REVIEW Gigabyte P15F- Budget gaming (HD, 4710MQ and GTX 850m)

Discussion in 'Portable & Small Form Factor' started by mcfee03, Jun 24, 2014.

  1. mcfee03

    mcfee03 Member

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    Preliminarily review- First Impressions

    First review of this laptop (in the world)-

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    Specifications:
    The Nvidia GTX 850M (2GB) ranks 40th for its’ performance (Reference). It comes with 8GB DDR3 1600Mhz Ram (1x stick) and an Intel Core i7-4710MQ 2.5GHz - 3.5GHz (47W, 6MB Cache). The icing on the cake was the 2 year International warranty (including pickup/return within Australia)
    Hard drive capabilities are very good- it comes stock with an optical drive SSD/HDD cradle. So you can seamlessly pop your hard drive straight in. It can support 4 Hard drives in total (2x mSATA SSD's and 2x SATA HDD’s).

    Product page

    I bought it from eStore Australia- despite the little detail on their site, very good customer support and was at my door after 2 days.

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    This hits a unique spot in the market, for me. I wanted a laptop suitable for:
    • Work/the professional environment
    • Occasional gaming
    • Reasonably slim(not ultra, but thinner than standard gaming/entry level)
    • Comfortable for web design, video editing and photo shop (so 1920x1080).
    • Outdoor use (Matte display)
    • Reasonable battery (4hr minimum)

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    Laptops considered:
    • Gigabyte P15F v2 (~$1220AUD purchased)

    • Dell 15 1500 (~$999AUD special)
    For the saving of ~$200, I didn’t think it was worth jumping down to the Dell. The only benefit was the touch screen. The Radeon R7 r265M GPU is ranked significantly lower than the 850M (135th vs 40th), and it was quite a bit thicker (438mm vs 314mm). On top, the Gigabyte gives a 2 year international warranty.
    • Gigabyte P35G (~$1549AUD)
    This is a slimmer (209mm vs 314), lighter (2.16kg vs 2.5kg) version of the P15F, carries a GTX 860m (4GB) and has up to 7 hours battery. Costing around 30-50% more than the P15F, I decided against it as performance wise it wasn’t much of a jump (860m ranks 35th, however the performance increase is said to be around ~25-35%).

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    I had 2 big concerns before buying this:
    • Battery life- Being such an unknown laptop, I could not find any idea of it’s’ battery life. Doing some calculations I figured it should last for around 4 hours with standard use
    • Gigabyte- A relatively new Laptop manufacturer for Australia. I have no idea of their reputation. 2 year international warranty definitely helped eliminate my concerns.

    So far:
    • Reasonably slim (314mm)
    • Great shape- angles make it far less cumbersome than others I considers (such as the Dell Inspiron 15 1500)
    • Optical drive bay- SSD cartridge comes in the box

    • Battery has been okay. Took 3hrs 40 minutes to reach 10% under medium use (Youtube, and installing programs)
      UPDATE: Battery Eater '05 - it reached 1hr 52minutes.
    • Screen flexibility could be better- being a non-IPS screen the viewing angles aren't great. So when viewing it whilst standing (for example) you can't lay the screen out flat (like on other laptops I've used)...

    • Screen: brightness seems a little dim and viewing angles are bad. Is there a technical reason for either of these issues?
    • Power adapter a little heavy- is this unavoidable with this kind of powerful laptop?
    • Touch pad- software missing some key features I like (ie like tap zones for actions like mute, minimize etc. (maybe I can replace it with Synaptics software- will report back)
    • Possibly a noisy fan

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    Plans for further review:
    1. General usage after 1 week (using Windows 7)
    2. Gaming (Hareware temps)
    3. Noise levels
    4. Battery analysis
    5. Customer support/service from Gigabyte

    Any other requests/questions please go ahead and ask

    NB: For those on 8.1, Windows Updates will fail and it's caused by HotFix KB2920189. The P15 installs it, then on reboot it takes about 30 minutes as it says "Could not install update. Undoing changes"
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2014
  2. Tech-Kid

    Tech-Kid Member

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    Looks great, more photos please!
     
  3. OP
    OP
    mcfee03

    mcfee03 Member

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    Battery life is an issue... I struggle to get 2.5 hours out of it with medium use (web browsing, youtube, uploading). That's really not good at all. 2.5 is only JUST passable for me, and I know it will only decrease more and more with time- correct?

    Also, the fan gets noisy at times.

    What's the best program to give me a benchmark of the battery? If I'm going to buy the P35G for example, I want to do a proper comparison.
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2014
  4. Menthu_Rae

    Menthu_Rae Member

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    Hey mate, thought I'd follow up on this given what I said in the other thread here.

    It sucks that it's borderline for you but like I said in that last post there were things not factored in with just GPU and CPU TDP values and you should have done some more estimates to see if it'd look reasonable.

    What kind of HDD/SSD do you have in there at the moment? You might see a tiny bit better battery life from moving to an SSD.

    Additionally - I would recommend doing a fresh windows installation from a retail ISO (available from Microsoft).

    Getting rid of any installed crapware and keeping running services to a minimum will help avoid the CPU getting pegged and increasing your baseline power draw.

    I suppose it was a bit of a gamble for you but you can at least see now how the mAh translates to runtime for the TDPs and real world.

    In the previous thread I estimated 3.5hrs with a light-medium workload, so you are saying about 2.5hrs with YouTube (which actually is quite CPU intensive compared to just say, browsing Reddit).

    What kind of runtime do you get with low-medium screen brightness and just say, browsing OCAU forums and text-based web pages? Surely a tad over 3 hours? :confused:
     
  5. joshwaan

    joshwaan Member

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    Australia
    Hey Guys

    I'm also interested in this model where can I get a spare battery for it from?

    Also could we get a 9 cell battery for it?
     
  6. Tech-Kid

    Tech-Kid Member

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    Any updates on this review? How are you finding it so far?
     
  7. OP
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    mcfee03

    mcfee03 Member

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    Overall it hasn't been a great experience unfortunately. I returned the P15F and the retailer/Gigabyte issued me a full refund. Overall issues with Windows 8 updates, a screen flickering line (hardware related) and lack of customer support (Gigabyte simply don't respond) led me to returning it.

    Aside from that, it was heavier than I wanted (2.5kg), the battery is weak (2-3 hours) and the screen isn't good enough (imo). Viewing angels are poor- at no angle can you see all the colours displayed correctly.

    I got the W230SS (just arrived) and so far seems okay. I just hiope I can get used to the smaller screen (13.3 vs 15.6).
     

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