The first wave of GTX 10-series notebooks has been all about extremes. The more powerful ones configured with GTX 1080 GPUs are typically hefty beasts with sizable cases, while at the very opposite end of the spectrum is Razer’s GTX 1060-powered Blade that almost feels like waving a MacBook Air above your head in comparison.
Gigabyte’s P57X v6 is one of the one of the physically larger Pascal-based offerings, but it’s not overly bulky or heavy – and you won’t even mind gaming with it on your lap for extended periods. Its 17.3-inch display means you could get away without using an external monitor for playing games or watching movies, so long as you’re not bothered about a lack of real-state on the desktop. That’s right: despite its sizable frame, the sixth iteration of the P57X swims in the safe waters of 1080p.
Even so, it can be equipped with either a GTX 1060 or 1070 for maximum graphics grunt. Gigabyte could have probably slipped a 1080 inside, but there’s more than enough performance on tap here considering its standard display resolution.
Design-wise, the P57X is instantly recognizable as one of Gigabyte’s gaming laptops from recent years. The company’s laptops tend to be much more down to Earth in the looks department compared to ones by its subsidiary company, Aorus, and the P57X is no departure.
Its two-tone black-and-orange color scheme is understated yet eye-catching, refreshingly absent of ostentatious design flourishes like Mayan patterns, flashing RGB lighting and capacitive LCD displays. If you like your gaming laptops a little bit plain and practical – but not dull – then you’ll enjoy what the P57X has to offer. Along the bottom of the base is a strip of lights that indicate whether Bluetooth is turned on and when battery power is low.
There isn’t much here in the way of premium materials, however. If you don’t like your gaming laptops to feel like oversized plastic lunchboxes, then the P57X won’t be for you. It doesn’t feel cheap, but the absence of any metal in the P57X’s construction means you won’t get build quality on a par with, say, the Asus ROG G752.
Having an all-plastic construction has its downsides. Pressing down hard enough on the keyboard or trackpad causes the body to flex, and it’s too easy to bend the lid by placing each hand along a side edge and giving it a sharp twist. You wouldn’t pick up the P57Xv6 anywhere other than its base just to be on the safe side.
The upshot is that all of this helps keep the weight down. At 6.6 pounds it’s noticeably lighter than the ROG G752’s back-breaking 9.7 pounds. It’s also more appealing than a slew of 17-inch “potable” gaming monsters including the 2015 Alienware 17 (8.33 pounds), Acer Predator 17 (8.71 pounds) and the Origin EON17-SLX (10.5 pounds).
Cool under pressure
One of the neat things about the P57X is that it has a cooling system that heat is expelled through two fan grilles on the underside of the machine, in addition to ones located on the corners around the front. This prevents it from becoming too hot when you’re gaming, and you can even sit it on your lap for extended sessions without things getting uncomfortable.
The P57X runs incredibly quiet when you’re not gaming, with the low hum of the hard disk drive being the only audible noise. This changes when the fans kick in, but you’ll never hear it blasting air out like an over-excited extractor fan.