The perfect entry-level gamer.
We commence our gaming road trip with one of the cheapest true gaming laptops available, Gigabyte’s brand-spanking-new P15F. At just under $1500, it doesn’t get much cheaper than this without moving to a GPU that would struggle with Minecraft. Powered by NVIDIA’s GTX 850M, let’s see how fast this budget beast can run.
The black plastic case looks more like something you’d find in an accountant’s office than a gaming den, with absolutely no hints that it’s built for killing virtual zombies. It’s plastic all the way around, and feels a little flimsy compared to some of the sturdier machines. Thankfully there’s no keyboard flex when using the Chiclet keys, which are devoid of any backlighting. It’s quite heavy (2.5kg) and fat (31.4mm) compared to some of the Ultra-thin models now hitting the market, but it’s much thinner in the wallet-shredding department.
The 15.6 inch LCD panel runs at a native resolution of 1920 x 1080, and at default settings is a little dim for our liking. Thank god it has a matte finish; glossy finishes might look sexy, but turn the PC into a makeup mirror. Viewing angle performance was less than perfect, with the image darkening if the user isn’t perfectly centred, but on the flipside it had excellent contrast and colour performance.
Our review version arrived with a single 256GB SSD, which had 222G8 of usable space once Windows had done its thing, and there’s the option to install more SSDs to set up a RAID configuration. A single 1TB mechanical drive provides long term storage.
Intel’s quad-core, HyperThreaded i7-4710MQ CPU hovers anywhere between 2.5GHz and 3.5GHz, and is a steal at this price, especially considering it also have 16GB of memory. NVIDIA’s GTX 850M rounds out this potent little package. Performance was downright excellent for this price. We ran our tests at High instead of Ultra, but they still looked detailed; even better, they ran smoothly on this PC. At this price it’s hard to complain, but then again there are significantly better laptops available for just $500 more. Still, if $1500 is your absolute limit, the P15F V2 offers serious bang for your buck.
• Solid performance
• Affordable Price
• Well-specced inside
• Cheap feel to plastic chassis
• Average display
• Heavy and hot
by Binh Phan Duc
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