Today Stuart Davidson tests the XMG P703 Pro Gaming Notebook, featuring the latest 4th Generation Haswell Core i7 and NVIDIA 700 Series GPU. Check it out below.
Starting with the build quality of the P703 the soft touch coating is nicely applied and gives the machine an extra feel of quality by removing any cheap, plastic feel. Additionally there is a solid feeling hinge between screen and body with plenty of resistance and a solid hold at the angle we choose. Speaking of angles, the screen offers good viewing even when off to the side with plenty of brightness available and a choice of both matte and gloss depending on the users taste.
XMG also place good quality parts inside… Samsung SSDs, Seagate/Hitachi HDDs, Corsair/Crucial memory and an option for Killer NIC (wireless). Its also a nice touch to see them add Arctic Cooling thermal paste rather than generic compound/pads and we were pleased with the good selection of mSATA drives which include the excellent Plextor M5M.
There are also a good number of options CPU wise with entry level 4700QM as well as the low power 4702QM starting us off and 4930XM sitting at the top of the pile (and cost).
In terms of changes we would have liked to see XMG bundle some convertors e.g. DP/MDP to DVI and the chassis could do with the USB ports being further apart so that larger devices are connected without any issues. The sound from the speakers is ok but not class leading so a good set of headphones would be recommended for serious gaming/media use but overall a top notch build. Although the sound/LED bar will split opinion. It is very retro and will be a love/hate aspect.
Moving on to performance we have a set of results which are good for a 17.3" system. The CPU was competitive and there was plenty of speed across the various components such as SATA, USB 3.0 etc. Memory isnt quite as flexible as a desktop build but thats not a major issue in most scenarios and battery life is decent, not spectacular but in line for systems of this type.
Overall gaming performance was most impressive, even on the lower spec GTX 770M which was able to play the latest games at max detail. Our only compromises were needing to do without Anti-Aliasing in Metro/Tomb Raider and not being able to use TressFX due to the framerate hit. Otherwise pretty flawless performance and we were even able to game and record footage while still having playable framerates which was an added bonus.
So to value where the price is very reasonable. Just under £1200 for i7, 770 and 4GB memory is a decent level although a cache drive would be nice in that price; just for an extra boost. That said a 2 year warranty does go some way to offering value when the competition offer only 1yr.
Recommended. A system thats ideal for productivity and gaming without going crazy on price and the option to upgrade components easily in the future is very much appreciated.