“Affordable” isn’t usually the go-to descriptor for gaming laptops, but Gigabyte’s Sabre range aims to strike a balance between the performance required for modern PC gaming and keeping costs low enough so as to not send any would-be customers screaming for the hills. Where I guess you still can’t get cheap gaming laptops, you can play with the squirrels and bears and whatnot.
The SabrePro, on show at Computex 2017, is certainly Gigabyte pushing the upper limits of budget gaming laptops, especially with the “Pro” tag.
- Intel i7 Core
- Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060
- 15.6-inch full HD (1,920×1080-resolution) panel
- RGB per-key backlit keyboard
- 2.5 kg
- 8/16GB RAM (up to 32GB max)
Based on a quick hands-on, it certainly feels like the business. Personally I can take or leave the RGB backlit keys, but the per-key functionality is nice. The screen held up under glare and it ran smooth. Obviously the real test is in those marathon gaming sessions and how well the cooling holds up, but stay tuned for more extensive testing.
It still has gaming laptop DNA, from the angular design to the RGB backlit keyboard, and those trappings don’t come cheap. It’s even stepped things up from previous entries in the Sabre range with a silken texture on the palmrest and a brushed metal case. That also puts the price up to $1,499 in some configurations (around AU$2,000 or £1,100 converted).
While it still sits cheaper than the rest of Gigabyte’s gaming range, the truth is that it’s still erring on the side of “gaming” rather than “budget”. That might be the wrong side of the line, especially with rival brands like Dell announcing very aggressively priced competitors on the lower end of the gaming laptop space.