The P57X-v7, from an aesthetics standpoint, is a little underwhelming, lacking a lot of the gaudy flourishes and embellishments found on other high-end gaming notebooks. The 17.3” frame is (relatively) slim, coming in at 42cm X 29cm X 29mm, and weighs 3kg with the battery in place. It’s made entirely of rugged black plastic, with a sturdy hinge, an orange trim running along both sides, and two large, stylised air vents at the rear.
Opening up the laptop, you have a full-sized keyboard (with numpad), plenty of space to rest your wrists when typing or gaming, and a serviceable touchpad. Typing feels great on the backlit, chiclet-style keyboard but the lack of per-key RGB lighting or mechanical keys may disappoint some. Many dedicated or pro gamers investing in a gaming notebook will probably have their own mouse and keyboard setup but it would have been a nice addition. The highlight is the 16:9, 17.3” UHD IPS display (3840x2160 or 4K) that looks incredible in motion. There’s plenty of real-estate for multi-window work apps but it truly shines when used for gaming.
Flush with the sides, you’ll find a myriad of I/O ports that include: 3 x USB 3.0 (Type-A), 1 x USB 3.1 (Type-C), HDMI 2.0, VGA, mini DisplayPort, Ethernet, Mic-in, Earphone-out, SD Card Reader and the DC-in power jack. There is also a swappable 2.5” ODD or HDD slot should you need additional storage.
While the aesthetics may not grab your attention, the internal components certainly will. The P57X-v7 review model had a new Intel i7-7700HQ processor (2.8GHz base – 3.8GHz boost), 32GB of DDR 2400MHz RAM (2X 16GB), and the mobile variant of nVidia’s GTX 1070 with 8GB GDDR5. As is common with most notebooks, the CPU has down-clocked single-core performance compared to desktop PCs but the new GTX 10-series laptop cards offer near identical performance to their desktop counterparts.
If you need a lot of storage, the P57X-v7 has you covered with an M.2 SSD slot, a 2.5” HHD slot, and the aforementioned swappable ODD/HDD slot. The review unit came with a 512GB SDD, on which I installed all games and work-related apps, and a 7200RPM 1TB HDD for other media or backups. These components generate considerable power draw through the 200W adapter and, as could be expected, the Li-Polymer 75.81Wh battery takes strain. For normal work-related activities, such as typing up this review, you can expect 5-6 hours of battery life. Gaming on the battery eats through charge quickly and results in throttled performance but this is not unexpected and, as with all gaming notebooks, you’ll want to keep the P57X-v7 plugged in for optimal gaming performance.
With Windows 10 installed and drivers updated, it was time to get to work (and play). With no work-related software that would truly tax the P57X-v7, I turned to benchmarking tools to get some basic data.
For productivity, I used PCMark v8, running repeated tests using the Home, Work and Creative benchmarking tools to generate average scores:
Enjoys games with awesome stories and characters, along with new and interesting hardware. Dislikes day-one patches and driver updates.
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1 February 2017
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