Gi­ga­byte SabrePro 15

A solid all-rounder that re­ally sharp­ens the pointy-end of the gam­ing lap­top mar­ket.

APC Australia - - Contents - Joel Burgess

When it comes to af­ford­able gam­ing lap­tops, there’s an ex­pec­ta­tion that you’ll set­tle for less-pre­mium chas­sis ma­te­ri­als, make a sac­ri­fice in the over­all de­sign aes­thetic and get bulkier and lower-end com­po­nents. We were fond of Gi­ga­byte’s Sabre 15 when we tested it a few months back (see APC 441, page 28), as it man­aged to un­der­cut com­peti­tors at this end of the mar­ket with min­i­mal sac­ri­fices.

So, nat­u­rally, when we got a glimpse of the new SabrePro 15 at this year’s Com­pu­tex, we weren’t sure whether the pro­fes­sional port­man­teau was purely nom­i­nal or whether the up­grade would bump up the price and en­croach on Gi­ga­byte’s per­for­mance­fo­cused P-se­ries lap­top range. Ei­ther way, we didn’t sus­pect it’d be a par­tic­u­lar stand­out. But here, Gi­ga­byte has man­aged to take the best bits of its cheaper Sabre de­sign and fig­u­ra­tively dip them in gold — well... slick black alu­minium.

Un­der­neath its sub­tly ac­cented, stylishly vented and crafted brusheda­lu­minium chas­sis, the SabrePro 15 of­fers up a pleas­ingly deep-feel­ing, full-sized key­board with 2mm travel dis­tance scis­sor­switch keys. The good­look­ing but com­mon­place 15.6-inch 1080p IPS screen is un­der­pinned by an In­tel Core i7-7700HQ CPU, 16GB of DDR4 RAM and a com­bined to­tal of around 2.25TB stor­age space. While the first two com­po­nents here per­form pre­dictably well, march­ing out a solid score of 4,845 on PCMark 8’s Home bench­mark, the 2TB HDD is a bit of an un­ex­pected bonus — it’s dou­ble the size of what you’d ex­pect at this price, and it’s paired with a 256GB Sam­sung PCIe SSD (where Win­dows 10 is in­stalled) that cranks out im­pres­sive se­quen­tial read speeds of 1,705MB/s and will push bel­liger­ently-fast boot times.

While the ear­lier Sabre 15 fea­tured a some­what con­ser­va­tive GeForce GTX 1050 Ti GPU, the SabrePro 15 bumps this up to the VR-ready 6GB GeForce GTX 1060. In terms of raw 3DMark bench­mark scores, this equates to a 25–45% boost, de­pend­ing on the test, which was con­sis­tent with our real-world bench­marks on BioShock In­fi­nite, The Di­vi­sion, Far Cry Pri­mal and Metro: Last Light, where the 1060 out­per­formed the 1050 Ti by 28–55%. For broader ref­er­ence, the SabrePro 15’s GTX 1060 GPU is still out­paced by high­er­per­for­mance parts like the GTX 1070, as seen in Gi­ga­byte’s P57X v6; in Bat­man: Arkham Knight and Tomb Raider, the 1060 of­fers up 1080p Ul­tra scores of 71 and 156fps com­pared to the 1070’s 113 and 213fps. This less-power-hun­gry GPU does al­low the 56Wh bat­tery to last around 2 hours in PCMark 8’s de­mand­ing bat­tery bench­mark, though, which is a pass­able re­sult.

The Gi­ga­byte SabrePro 15 de­liv­ers an ap­peal­ing mix of mid-range and higher-end com­po­nents and man­ages to of­fer fea­tures we once con­sid­ered ex­clu­sive to pricer units. As a bonus, the SabrePro 15 not only in­cludes faster PCIe SSD stor­age but also packs an HDD that’s big­ger than any­thing else in the price range. While its 2.5kg body is a bit heavy, it’s still light enough to cart about. The core com­po­nents have been care­fully con­sid­ered and it comes in at hun­dreds of dol­lars un­der any­thing we’ve seen with com­pa­ra­ble specs.


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