Review: Gigabyte Aero 15 laptop

A touchy little laptop.

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Review: Gigabyte Aero 15 laptop
Supplier: Gigabyte
Price: $2899.00

You wouldn’t pick it from the outside, but this is a gaming laptop in a business suit disguise. Gigabyte has chosen to use a chassis that wouldn’t look out of place on a CEO’s desk, but packs plenty of gaming grunt within. As a result it’s not exactly super portable for a 15.6-inch machine, weighing 2.1kg, though Gigabyte has managed to make this screen fit into the footprint of a 14-inch machine.

This is thanks to the super thin bezel around the screen, which is just a few millimetres thick. It’s a standard HD 1920 x 1080 IPS panel; at this price we’d have expected something a little higher resolution. Due to the small dimensions the pixel structure isn’t apparent though, and it’s got full X-Rite Pantone certification, ensuring perfect colour accuracy for image professionals.  

The chassis is built entirely from aluminium, and each key has quite a large amount of travel. However, they do require a little extra force to activate than we’re accustomed to, but the real problem child is the touch pad – it’s atrocious. Occasionally it would work fine, but for the vast majority of the time it’d be wildly inaccurate. It was also iffy about supporting standard Windows gestures, such as flicking with two fingers to scroll the active window – sometimes it would work, other times not at all. Gigabyte really needs to swap out the touch pad being used here.

Gigabyte has equipped the Aero 15 with a wide range of connection options. On the right side are twin USB 3.0 Type A along with a single USB 3.1/Thunderbolt 3 Type-C connection – we love the inclusion of Thunderbolt 3 as it allows for a huge variety of devices to be connected. There’s also an SD card reader on this side. Heading to the other side reveals a single USB 3.0 Type A connection, along with Ethernet, HDMI 2.0, Mini Display-Port and a combo headphone/mic 3.5mm minijack.

The specs under the hood are just as impressive. Yet again we see Intel’s i7-7700HQ in use, which has four cores that hit 3.8GHz under load. Samsung’s 512GB NVMe M.2 drive provides a healthy amount of storage space at rocket speeds, while 16GB of DDR4-2400MHz is more than enough. Finally we have Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1060, a rather capable mobile gaming GPU. 

It might be priced a little high given the screen resolution and lack of second drive, but overall Gigabyte has delivered a powerful gaming machine that you can easily sneak into the office as a boring productivity focused model. We only wish the keyboard and touchpad weren’t so bad, especially the latter. You’ll definitely want to buy a mouse if you go for this machine. 

PROS
• Speedy performance
• X-Rite Pantone certified screen
• Sturdy construction
 
CONS
• Terrible touchpad
• Stiff key response
8 10
Verdict
It might be a little pricey, but Gigabyte has delivered a powerful machine in a relatively small form factor.
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