Gigabyte P2542G Gaming Notebook Review

P1210048

 

Taiwanese company Gigabyte, one of the pioneers in the motherboard industry, they also offer affordable graphic cards and notebooks. With their newest P2542G gaming notebook, Gigabyte promises to provide the best  quality and high performance notebook for the extreme gamers without hitting the 100k pesos price range. So let’s see if the P2542G live up to its promise.

Before we proceed with the review, let’s take a look at the specs of the P2542G:

 

OS Genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium
Genuine Windows® 7 Professional
Genuine Windows® 8
Genuine Windows® 8 Professional
CPU 3rd Generation Intel® Core™ i7-3610QM Processor (2.3GHz-3.3GHz)
Display 15.6″ Full HD 1920X1080 LED backlight
System Memory 2/4/8GB DDRIII 1600, 2 slots (Max 16GB)
Chipset Mobile Intel® HM77 Express Chipset
Video Graphics Intel® HD Graphics 4000
NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 660M GDDR5 2GB
Supports NVIDIA® Optimus™ Technology
Storage 128GB mSATA SSD
24/32/64/128GB mSATA SSD + 750GB 2.5″ 9.5mm HDD 7200rpm
256GB 2.5″ 9.5mm SSD
*The mSATA SSD and SSD storage will be used for Intel® Rapid Start Technology and system recovery. Actual storage space use will depend on shipping specifications.
Optical Disk Drive Blu-ray Rewritable Drive with BDXL Support
I/O Port USB(3.0)*2, eSATA/USB(2.0) Combo*1, HDMI, D-sub, RJ45, Mic-in,
Earphone-out, 4-in-1 Card Reader (SD/MMC/MS/MS Pro), DC-in Jack
Audio 1.5 Watt Speaker*4, Woofer speaker*1, Microphone
Communications LAN:10/100/1000Mbps Ethernet
Wireless LAN:802.11b/g/n
Bluetooth:Bluetooth V4.0
Webcam 1.3 Megapixel
Security Kensington Lock
Battery Li-ion 6-cell, 5400mAh, 60.95Wh
Dimensions 392(W) x 263(D) x 32.1~38.3(H) mm
Weight ~2.6kg (w/ODD and 6-cell battery)

The review unit we used was installed with a Windows 8 Operating System and only has the 256 GB SSD as the storage device.

 

 

The P2542G is really big and heavy, weighing at 2.6 kg and a whopping 15.6″ screen, the size and weight will make it difficult for some to bring the laptop anywhere. The design of the laptop is pretty slick; the cover has the glossy yellow finish and the design of the dual vent heat exhaust makes it feel like it’s an expensive sports car.

The keyboard layout also includes the numpad part, but it would be nice to have a separate media buttons. Volume, power and smart menu buttons are located in the upper right portion from the keyboard section. The touchpad has only one bar button which has both the left click and right click mouse button and the size of the pad was not that large that your palms won’t touch the pad while you are typing or playing.

 

 

The P2542G has two USB 3.0 ports which can be a letdown as there were only two ports available, it would be nice to have additional ports (like one or two USB 2.0 ports are still ok). It also has an HDMI port and a VGA port if you want use an external monitor such as LED TVs/Monitors for your viewing pleasure. The microphone and audio jack would be better if it was placed in front, not on the side.

The screen boasts a 15.6 inches size that lets you view 1920×1080 resolution for the best HD experience. The images and videos are so sharp and clear that you will you the best experience for your games and movies.

With a Solid State Drive installed in the P2542G, the reading and writing speed in your files are much faster compared to standard hard drives, the other version of the P2542G lets you have two hybrid drives (standard Sata HDD and SSD) giving you fast cache (SDD) for data that are frequently used and a larger storage (standard HDD).

 

 

Now let’s talk about the performance of the gaming notebook, with an Intel i7-3610QM processor and 8GB DDRIII of RAM, you are definitely getting the fastest computing performance. We tried running multiple applications (video game, video player, video converter software, web browser) and still the P2542G can run without any hiccups, we even able to boot the Windows 8 OS in just a couple of seconds (from the boot up screen up to the start menu) thanks to the Intel Rapid Start Technology, turning the unit on from its sleep mode is also fast, in around 6 seconds you will be able to resume on where you stop on your applications in no time.

For the sound quality, the P2542G is equipped with 4 dual channel speakers (2 below the monitor and 2 under the notebook) and a sub woofer beneath the gaming notebook for that high quality surround sound. The quality was a bit okay and you can actually hear the surround sound, but since this is still a laptop speaker, the quality wasn’t still that great compared to actual speakers, but still a big leap for conventional laptop speakers.

The unit has the Geforce GTX 660M graphic card with 2GB of Video RAM which is a monster for laptops, you will be able to play all the new games with high settings. We made some play tests with Borderlands 2, Dishonored and Torchlight 2 on high settings and we are impressed with the results. Borderlands 2 was able to maintain 60 frames per second even when the PhysX engine is set to medium, Dishonored also gives a really high framerate as well. Torchlight 2 managed to get max framerate and an exceptional rate (40-50 fps) when lots of monsters are in the screen. all the games are tested in 1920×1080 resolution. We conducted a benchmark test on the GTX 660M with the Unigine and it was able to get get results.

 

unigine

 

 

With the dual vent on the P2542G, the laptop will emit lesser heat, we tried playing Torchlight II for 6 hours straight in a non-air conditioned area and the laptop does not produce any extreme heat, which is good as most laptops would produces high heat in long sessions of playing.

And now for the battery life, since this monster has powerful specs, this will definitely needs a really powerful battery, and good thing this monster has a Li-ion 6-cell, 5400mAh battery, we managed to watch an anime marathon (around 9 episodes of Guilty Crown) before we recharged the laptop, that’s around 3 hours (each anime episode runs around 20 minutes), as for gameplay time, it can last for an hour and a half depending on the game, if it requires higher processing power, the battery can only last an hour or less.

 

 

Overall the Gigabyte P2542G Gaming Notebook has all the specs that will you want to get best gaming and HD video experience, although this gaming notebook is heavy and large compared to other units, the sheer power of this notebook makes up to its bulky size. Don’t let the PhP 75,000 price tag discourage you, most branded laptops with supposed higher specs would reach more than a hundred thousand and not all have the similar or better spec with the P2542G. If you are considering a gaming laptop and you have the extra cash, invest on the Gigabyte P2542G.

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