Gigabyte Aero 15 (2021) evaluate: All paintings, all play

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(Pocket-lint) – The Gigabyte Aero 15 is an especially robust gaming computer that may additionally fulfill ingenious varieties who need a workstation.

This is not a case of Gigabyte simply clawing at every other house as a result of it is bored of promoting to avid gamers. The facility of a high-end CPU and GPU can be put to nice use when enhancing video, or 3-D rendering scenes.

The end result? The Gigabyte Aero 15 has extra of a focal point on show high quality, no longer simply show velocity, than your common gaming computer. And its uncooked energy in line with gramme is superb.

There are only a few issues to imagine. The Gigabyte Aero 15’s hinge is strangely wobbly taking into account its restricted rotation. And the slightest whiff of exertion reasons slightly important fan noise, which would possibly get for your nerves if a reasonably low weight construct is not one thing you care about a lot.

Gigabyte additionally despatched us the XL fries, onion rings, additional cheese, double ice cream sundae meal deal model of the Gigabyte Aero 15, which prices a number of grand – and few will imagine purchasing. However maximum of our impressions will follow to all to be had fashions.

Design

  • Dimensions: 356 x 250 x 20mm
  • Aluminium frame panels
  • Weight: 2.22kg

The Gigabyte Aero 15 has an exquisite quantity on energy on faucet. This spec style has an overclock-ready, 10th Gen Intel Core i9 CPU, Nvidia RTX 3080 graphics card, and a nearly ridiculous 64GB RAM.

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Few laptops actually need to be referred to as a “beast”. The Gigabyte Aero 15 is unquestionably considered one of them despite the fact that.


Then again, its dimensions, weight and look are all strangely accommodating given what is within. The Aero 15 weights a little bit over 2kg, and once we spent a couple of hours understanding within the lawn with the computer on our knees it nonetheless appeared completely at house on this function.

Gigabyte has additionally suggested clear of one of the crucial maximum commonplace gaming computer design traits. The Aero 15 makes use of aluminium frame panels, quite than plastic ones. This provides an instantaneous glide of construct high quality, even supposing plastic is arguably a simpler subject matter for a efficiency computer with a perfect cooling machine.

Plastic has decrease thermal conductivity than aluminium, so the warmth from the insides may not unfold to different panels so briefly as they do right here, letting the fanatics do extra of the paintings of warmth dispersal.

In go back we get a computer that turns out extra like a normal high quality non-gaming design. From the place you sit down when the use of the computer, there is little or no gamer flavour past the moderately bolder-than-average keyboard font.

Even whilst you check out the lid, which has a light-up Aero emblem and a sequence of shiny strains in-laid into the anodised aluminium, there is not anything that screams “I are living for ray tracing.” The Aero 15  is beautiful grown-up, which we adore. It may slip into all scenarios.

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Essentially the most gamer-y phase to this design is the large, competitive thermal cut-out association at the backside. However that can by no means be on display anyway.

We would not name the Gigabyte Aero 15 a grasp of fashion. However we’re down for a computer that appears a little extra like an artistic workstation.

The show hinge is the only attainable susceptible level. It most effective tilts again round 125-130 levels, however restricted hinge rigidity permits for some display screen wobble when no longer used on a company, flat floor. Our assumption is Gigabyte sought after to make use of a display screen hinge that permits you to carry the show from its closed place with a unmarried finger, with out the bottom lifting too. Undertaking luck, however a much less bouncy hinge would were welcome.

Display

  • 15.6-inch AMOLED panel
    • 100% DCI P3 color protection
    • 3840 x 2160 solution
    • 407-nit brightness

That little hinge factor apart, the display screen is the Gigabyte Aero 15’s maximum hanging phase. This is likely one of the few computer displays we’ve got reviewed within the final 12 months that would possibly makes you set free a little bit “wow” whilst you first flip the object on.

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It is a 4K OLED panel, almost about the most productive show tech you’ll lately get in a computer. Its aggregate of maximum distinction and extremely wealthy color hit you right away, and the enjoy isn’t somewhat the similar as a high-end LCD. The picture pop, the intensity of per-pixel lighting fixtures and probably the most absolute best color protection effects we’ve got observed from a computer to this point will have to provoke almost about everybody on first look.

Gigabyte says this can be a Pantone verified show, and there is a particular Pantone mode that, from what we’ve got observed, turns out to align the show with the DCI P3 color ordinary. That was once devised by means of a number of Hollywood studios, and your common four-figure computer can most effective show, say, round 70 in line with cent of it. The Gigabyte Aero 15 can display the whole thing.

Then again, that is very a lot a show for ingenious pros quite than avid gamers. Its refresh price is the bog-standard 60hz, no longer the 144Hz (or extra) you may get in a extra standard gaming gadget. This implies you may as nicely stay your video games locked at 60fps, because the show symbol can most effective exchange 60 occasions a 2d.

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We half-hoped the Gigabyte Aero 15 may also blow away the brightest LCD laptops round with its OLED panel. However brightness kind of fits the most productive extra standard presentations. You’ll paintings open air conveniently sufficient at max brightness, however OLED telephones are nonetheless some distance brighter by means of comparability. The Aero 15’s battery existence would most likely be comically deficient if its display screen would in fact burn away at 1000 nits, thoughts.

It is a non-touch show too, which laws out stylus give a boost to – one thing this is used as a large promoting level of a few computer producers seeking to promote to ingenious pros.

Keyboard & Touchpad

  • Gigabyte Fusion RGB backlight
  • Textured glass touchpad
  • Complete NUM pad

The Gigabyte Aero 15 has a keyboard we’re satisfied to paintings all day on. It has a NUM pad, moving the primary keys to the left of the show a little, however we were given used to that shunt inside a couple of days.

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Key intensity is above common for a 2kg computer, the keys have a good looking springy however well-defined motion, and Gigabyte selected to make use of an ordinary format quite than peppering the keyboard with gamer-style macro keys. We choose this keyboard to the MacBook Pro 16’s one.

It’s here you get to explore the Gigabyte Aero 15’s dual personalities the most clearly too. The keyboard has per-key RGB lighting. You can make the keyboard backlight plain white, any colour of the rainbow, or use the animated and multi-colour profiles seen in Gigabyte’s other gaming laptops.

The touchpad again conforms to the standards of creative laptops rather than gaming ones, for the better. This is a silky smooth plate of textured glass with a great float-free clicker. It’s a joy to use, although the dead zone at the top might raise the odd eyebrow.

Gigabyte also builds a fingerprint scanner into the pad. This was perhaps not the best idea. If it is tailored for those using apps like Adobe Premiere Pro and Photoshop, shouldn’t the pad’s space be reserved for its primary job? But it’s arguably not a major issue as creative pros will likely use an attached graphics tablet or mouse much of the time anyway.

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The main takeaway: this pad does not seem an afterthought.

The Gigabyte Aero 15’s webcam is a definite compromise, though. It does not sit in the display surround, but above the keyboard. This results in a supremely unflattering angle, one that picks up your fingers typing if you take notes during a work call. And image quality from the 720p sensor is poor.

Performance

Gigabyte clearly wanted to show us how much performance it can fit into a relatively light and portable shell. Our Aero 15 has a Core i9 CPU, 64GB RAM, two 1TB SSDs, and an Nvidia RTX 3080 graphics card.

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That is a ridiculous amount of hardware for a 2kg laptop, which is why this particular Aero 15 costs so much – in the UK it’s a £4229 configuration. So call your accountant. Or a divorce lawyer.

It’s also enough power to justify the 4K screen. You can, for example, play The Witcher 3 with everything maxed and see frame rates in the 40s. Turn off the fancy hair modelling provided by Nvidia Hairworks and you’ll see frame rates in the 50s.

The Aero 15 is also a great laptop for CD Projekt Red’s more recent opus, Cyberpunk 2077. Not only do you get enough power to switch on ray tracing, the OLED screen is one of the few laptops that can actually do justice to high dynamic range (HDR) content.

The OLED screen’s per-pixel lighting and extreme colour depth is a much better fit for HDR than a high refresh rate LCD. Unlike the top LCD TVs, laptops don’t have backlights with local dimming, making attempts at HDR a bit pointless.

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You get extreme power, from both the core components and the screen. But there is a price to pay.

The Gigabyte Aero 15’s fans run more-or-less all the time. We found this kind of irritating when just doing basic work, having come from a near-silent slim and light laptop. And sometimes it only takes starting a download or opening a browser tab while doing something else to take the fans up a gear, creating yet more noise.

That said, the Gigabyte Aero 15 is not deafeningly loud when playing a game or stressing the CPU. Heat only noticeably blooms out to the right side of the keyboard, around the O/P/L keys and above, rather than the W/S/A/D keys you’re more likely to touch when playing. But we recommend using a headset while playing as the fan tone is less easy to ignore than some rivals.

There are multiple fans inside, and they produce relatively high frequency and a lower frequency sound. Some larger gaming laptops manage to avoid much of that higher pitch noise, which blends into the background much less.

Gigabyte does make clever use of the available space, mind, seeming to pull in cooler air not just from the bottom of the Aero 15 but between the keyboard keys too. Not a sliver goes to waste. But, yeah, using this laptop is a reminder why ultra-high performance gaming laptops are usually quite thick, large and heavy.

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The cooling system does work fairly well considering, though, letting the Aero 15 operate for extended periods at a boost frequency of around 4.15GHz, from a theoretical maximum of 3.5GHz. And even after running the CPU at 100 per cent for 30 minutes much of the laptop feels cool.

There’s one more thing to factor in if you are not sure whether to buy a desktop or laptop. The laptop version of the Nvidia RTX 3080 is nowhere near as powerful as the desktop model. It has around 60-65 per cent of the power, with performance closer to the lower-end (if still great) desktop RTX 3060 Ti.

That’s not Gigabyte’s fault, of course. A couple of years ago laptop and desktop cards were quite comparable, but desktop ones have accelerated far ahead once more.

It would also have been nice to see a Ryzen version of the Gigabyte Aero 15. AMD’s 4-series processors are brilliant, and their use would likely have resulted in a big drop in price too. Intel Core i9s don’t come cheap. But we’re likely to see a lot more high-end Ryzen gaming machines in the next generation.

Battery life

Gigabyte claims the Aero 15 offers all-day battery life. This seems an unlikely one given it has a power-hungry Core i9 CPU, doesn’t weigh that much, and has a 4K OLED screen.

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It makes more sense when you look at the battery capacity. At 99Wh, the battery is as big as laptop manufacturers can make, without producing something you’re legally not allowed to take on flights.

The Gigabyte Aero 15 lasts for 5 hours and 25 minutes when streaming a video at 50 per cent brightness. This drops by an hour when you max out screen brightness and do little more than write documents, with the odd bit of web browsing – the latter which makes up much of our daily workload.

We don’t consider this all-day use. But it is about what we’d expect from a laptop with an extremely high-spec OLED display and a processor made for performance, not battery-saving. Gigabyte has done all it can here, so it could be possible to get over 6 hours use with low screen brightness – and that seems a fair enough compromise to us.

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The Gigabyte Aero 15 also has all the connections you’ll need, including a Thunderbolt 3.0 connector, three full-size USBs, an HDMI, SD card reader, Ethernet port, and a mini DisplayPort.

These are all arranged along the sides, presumably because Gigabyte needs the entire back to fling out heat from the CPU and GPU. We recommend using speakers or a headset, as the built-in speakers are weak. While their tone is pleasant enough, there’s zero bass and maximum volume does not impress.

Writing by Andrew Williams. Editing by Mike Lowe.





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