Gigabyte Ultrablade gaming laptops announced

Gigabyte Ultrablade header

Gigabyte has announced two new Haswell-powered gaming laptops for gamers on the go and on a budget. The new laptops are called the P34G and the P35K and are powered by a Haswell processor and Nvidia Geforce 700-series GPU.

Gigabyte’s South African supplier Rectron has confirmed that the P35K and P34G are available for distributors to order. Rectron will be carrying the P35K initially, but offered no pricing or availability information as yet.

The laptops are part of a new family that Gigabyte calls Ultrablade. They are similar to Ultrabooks and approach the same sort of thickness and weight. These laptops are similar to MSI’s recent efforts with the GE40 and the GS70 Stealth, and also include similar hardware.

Specification
Ultrablade P34G MSI GE40 Ultrablade P35K MSI GS70
Recommended price TBA R17,999 TBA R23,449
Screen size 14-inch 14-inch 15.6-inch 17.3-inch
Screen resolution 1600 x 900 1600 x 900 1920 x 1080 1920 x 1080
Operating system Windows 8 64-bit Windows 8 64-bit Windows 8 64-bit Windows 8 64-bit
Processor Core i7-4700HQ Core i7-4702HQ Core i7-4700HQ Core i7-4700HQ
Memory system 4/8GB DDR3L-1600 16GB DDR3L-1600 16GB DDR3L-1600 16GB DDR3L-1600
Graphics processor Nvidia GTX760M 2GB Nvidia GTX760M 2GB Nvidia GTX765M 2GB Nvidia GTX765M 2GB
SSD capacity 128GB mSATA 128GB mSATA 128GB mSATA 128GB mSATA
Hard drive capacity 1TB 2.5-inch 750GB 2.5-inch 1TB 2.5-inch 750GB 2.5-inch
Keyboard White backlight Steelseries-designed White backlight Steelseries-designed, fully backlit
Connectivity 2x USB 3.0, 2 xUSB 2.0, SD/MMC card reader, microphone-in, 3.5mm audio-out, Bluetooth 4.0 2x USB 3.0, USB 2.0, SD/MMC card reader, microphone-in, 3.5mm audio-out, Bluetooth 4.0 2x USB 3.0, 2x USB 2.0, SD/MMC card reader, microphone-in, 3.5mm audio-out, Bluetooth 4.0 4x USB 3.0, SD/MMC card reader, microphone-in, 3.5mm audio-out, Bluetooth 4.0
Video output D-Sub, HDMI 1.4 D-Sub, HSMI 1.4 D-Sub, HDMI 1.4, optional Thunderbolt 2x mini Displayport 1.2, HDMI 1.4
Networking 802.11n dual-band Wi-Fi, Gigabit Ethernet 802.11n dual-band Wi-Fi, Gigabit Ethernet 802.11n dual-band Wi-Fi, Gigabit Ethernet Killer Doubleshot 802.11n dual-band Wi-Fi & Gigabit Ethernet
Battery size  4-cell 47Wh  6-cell 65Wh  6-cell 69Wh 6-cell 60Wh
Weight  1.7kg  2.12kg  2.3kg 2.65kg

The Ultrablade family pairs up well on the specs sheet compared to other laptops from MSI. The P34G offers an interesting option compared to the GE40 and may end up being the cheaper version. The GE40 lacks a backlit keyboard, making it a slightly less attractive buy.

The P35K and the MSI GS70 square off. The GS70 wins on the size and weight fronts, in addition to offering buyers optional triple-display outputs. Performance-wise they will perform closely, although how much each model differs will be down to the cooling systems both manufacturers use.

As an alternative to the vastly more expensive (and arguably better looking) Alienware laptops these notebooks are all good options. Compared to the far more expensive Razer Blade Pro these are even more attractive, but won’t carry the same bragging rights.

In terms of battery life they should all excel thanks to new Haswell processors and Nvidia Optimus switching technology. The HD4600 graphics on-board will be sufficient for work and light gaming when away from a wall socket, although using the discrete graphics is more preferable.

A unique feature of these laptops is the location of the DVD drive. Gigabyte has placed this in the front of the laptop’s chassis facing the user, allowing for a slimmer profile. The battery is accessible but not easily removed, while access to the memory and hard drives is likewise restricted.

More Hardware news:

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DDR4 RAM: the market isn’t ready

AMD turns from PC to lucrative console market

Gigabyte Brix with Intel Iris Pro Graphics: powerful gaming PC fits in your hand

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Gigabyte Ultrablade gaming laptops announced

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