (unless you’re packing it into your car), but as a desktop replacement to be used on a desk at work or home, it’s fine.
Of course, you wouldn’t buy a gaming laptop if you just wanted to use it for Office and web browsing. The Nvidia GTX 765M proved a capable performer on the P35K, and it’s much the same here. You can get good framerates (30-60 FPS) in almost all games at 1080p, and that’s fantastic. The larger size seems to have had a good effect on noise and thermals too; even on heavy workloads the laptop remains inaudible and doesn’t get too warm either. While some games – like Borderlands 2, Kerbal Space Program and Call of Duty: Ghosts – weren’t capable of being run at their highest settings, I think the P27K is very reasonable for a 2013-vintage laptop.
On a media front, things are a little mixed. The screen is good – if not as perfect as you’d expect to find on a professional monitor or a Macbook – but doesn’t have the best viewing angles or colour reproduction. It isn’t enough to ruin a movie, but it’s not class-leading either. The speakers are also pretty woeful, with little depth and bass response. Still, you can hook the machine up to a surround system and that problem disappears!
As a gaming and media laptop, the P27K is a strong performer as we expected.