Looking for a laptop to handle it all, from gaming to office tasks?
After spending some time with the new Gigabyte Aero OLED 15 laptop, it’s safe to say this gaming laptop is among the best you could get your hands on today.
With the prices for desktop graphic cards going up every day, laptops are becoming quite the irresistible offer – fast processors, the latest nVidia graphics and 32 GB of high speed RAM in a single, portable package, instead of a single desktop GPU for the same price tag.
That’s the case to be made for the Gigabyte Aero OLED 15. This laptop comes equipped with about everything one would need, be it media, office related tasks and, of course, hardcore gaming, along with DTS Sound Unbound for an impressive audio experience.
Gigabyte Aero 15 Display
The AERO 15 comes with a built-in HDR capable, 15.6 inches, 4K (3840 x 2160) OLED display that delivers superb visuals with a beautiful color saturation and deep darks.
Even though it can only handle a refresh rate of 60Hz, leaving some boxes unchecked for those with specific demands, it does have a density of 282 PPI, offering the same image quality of a high-end phone on a laptop display. Thanks to the OLED panel, the viewing angles of the Aero 15 are excellent no matter where you’re looking from.
Gigabyte Aero 15 Graphics
To support this display, we have nVidia’s RTX 3070 series, with 8GB dedicated memory, a 256-bit memory bus and PCI 4.0 compatibility.
Even though we have seen this configuration before and did not really expect it to blow us away, in this particular laptop we’ve found that the GPU behaves fantastic and is more than capable of handling most of the games we threw at it.
The RTX 3070 in this laptop sustained really high performance FPS in almost any environment we put it through. Everything we played on it had DLSS settings on Ultra and we were able to hold down some consistent frame rates as you can see below. Stats were provided by nVidia’s Performance Overlay feature.
This type of performance provided by a mobile GPU makes it harder and harder to understand the subtle differences between a mobile and a desktop GPU – or justify the cost of the desktop variant.
Of course, this little mobile 3070 is also pretty power-hungry, even more so than some desktop GPUs, drawing up to 125W of power.
Gigabyte Aero 15 Specs
The processor used in the new Aero 15 is the Intel Core i7-11800H, an octa-core CPU from Intel’s current Tiger Lake portfolio. With these specs we had a really hard time backing this machine in a corner. It was able to do everything we required and did it with ease.
For comparison we put the CPU against some of the latest laptops out, just to get a feel of where the AERO stands. Below are the scores we got and as you can see… it’s not too shabby!
Gigabyte Aero 15 Memory and Storage
Our Aero 15 unit came equipped with 16GB of DDR4 RAM that runs in dual channel mode at 3200MHz, with the option to upgrade up to 32GB.
This fast-paced memory gave us the gaming experience we hoped for. Smooth frames and short loading times are something this laptop can take serious pride in.
In addition, it comes with a PCI 4.0 Gen, 512GB Samsung NVMe SSD that sports ultra-fast writing and reading times, making waiting times for in-game loading screens a thing of the past.
Gigabyte Aero 15 Sound
How does it sound?
It sounds good by default, but the DTS Sound Unbound app it comes with really takes it to the next level, especially when gaming.
DTS:X Ultra and DTS Sound Unbound gave us the option to tinker the audio experience, either choosing from multiple presets specifically tailored for different audio types or by giving our regular headset a premium sound through DTS Headphone:X.
The built-in speakers did not fall short either, thanks to the adaptive feature of the DTS:X Ultra app. We maxed out the volume for music, movies or gaming, with absolutely no distortions or issues especially for high frequency spikes.
With this spatial audio feature, these tiny speakers can fill up a small room. When listening to music, the immersion is so good you’ll have a tough time pinpointing the exact location of the audio source.
Gigabyte Aero 15 Connectivity
The Aero 15 is equipped with all the ports anyone could need. These include a full-fledged SD card reader and an Ethernet port. Alongside you have a HDMI 2.1 port, a Mini Display port, 3 USB Type A 3.2 Gen and a Thunderbolt 4 port.
For maximum performance when it comes to connectivity and internet, Gigabyte has opted for the Intel AX200 WLAN module, which supports Bluetooth 5.1 and Wi-Fi 6 among other things.
Gigabyte Aero 15 Battery Life, Design & Cooling
The biggest surprise we had so far was the AERO 15 design. If ever a saying like ‘big things come in small packages’ were to be true, then it would be applied to a laptop like this.
Design-wise, this unit has little in common with gaming laptops, instead opting for a serious, sturdy, somewhat business feel with a few nods to the usual gaming aesthetic. Among those are the slim bezel display in a smooth matte black casing, the RGB-illuminated keyboard and a slick pattern for its speaker grill.
When it comes to cooling, things didn’t go as hoped. The left part of the palm rest tends to get warm as soon as you power up the laptop. But the trouble comes after a few hours of gaming – this is where the whole palm rest, touchpad and some areas of the keyboard become a little bit too hot for comfort.
Laptops overheating is not something unheard of, especially considering the components within and their power consumption. Still, it is difficult to spend a lot of time on it without hooking up an external keyboard or mouse just to use the laptop without having to touch it.
And that seems to be the ideal setup. The Gigabyte Aero 15 is an understated laptop with plenty of power under the hood, which can handle both long gaming sessions and long hours at the office.
Unfortunately, that will be the only place you’ll probably use it, since battery life is disappointing. We expected this machine to go for about 8 hours with light use and 4 hours of intense gaming, but the unit we had couldn’t keep up with these demands.
It handled around 2 and a half hours of regular work, jumping from spreadsheet to spreadsheet, emails and some web browsing. When watching a FullHD movie, the battery was depleted after just 2 hours.
All in all, this is not a sleek, silvery aluminum wedge you carry from place to place, but more of a sturdy fixture on your desk, always plugged in.
If you’re looking for a small but powerful workstation and don’t have the space for a large desktop PC, The Gigabyte Aero 15 can be a good alternative.
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