Gigabyte’s new Aero 15X says typical knowledge is mistaken. That typical knowledge says gaming laptops cannot be good “laptops” as a result of they’re too massive and eat an excessive amount of battery. The Aero 15X proves in any other case, with nice gaming efficiency and nice battery life.
If the Aero 15X seems to be acquainted, that is as a result of it is largely simply an upgraded copy of the Aero 15. We completely loved the Aero 15, which set the usual for efficiency and battery life, and the 15X provides to that success.
Worth, specs and options
The Aero 15X mannequin we reviewed costs out at about $2,200 on the road with 32GB and a 512GB SSD, which is the one configuration we’re seeing accessible at the moment. Gigabyte’s web site says an 8GB model is offered as properly, however pricing of that mannequin wasn’t accessible.
CPU: A quad-core Intel Core i7-7700HQ with HyperThreading
RAM: 16GB DDR4/2400 in two SO-DIMM sockets
GPU: Whereas the unique Aero 15 packed a GeForce GTX 1060, the 15X steps as much as a GeForce GTX 1070 with Max-Q, which we first noticed at Computex 2017 in Taipei. As you would possibly guess, given Max-Q’s mission to handle GPU efficiency and thermals extra equitably, the GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q is quicker than a GTX 1060 however slower than a full GeForce GTX 1070.
Show: 15.6-inch, 1920×1080 VA panel that’s factory-calibrated utilizing Pantone Xrite. For a non-IPS panel, we’ll say, the WVA panel within the Aero 15X is kind of good. We additionally dig the display screen’s gentle anti-glare coating.
Storage: A single 512GB NVMe Toshiba CX3 drive is included, however there’s house for a second M.2 drive.
Battery: Gigabyte places in a 94Whr battery, which is simply shy of the utmost 100Whr allowed on a business airline. Many thinner gaming laptops sacrifice battery capability, however this greater energy pack offers the Aero 15X a stunning quantity of battery life.
Ports: Full-size HDMI 2.zero, miniDisplayPort 1.three, three USB three.1 Kind A ports, one Thunderbolt three, analog audio, Kensington Lock and Gigabit ethernet.
Weight: four kilos, 12 ounces is a good quantity of weight to sling for this degree of efficiency. The one downside is when you add the ability brick, the entire weight goes as much as 6 kilos, four ounces.
Dimensions: 14 x 9.eight x zero.78 inches. We have now no quibbles with the Aero 15X’s dimension and form. It is mainly barely bigger than most mainstream quad-core laptops.
Keyboard and trackpad: The unique Aero 15 was vexed by errant or unregistered keys presses. Gigabyte issued firmware repair after firmware repair, which some say helped, and others say did nothing. On the Aero 15X, we tried recognized problematic key press combos with out problem, so it seems the corporate has solved the issue.
We nonetheless have some doubts concerning the Elan trackpad, which might often grow to be non-responsive for a millisecond. (We additionally observed this on the unique Aero 15, lengthy after our overview ran.) We do not suppose it is a deal-breaker, nevertheless it’s one thing to concentrate on.
The class that issues probably the most to most individuals, although, is efficiency. We have been impressed by the Aero 15, and the Aero 15X does not disappoint both.
Our first check was the CPU-intensive HandBrake check, the place we take a 30GB MKV file and encode it with HandBrake zero.9.9 utilizing the Android Pill preset. It is a check the place quad-core-plus CPUs simply shine. The consequence for the Aero 15X is just about a useless tie with its predecessor. And in case you’ve questioned simply what you surrender going from a Core i5 quad-core with out Hyper-Threading to a Core i7 with Hyper-Threading, you possibly can see the outcomes above, with the 2 Dell Inspiron 15 7000s.
We’ll skip any extra CPU checks as a result of they’d be a waste or your time and our time—there’s nothing to see right here, of us.
The subsequent check is 3DMark FireStrike Excessive Graphics efficiency. It is a artificial check that ignores CPU efficiency, so you possibly can measure the theoretical efficiency of a GPU. The outcomes inform us the GeForce GTX 1070 with Max-Q expertise is a potent chip, touchdown virtually squarely between the Aero 15 with its GTX 1060, and the Alienware 15 R4 with its GTX 1070.
Cynics could name it a GeForce GTX 1065, however what they ignore is getting that efficiency in a laptop computer that beforehand stopped on the much less highly effective GeForce GTX 1060. Evaluating the Aero 15 to the Aero 15X, the latter’s Max-Q half offers it a definite benefit.
Rise of the Tomb Raider Efficiency
We additionally ran a number of actual video games by the Aero 15X and have been much more impressed. In Rise of the Tomb Raider, for instance, it isn’t that far behind the critically quick Alienware 15 R4. Cynics, you would possibly name GeForce GTX 1068.
Center-earth and Tomb Raider Efficiency
We additionally ran Center-earth: Shadows of Mordor at 1920×1080 set to Extremely, with the 4K texture pack put in. The outcomes, in addition to the numbers we noticed from the 2013-era Tomb Raider, again up the others. Let’s simply agree the Aero 15X with its GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q is quick.
The general fan noise of the Aero 15X is appropriate and quieter than we have heard, in say, the Alienware R15 R4, which swings for the fences throughout gaming. Even higher, the fan on the Aero 15X seem to have mounted the annoying fan sound we heard on the Aero 15 because it revved up.
The Bonus: Battery Life
The true bonus with the Aero 15X is its battery life. To measure it, we play a 4K video at 250 to 260 nits (shiny sufficient to look at in an workplace environement) utilizing Home windows 10’s built-in Motion pictures & TV video participant. The Aero 15X gave us virtually 7 hours of run time. That is mainly a tie with the older, much less highly effective Aero 15.
The rationale the Aero 15X (and the Aero 15) accomplish that properly in video rundown is as a result of the workload is offloaded to the built-in Intel graphics, whereas the power-hungry GeForce playing cards slumber. The Aero 15X can do that as a result of it does not function G-Sync or a high-refresh monitor.
The large 94Whr battery additionally offers the Aero 15X rather a lot to work with. Comparable gaming laptops this dimension typically throw battery capability overboard to save lots of weight. For instance, the just lately reviewed Acer Triton 700 makes use of a 54Whr battery and is fortunate to run for 2 hours throughout video playback with its power-hungry 120Hz G-Sync panel.
To be truthful, this does not imply you possibly can play video games on the Aero 15X and get 7 hours of run time. When you hearth up the GPU or CPU on intensive duties, you actually should not count on greater than an hour or so on any gaming laptop computer.
Nonetheless, in case you intend to edit a Microsoft Phrase file or watch a film in flight, the Aero 15X provides you with respectable battery life, whereas many rivals is not going to.
Ultimately, colour us impressed. Sure, a GeForce GTX 1070-class GPU is a little bit overkill for gaming at 1920×1080 at 60Hz, and doubtless justified provided that you are on the lookout for future-proofing or to play utilizing an exterior monitor. A number of nagging issues just like the laggy trackpad appear to repeat the historical past of the defective keyboard.
Nonetheless, the entire bundle is there. Need wonderful efficiency, a fairly compact body, and nice battery life? You would be exhausting pressed to beat the Gigabyte Aero 15X.