Gigabyte’s Aero 15 is a powerhouse laptop that hits a lot of high notes. Quad-core Intel Core i7-7700HQ CPU? Check. Dual M.2 SSD slots? Check. Up to 32GB of RAM? Check. Nice 15.6-inch screen? Check. Powerful Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 GPU? Check.
It’s this final indicate (well, and a ornate colors) that will have many job a Aero 15 a gaming-laptop rather than what it unequivocally is: a powerful, unstable laptop that can do it all, and with decent battery life to boot. Even a weight’s acceptable during 4.6 pounds. We have some objections to a design, though it’s still good value a look.
A dash of tone in a brushed-metal world
The Gigabyte Aero 15 comes in 3 colors: A customary low-profile black ($1,899), Hemi Orange (also $1,899), and Lime Green, that is $1,999—that’s not a typo, Lime Green is some-more costly than a other dual colors. Perhaps since that indication many closely resembles a 1971 Dodge Challenger (see for yourself, below). we have to say, a heated hues are surprisingly lovely amid a sea of brushed-metal and black shells.
Speaking of shells, a Aero 15’s lid and bottom row are aluminum, as good as portions of a support around a keyboard. We’re unhappy that a keyboard tray is plastic, though this no doubt shaved off a bit of cost.
The 15.6-inch, 1920×1080 shade has many pluses and a few minuses. Instead of a some-more common IPS or TN record it uses MVA, that has a repute for slower response times and issues with tone accuracy. We’ve seen bad examples and good examples of MVA, and a Aero 15’s is in a good pile, with wide observation angles and bureau calibration to Pantone X-rite tone standards (at 100-percent brightness). Off-axis observation is also utterly good. The biggest obstacle we found is a 285-nit limit brightness, that is on a reduce finish of normal for a laptop.
Like Dell’s XPS 15, Gigabyte’s Aero 15 employs a nearby bezel-less arrangement design. This helps make a laptop sincerely compact, though it also army a built-in webcam to counterpart ceiling during we from a bottom of a screen. Gigabyte centers a camera, though pattern your video-conferencing colleagues to get good demeanour during your neck wattle.
Keyboard and trackpad
With a keyboard and trackpad, we have another brew of good and bad news. Let’s get a bad news out of a approach first: a Aero 15’s ongoing problems with extended keyboard combinations. When we initial tested a Aero 15 unit, it had problems noticing certain pivotal combinations, such as coexisting use of Ctrl-Shift-C. Since a Aero 15 shipped, Gigabyte has expelled during slightest 3 firmware updates for a keyboard. Some problems have privileged up, though users are still anticipating combinations that don’t work right.
Gigabyte pronounced it is stability to work on a problem and is enlivening undone users to hit a support line. Is that adequate to make we gentle shopping a Aero 15? That’s something usually we can answer.
The keyboard itself is flattering good. What we generally conclude is a per-key lighting, that is roughly as good as what you’ll find in Razer’s Blade laptops. It’s distant brighter than many keyboards we’ve seen and simply gorgeous during night. The procedure to procedure a colors works good enough, and there’s a good preference of pre-programmed patterns. You can also connect macros to each singular pivotal on a keyboard.
An apparent reward introduces some compromise. Gigabyte combined a 10-key numeric pad on a right-hand side of a keyboard. Because of how a cursor keys were squeezed in subsequent to it, however, a numeric pad’s ‘0’ was reduced from being a double-wide pivotal underneath a ‘1’ and ‘2’ (the normal design) to being a singular pivotal underneath a ‘2.’ The bean-counter forms who use a 10-key constantly won’t conclude how this little change will disaster with their flesh memory. Gigabyte laptop designers, if we notice your responsibility reports take longer than common to process, this is a reason why.
Even if we don’t use a 10-key pad, it will disaster with we anyway since it shifts a few other things to a left. The trackpad, done by Elan, with a potion covering that feels near-frictionless, is uncomfortably shifted from a approaching core to a left. Left-leaning, too, are a keyboard’s home keys. If these change bluster to chuck off your productivity, demeanour elsewhere.
We have dual some-more complaints. The initial is an peculiar harmonic, roughly Kazoo-like sound that occurs not when a GPU’s fan is operative hardest, though when it slows down one notch. We’re also not fans of a lid angle Gigabyte has comparison for triggering a laptop to go to sleep. On many laptops, we can lean a shade to within 10 to 15 percent of shutting before this happens. On a Aero 15, it goes to nap when a lid’s as high as 45 degrees, that is too soon.
Where Gigabyte creates adult for all that is in a vast series of ports. The right side facilities an SD label reader, Thunderbolt 3, and dual USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type A (5GBps). And yes, that Thunderbolt 3 pier operates during a full x4 PCIe speed (Yes, we’re looking during you, XPS 15, with your x2 Thunderbolt 3 port).
The right side of a Aero 15 gives we a combo analog audio jack, miniDisplayPort 1.3, HDMI 2.0, another USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type A, and a Gigabit ethernet pier regulating off of Realtek silicon. All told, Gigabyte says a Aero 15 can run 3 outmost monitors on a ports it has.
You know a laptop here has a Core i7-7700HQ, 16GB of DDR4/2400 (in single-channel mode), and GeForce GTX 1060 with 6GB of RAM. For storage, Gigabyte shipped a $1,899 section with a Lite-On 512GB M.2 expostulate handling in SATA mode. This is expected for cost, though Gigabyte says a section will run not usually one, though dual M.2 drives in PCIe mode. Overall, this is a good storage combination, as it allows we to run dual drives. Dell’s XPS 15 has a earthy space to run a tough expostulate and an M.2 drive, though when a incomparable battery choice is selected, there’s no room for a tough drive. Asus’ new ROG GX501 also has room for usually one M.2 drive.
If we wish to crop a web and run Office, a dual-core with integrated graphics is some-more than enough. People generally buy 15.6-inch laptops for a power, so let’s find out how a Aero 15 stacks adult opposite a competition.
Cinebench R15 Performance
Our initial exam is Maxon’s Cinebench R15, that measures opening while digest a 3D image. This exam is roughly pristine CPU and gives we a good thought of how good a laptop will perform underneath multi-threaded tasks. For a many part, it’s a dead-on tie with a Kaby Lake laptops. The usually outlier is a Dell XPS 15, that turns in an infrequently slower result. With mixed runs and a latest BIOS, a XPS 15’s magnitude was usually off.
Our second exam uses a giveaway Handbrake encoder to modify a 1080p 30GB MKV record regulating a built-in Android Tablet preset. It’s mostly a tie here among a Aero 15, a XPS 15, a ROG GX501 and a Alienware 15 R4. The MSI’s magnitude for this sold exam was expected taken with a laptop in a overclocked mode.
3DMark Fire Strike Extreme Performance
Enough about a CPU. You came here for a GPU performance, so initial adult is 3DMark Fire Strike Extreme graphics performance. This comparison Futuremark exam is flattering many a pristine graphics gauntlet. Although synthetic, it’s still an accurate dimensions of graphics performance. The Aero 15 is flattering many tied with a other GTX 1060 laptop. Both GTX 1060 laptops paint really good opposite a comparison GTX 980 and GTX 980M, too.
Rise of a Tomb Raider Performance
In tangible gaming performance, we ran Rise of a Tomb Raider on a Very High environment during 1920×1080. This diversion is quite punishing, and a GeForce GTX 1060 6GB cards can pull a gentle 60 fps. But peek during a draft and we can see faster—and pricier—GPUs do indeed compensate dividends in performance. It’s also transparent that nonetheless a GTX 1060 can compare a GTX 980, it won’t do that all a time, as a comparison Predator 17 X leaves both GTX 1060 laptops in a dust.
Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor Performance
The final diversion we ran is Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor during 1920×1080 fortitude on a Ultra environment and with a 4K hardness container loaded. In this game, a GTX 1060 in a Aero 15 matches a GTX 980 in a Acer Predator 17 X, though both are outclassed by a GTX 1070- and GTX 1080-equipped laptops by a healthy margin. Just remember though: The Aero 15 is a partially lightweight 4.6 pounds.
Video playback and battery life
On vast gaming laptops, we’ve typically abandoned battery life since they live many of their lives plugged into AC and typically work some-more as semi-portable gaming desktops than laptops. But gaming-capable laptops have truly developed in a final few years and people are starting to pattern longer battery life when they’re not gaming. (When gaming on any genuine gaming laptop, we can fundamentally pattern an hour of battery if you’re lucky.)
To magnitude battery life for low-impact use, we play a 4K film regulating Windows 10’s Movies TV actor during an office-bright 250 to 260 nits. This is an area where a Aero 15 truly excels, giving us scarcely 7 hours of video playback. The usually genuine competitors here, a Dell XPS 15 and a Asus ROG GX501, are a disadvantage: The Dell facilities a 4K hold screen, that is expected some-more energy inspired than a Aero 15’s FHD panel. The ROG GX501 facilities a sincerely little battery that’s roughly half a distance of a Aero 15’s. The usually other allied laptop here is a comparison MSI GS63VR, that also has a 4K panel, and a somewhat small 65 watt-hour battery. The upshot is a flattering large win for a laptop that has genuine gaming chops.
The Gigabyte Aero 15 is a ground-breaking laptop that manages to have it all—great CPU, good GPU, good battery life—in a truly unstable package. It’s a mixed that no other laptop builder has achieved until now.
The Aero 15’s biggest flaws seem to emanate from a keyboard: a struggles with pivotal combinations, let alone a rejiggering of some oft-used buttons and a trackpad. Still, we’re intensely tender by a Aero 15, that is almost—almost—the ultimate energy user’s laptop.