Reviewing The Maguay MyWay P1704x Gaming Laptop
Our friends at Maguay asked us to test a new gaming laptop from their portfolio. We're talking about the MyWay P1704x, a 17 inch laptop with very good specs, especially for gamers. We've used the laptop for a while under various conditions and we're now ready to share what we've learned. Read on to learn how the MyWay P1704x handles tasks and whether it's worth buying or not.
Unboxing The Maguay MyWay P1704x
Maguay MyWay P1704x comes in a rather dull looking cardboard box without any relevant details on it regarding the product inside.
Once you open the box, you'll find the 17 inch laptop, the power brick and power cable, a quick start guide, a driver DVD and a small plastic bag with a screen cleaning cloth and spare screws for adding a second hard disc drive or SSD.
This is pretty much everything you'll find in the box. Nothing too exciting here, so let's move along.
The list of specs is something we've seen a lot on the latest models of gaming laptops: we have a quad-core Intel Core i7 4720HQ processor running at 2.6GHz, paired with 16GB of DDR3 RAM running in dual-channel at 1600MHz. Quite a potent mobile CPU, considering the Hyper-Threading capabilities.
Since it's a gaming laptop, the graphics power is brought to the table by an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M with 4GB of GDDR5 memory and a 256-bit bus width.
On the storage side of things, we have a 256GB Transcend SSD, using a SATA3 connection.
The sound is provided by a Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi 3 sound card. It's a really good choice in our view.
From a connectivity standpoint, we have two USB 3.0 ports, an SD card reader and the usual audio jacks on the right side of the laptop, right next to the Ethernet port and the Kensington slot.
The left side of the laptop houses another USB 3.0 port, an HDMI and two Mini DisplayPorts.
Something quite interesting that we've rarely seen on new laptops was the placement of the power connector and an e-SATA port on the rear side of the laptop.
The Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7265 module offers good network transfer speeds and the Bluetooth module is useful for connecting mice and other peripherals. The laptop has a chiclet keyboard with multimedia functions and a numpad. The trackpad supports multi-touch.
The Lithium-Polymer battery has 8 cells and cannot be removed from the laptop. The Maguay MyWay P1704x that we've tested had Windows 8.1 Enterprise preinstalled. An awkward choice for a gaming laptop, to say the least but, from our knowledge, they do allow users to pick the version of Windows that they would like to use, when purchasing this laptop. You can find the full set of specifications for this laptop, here: Maguay MyWay P1704x.
Using The Maguay MyWay P1704x
Using the Maguay MyWay P1704x was an overall pleasant experience, even if it didn't really impress us in any way. To test it in games, we ran The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and Grand Theft Auto V. We ran The Witcher 3 in full details on a Full HD resolution with NVIDIA HairWorks enabled. This is the most demanding feature of the game and it only works properly with NVIDIA GPUs. The game performed very well and the frame rate stayed between 30 and 40 FPS. Given that we're talking about a mobile GPU, this is a decent score. However, it's something we would have expected to see on a GTX 970M. We expected the GTX 980M to stay at a minimum of 40 FPS, but that didn't happen. Still, this is just for comparison's sake, the game running at a good frame rate for most gamers out there :).
Grand Theft Auto 5 proved to be a bit more challenging for the laptop, the frame rate staying around 35 FPS for the entire time that we played.
The Maguay MyWay P1704x handles games well, but keep in mind that it does get quite hot during gameplay. Office tasks are a breeze for this laptop and we encountered no issues while writing articles on it and working on daily tasks.
One thing that we liked about the P1704x is that it doesn't generate too much noise under load. We could hear the fan spinning, but the noise level was acceptable and not much higher than other gaming laptops. The sound offered by the Creative sound card is above average for a laptop and we appreciate Maguay's choice for this. On the back of the laptop you'll also find a small sub-woofer.
As much as we liked the sound and general performance of the MyWay P1704x, we just couldn't find any positive features of the display. The 17 inch matte display shows very faded colors and everything looks washed out. This is where the HDMI and Mini DisplayPorts come in really handy, since you can project the image to a higher quality screen. The keyboard is backlit and doesn't flex, it's well spaced and offers a pleasant typing experience. The only thing that we disliked about it was the crowded right side. The directional keys and the numpad could have been a bit better spaced from the main side of the keyboard.
The touchpad works well and supports multi-touch, making it easy to scroll through long documents and web pages. It also features a fingerprint reader.
The Maguay MyWay P1704x is a mobile gaming machine that offers good performance and good connectivity. If you're looking for a machine that handles most modern games well in Full HD resolution, it's a good choice. However, you might want to connect it to an external display, since the built-in one's quality is rather poor.
Software Bundled With Maguay MyWay P1704x
Just as we did with the GamePower X99, we really appreciated that Maguay did not preinstall loads of proprietary software on this machine. Aside from the drivers, there wasn't any extra software that would slow the system down. Unfortunately, the model that we tested suffered from the same problem as the GamePower X99. The factory reset option in Windows 8.1 has been customized by Maguay to require the use of an operating system DVD/USB drive. If your machine didn't come with such restore media provided by Maguay, you'll need to use a special utility preinstalled on the machine to create the restore media yourself. To learn how to do this, refer to the quick start guide. The entire process is explained there. If, instead, you use a standard Windows 8.1 disc, you'll lose the customizations done by Maguay during the factory reset. The problem was that the software and folders specified in the quick start guide were missing from the actual system. We're hoping that this was because of the model being one destined for testing and not one that Maguay actually has on sale. We think that it would've been better if Maguay just used a standard setup of the operating system that didn't require extra effort on our side. Maguay also ships a driver disc with the laptop, but the model we tested didn't have an optical drive, so the disc was pretty much useless.
Benchmark Performance And Temperatures
We used BootRacer to measure how fast the machine booted off the SSD. The system started in around 35 seconds if we look at an average value. A rather normal booting speed, since we're talking about an SSD.
Next, we wanted to see how efficient the cooling was and how hot the processor got under full load. So we ran Prime95 for about an hour and watched the numbers rise. The CPU temperatures almost reached 100 degrees Celsius, 98 to be precise. Needless to say, the laptop was really hot during the test and we couldn't keep a hand on the area above the keyboard.
While idling, the CPU stayed at around 37 degrees Celsius, a decent temperature level for a laptop.
We've also tested the SSD using CrystalDiskMark. The SSD seemed to be identical to the one used in the Maguay GamePower X99. It showed the same speeds.
To evaluate the graphics power, we ran 3DMark Vantage on the Extreme preset, and achieved 20828 points. A very good score.
Last but not least, we ran PCMark to test the battery power of the laptop. On the Creative preset, one that simulates intense tasks, the laptop lasted roughly 2 hours. This is a rather normal level for gaming laptops, since they're known for high power consumption, due to the powerful components.
The Maguay MyWay P1704x is a quality laptop with a good configuration that will probably handle most of your games without problems. If you need a mobile workstation for both gaming and intensive computing tasks, this laptop is a good choice to consider. However, keep in mind that the low quality screen undermines the otherwise good performance offered by the components, so we recommend connecting the laptop to an external display with better colors and image quality.