This is the Clark Kent of laptops. Like the alter ego of Superman, this gaming laptop cuts an unassuming appearance but hides a powerful force. It is a machine that lets you run the latest games smoothly.
The source of its power is the Nvidia GeForce GTX 970M chip, the second-most powerful mobile graphics chip in Nvidia's stable. It packs enough grunt to run Crysis 3 at around 30 frames per second at full-high-definition resolution and with the graphics setting at High.
While there are faster gaming laptops out there, the Gigabyte strikes a good balance between performance and portability. At around 1.8kg, this 14-inch laptop is just about light enough to lug around everywhere.
It looks good, too. Sure, it is not as sleek as the latest ultrabooks, but its aluminium chassis is not that much thicker. In fact, the Gigabyte (20.9mm) is thinner than the 13-inch Apple MacBook Pro with Retina display (21.9mm), though Apple's laptop weighs less, at 1.58kg.
The Gigabyte's matte screen has good viewing angles. Colours are vibrant, though the display has no touch function. For a 14-inch display, the 1,920 x 1,080-pixel screen resolution should be more than adequate.
The keyboard is backlit. The LED is white instead of the typical red or blue ones favoured by gaming machines.
If this laptop has a weakness, it is the dual fans that keep it cool. When spinning at maximum speed, the noise they produce is distracting.
You can, of course, drown out the noise by turning up the volume or wear a pair of headphones. You can also reduce the fan speed using the Gigabyte Smart Manager app.
But while changing the fan mode to Stealth is recommended for normal computing tasks, it is probably best to let the fans run at high speed when playing games.
I would also recommend that you disable the Windows logo key via the Smart Manager to avoid accidentally hitting it and disrupting your gaming session.
It is equipped with both a solid-state drive and a hard drive. This pairing ensures games and apps load quickly, while having enough storage for most users.
This laptop is available at Gameproshop (at Funan and Sim Lim malls). It is not cheap but there are few gaming laptops as capable and portable as this.
An excellent all-rounder that is perfect for working adults with a gaming hobby.
Processor: Intel Core i7-4720HQ (2.6GHz)
Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 970M 3GB GDDR5
Screen: 14 inches, 1,920 x 1,080 pixels
Connectivity: 4 x USB 3.0, HDMI, VGA, Ethernet port, SD card reader, audio jack
Battery: 61 watt-hour
Value for money 3/5
Battery life 1/5
This article was first published on Mar 25, 2015.
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