A Week With: The Gigabyte P2742 laptop

 

Price: From £929
Operating system: Windows 8
Processor: 3.4GHz Intel Core i7-3630QM
Graphics Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M
Memory: 8GB DDR3 RAM
Storage: 8GB SSD or 128GB SSD paired with a 750GB or 1TB hard drive
Screen: 17.3in; full HD 1920x1080

What is it?

A powerful gaming laptop that won't break the bank, which is a compelling proposition when you consider that up until a year or two ago, affordable yet portable PC gaming was unheard of. Until then you either bought a monstrously expensive powerhouse – such as Dell's Alienware M18x – or settled for a mid-range PC notebook and stuck to playing graphically undemanding web-based titles such as FarmVille. So a hearty welcome to the P2742: a well-specced laptop from Taiwan-based PC manufacturer Gigabyte that promises to blast through the latest heavy-duty titles such as Crysis 3 at a price below average for this class of computer.

What's under the bonnet?

Gigabyte is aiming to hit the specification/price sweet spot here by coupling a speedy 3.4 GHz Intel i7-3630QM processor and a full HD screen with a gaming-worthy graphics card – Nvidia's Geforce GTX 660M – all for around a grand. The other innovation at this price point is the pairing of a large, spinning hard drive with a secondary storage component, a lightning-fast SSD (solid state device) for swiftly loading the operating system. This allows the laptop to boot up into Windows 8 from cold in 15 seconds.

How does it play?

First the good news: once you've downloaded and fired up the free digital copy of adventure game Assassin's Creed 3, the levels load up swiftly, with the gaming world smoothly rendered in glorious high definition. This rig even plays the notoriously resource-hungry, first-person-shooter, Metro 2033 – albeit with graphical settings dropped down a few notches. Movies run well on its crisp 17.3in screen too.

How does it look and feel?

Its understated jet-black chassis is a welcome change from the garish, architectural monstrosities that usually blight the designs of hard-core gaming laptops.

Any downsides?

While this laptop could be a contender for cheapest super-sized gaming rig in town, it's also marred by several shortcomings: push the laptop to its performance limits and its normally whisper-quiet cooling fan erupts into a distracting roar. And while the built-in speakers jut out impressively, the sound is tinny and weedy. It's also hard to overlook that fact that, as 2013 gathers pace, more and more Windows 8 PC devices feature a touch-screen as standard, which this device, like most gaming laptops right now, doesn't feature.

Is it worth the money?

Certainly not if you're just going to use it for a spot of Facebook trawling or YouTube browsing. But remember that true gaming grunt doesn't come cheap: you can easily blow two grand on a gaming rig from laptop specialists such as Origin. So if you can overlook the limitations, the P2742 represents good value for anyone keen to play the latest PC games away from a desktop. If that still feels like too much – and you're willing to take a further hit on gaming performance – Dell's £810, Inspiron 17R Special Edition laptop is worth a look. Available to pre-order on amazon.co.uk.

Sport
sportSo, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
Arts and Entertainment
Dennis speaks to his French teacher
tvThe Boy in the Dress, TV review
News
One father who couldn't get One Direction tickets for his daughters phoned in a fake bomb threat and served eight months in a federal prison
people... (and one very unlucky giraffe)
Arts and Entertainment
Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Arts and Entertainment
Brendan O'Carroll as Agnes Brown in the 2014 Mrs Brown's Boys Christmas special
tvCould Mrs Brown's Boys have taken lead for second year?
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
The Plaza Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia was one of the 300 US cinemas screening
filmTim Walker settles down to watch the controversial gross-out satire
Sport
Alexis Sanchez missed a penalty before scoring the opening goal with a header at the back post
footballArsenal vs QPR match report
News
Members and supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community walk with a rainbow flag during a rally in July
news
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz in Tim Burton's Big Eyes
film reviewThis is Tim Burton’s most intimate and subtle film for a decade
Arts and Entertainment
Jack O'Connell stars as Louis Zamperini in Angelina Jolie's Unbroken
film review... even if Jack O'Connell is excellent
Arts and Entertainment
Madonna is not in Twitter's good books after describing her album leak as 'artistic rape and terrorism'
music14 more 'Rebel Heart' tracks leaked including Pharrell Williams collaboration
News
i100
Sport
Rooney celebrates with striker-partner Radamel Falcao after the pair combine to put United ahead
footballManchester United vs Newcastle match report
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Ashdown Group: Moodle Developer (PHP ,Linux, Apache, MySQL, Moodle)

    £35000 - £45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Moodle Developer (PHP ,Linux, Apache...

    Recruitment Genius: Web Developer

    £17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

    Recruitment Genius: Junior .NET Web Developer - Winform / MVC

    £21000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Award-winning pharma softw...

    Recruitment Genius: Senior Java Developer

    £30000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Java Developer is requ...

    Day In a Page

    A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

    Christmas without hope

    Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
    After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

    The 'Black Museum'

    After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
    No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

    No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

    Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
    Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

    Chilly Christmas

    Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
    Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
    Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

    'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

    Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
    Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

    Ed Balls interview

    'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
    He's behind you, dude!

    US stars in UK panto

    From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
    Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

    Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

    What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
    Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

    Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

    Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
    Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

    Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

    Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
    Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

    Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

    Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
    Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

    Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

    Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
    Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

    Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

    Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
    Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

    Autism-friendly theatre

    Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all