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So June and July 2018 has been really humbling and very busy at the same time. We had Durban Gaming Expo as well as the Icon all happening in the same month, with a couple of laptop reviews prior to this one. However, time waits for no man, and I can’t complain, I’m very fortunate for the opportunities I’ve had. This opportunity is no different, and a huge thank you to Rectron South Africa for it. Well, let’s jump right into it!

As the title suggests, I had the opportunity to review the Gigabyte Saber 17 laptop, and what a laptop! It comes packed with so much punch, it is hard to even relate everything to you in this article, I will, however, do the best I can. This article will cover the basics of the Gigabyte Saber 17.

gigabyte-saber-17-review-pic4First, we’ll break down the specifications of the laptop. Will then look at the design and the feel of it, run through the benchmarks and then end off with my experience of using this laptop on a day to day basis.

Specifications

  • CPU: 2.8GHz Intel Core i7-8750H
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (6GB GDDR5 RAM), Intel HD Graphics 630
  • RAM: 16GB DDR4 (2400MHz) up to 32GB
  • Screen: 17.3-inch, 1920 x 1080 Wide View Angle Display
  • Storage: 256GB M.2 SATA SSD; 1TB HDD (7,200 rpm)
  • Ports: 2 x USB 3.1, USB-C, USB 2.0, 2 x mini DisplayPort, HDMI, headphone jack, microphone jack, Ethernet, SD card reader
  • Connectivity: Ethernet, 802.11 ac, Bluetooth 4.2
  • Camera: Built-in 720P Video Camera
  • Weight: 3.1kg; Approximately 750grams for the Charging Brick
  • Size: 16.5 x 11.4 x 1.1 inches (41.9 x 28.4 x 2.8cm; W x D x H)

Look and Feel

gigabyte-saber-17-review-pic5The Gigabyte Saber 17 boasts a very downplayed look. It’s not the standard look that you would expect of a gaming laptop. The black and grey design gives it a very unassuming look, which for me something that I personally love. The keyboard is very smooth and easy to use. It’s responsive in all the right ways, and doesn’t compromise with the numpad. The keyboard is also fitted with RGB back light with up to 16.7 Million Colours. This allows someone to personalize it based on their preferred look.

Like the Helios Range, the trackpad is very sensitive and although some may like that, I personally think it may be dialed up a little high on default (you could always change sensitivity in the OS). Having said that though, and like I’ve mentioned in the Acer articles, it’s a gaming machine, if you’re going to use it for gaming, you’re not going to use the trackpad. You are much more likely to be using your gaming mouse.

The screen was a bit dark, but the 17.3″ display is well sized, and the gaming experience was enjoyable. I personally didn’t mind the fact that the screen was a bit dark, because for me a screen that is too bright hurts my eyes. However, for some people, they feel they lose graphics effects if the screen is too dark.

The laptop itself has a sturdy, well-built feel. It weighs a bit more than that of the Acer Helios 300, even though it has almost identical specifications. It also feels like Gigabyte did not hold back with regards to the materials used. It is definitely a well-built laptop.

Startup on the Saber 17 is so fast, that it feels like within a blink of an eye the laptop is ready to use, that is where the 256GB M.2 drive really comes into its own. This is also really useful when running demanding applications like Photoshop or a video rendering program. When it came to running games, you can take a look at the benchmarks, but overall, the games I played ran well. There were some graphics tweaks needed (even in a game like Dota 2) but once I had set everything up to suit me, it ran smoothly.gigabyte-saber-17-review-pic6

Benchmarks

The games I tested on the Saber 17 was CS:GO, Dota 2, PlayerUnknown Battle Grounds (PUBG). All the games ran as well as you would expect from an i7 machine with a GTX 1060. As mentioned earlier though, I had to make some tweaks to Dota 2 to get it to run at the frame rates that was comfortable for me. However, once everything was set, the gaming experience was perfect.

I ran multiple benchmark programs including 3D Mark, Cinebench and Heaven Bench. The Saber 17 performed as well as you’d expect, boasting impressive scores at that.

Gigabyte Saber 17 Review
Gigabyte Saber 17 Review
Gigabyte Saber 17 Review
Gigabyte Saber 17 Review
Gigabyte Saber 17 Review
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So how did it do?

Unfortunately, no piece of tech is without its faults. I do feel that the Saber 17 has more pros than it does cons, but we’ll go through them so that you can make an informed decision before purchasing this laptop.

  • Pros: Good performance. Nice design. Good selection of ports.
  • Cons: Some games will need tweaking. Screen a bit dark.

The Gigabyte Saber 17 is a well-rounded gaming laptop which competes with the likes of the Acer Predator Helios 300. It comes with all the right things, in a simple, yet effective look. The Saber 17 can be used for work and for play, and I think that makes it worth the asking price of R28000-00 (bear in mind please, I had the opportunity to review the latest Saber 17, and not the older model). It ran well in the benchmarks, and it held it’s own in the games I played. The keyboard and the display are adequate and actually ideal for an enjoyable gaming experience. I do recommend using a gaming mouse (like you would probably do) due to the touchpad sensitivity. If you are going to use this laptop for work, it will be a beast and not let you down. In actual fact, you would enjoy this laptop during your everyday work use, and at the end of that work day, you would enjoy your gaming experience.

I hope this review will assist you when choosing a laptop, I personally recommend this laptop, since it has a lot to offer the user. I would also like to say a huge thank you to Rectron South Africa for the opportunity to use the Gigabyte Saber 17 and to write this review. As always, I look forward to any questions or comments below.