(Pocket-lint) - The Gigabyte Aorus 15G is a beautifully crafted gaming machine, featuring a CNC carved chassis and vent stylings that are meant to be a nod to prestigious racing vehicles.
Under the hood comes the latest and greatest tech, including Intel 10th Gen power, and Microsoft Azure AI technology - which is designed to use artificial intelligence (AI) to maximise your gaming experience.
It also boasts one the fastest refresh rate screens around, at 240Hz, and unique OMRON mechanical key switches.
All that makes the Auros 15G sound appealing, but what it's like to actually use as a gaming laptop? We've been playing with this machine for a couple of weeks to find out.
Faster than most and more intelligent too?
- 15.6-inch FHD resolution (1920 x 1080) 240Hz IPS anti-glare display
- X-Rite Pantone Certified, individually factory calibrated
- 2x 2W Speakers, 1x Dual-Array Microphone, NAHINIC 3
- Microsoft Azure AI tech
Aorus is a brand of Gigabyte and one that's pitched as the "enthusiasts choice" for PC gaming. Under that banner, Arous has crafted a premium gaming machine and one that packs plenty of power into an easy-on-the-eye frame.
Sure, it might not be as slim or as lightweight as other compact gaming Notebooks that we've tested, but the Aorus 15G is still a force to be reckoned with.
Firstly, the screen options are a real pleaser. A 15.6-inch 1080p offering that either comes in 144Hz or 240Hz variants. It's a really nice looking display that's a pleasure to game on and looks great from every angle as well. It's rich, vibrant and responsive. It's also bright enough to use outside in the daylight. You'll note from the photos that the screen is almost bezel-free too, resulting in a brilliant edge-to-edge display.
Secondly, the Aorus 15G brings the addition of Microsoft Azure AI tech. This uses artificial intelligence to automatically adjust power modes for both the CPU and GPU depending on what you're doing - thereby improving gaming performance and raising your frames-per-second count. With Gigabyte's controls you can also tweak fan speeds and suchlike yourself, adjusting that on the fly, but the mix of manual and automated settings mean you should get the best performance while playing without the need to interfere.
Outside of gaming, this laptop is also designed to help you get the most out of your day too. It's got a battery that's said to last up to eight hours (depending on screen brightness and keyboard lighting). We found it got us nicely through the working day without any hassle - which is a real rarity from a gaming-focused machine.
Power under the hood
- Nvidia RTX 2080 SUPER MAX-Q/RTX 2070 SUPER MAX-Q/RTX 2070 MAX-Q/RTX 2060 or GTX 1660 Ti
- Intel Core i7-10750H/Core i7-10875H/Core i9-10980HK CPU options
- Up to 64GB DDR RAM (2666MHz)
- Windforce Infinity Cooling
- 2x M.2 NVMe SSD slots
- 3DMark Benchmarks: Timespy, Timespy extreme, Firestrike, Firestrike Ultra, Port Royal, DLSS, Sky Diver
As you'd expect, the Gigabyte Aorus 15G is available in several different specification forms. These include Intel's 10th Gen CPU options and Nvidia's RTX graphics cards - as well as the Super variants of those GPUs too.
There's no sign of traditional HDD or SSD storage here, just blazing fast NVMe goodness. That means fast boot times and awesome game loading speeds. The model we tested came with an ungradable NVMe SSD and there's a slot for an extra one should you want to upgrade for yet more storage.
There's also a Windforce Infinity Cooling System that's meant to be superior to that of previous models. It's equipped with four vents, five heat pipes and twin fans.
The speed of these fans is adjustable in the software or with a click of a button on the keyboard. We have to say, however, we soon found that when gaming the fan noise was often too much when relying on speakers, so game sounds were often drowned out. The fans aren't necessarily the loudest we've ever heard, but they're loud enough to overpower the laptop's speakers.
There are also more than enough ports to plug in your own gaming headset - and we'd recommend doing that as the built-in mic isn't that great either.
The cooling is good enough to ensure a smooth gaming experience and great performance, but we did notice that if you game with the Aorus 15G on your lap then it gets incredibly hot when under pressure. The underside of the machine is almost furnace-like after an hour or more of gaming. So stick to those surfaces! The keyboard and upper side of the device aren't a bother when it comes to heat though.
Performance-wise this laptop doesn't disappoint. We ran various 3DMark benchmarks as well as with Borderlands 3 (which reported an average of 128fps). Trying various other games achieved mixed (but decent) results: Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order ran at 144Hz only and refused to acknowledge the 240Hz screen - but still managed over 100fps for cutscenes and around 80fps in standard play. Lesser games like Worms W.M.D managed 240fps.
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If you're playing CS:Go or other competitive but untaxing games then you'll likely have frame-rate counts high enough to justify that 240Hz screen. But if you plan on playing triple-A titles and more visually intensive games then we suggest the 144Hz panel would be the more logical choice. Even with a RTX 2070 we'd rarely expect to see high enough frame-rates to warrant the pricier option.
- 3x USB 3.2 Gen1 (Type-A), 1x Thunderbolt 3 (Type-C), 1x HDMI 2.0, 1x mini DP 1.4
- Windows Hello fingerprint scanner and Precision Touchpad gestures
- Killer Ethernet E2600 and Killer Wi-Fi 6 AX1650
- 1x 3.5mm Headphone/Microphone Combo Jack
- Hidden webcam with privacy shield
- UHS-II SD Card Reader
- Bluetooth V5.0 + LE
Unlike the thinner and more compact gaming laptops out there, the Aorus 15G doesn't disappoint in terms of ports available. It has a number of USB connections on both sides of the device - plenty to plug in a headset, mouse and keyboard. There's also the simple things like an Ethernet jack and a convenient SD card reader too.
A combination of HDMI and mini DisplayPort connections means it's easy to output to an external gaming monitor or VR headset too. We did just that, running a large 34-inch 1440p display from the laptop with ease. We also noticed no drop in frame-rate when doing so, which shows the sheer power of this machine.
It is worth noting that the laptop comes with both Killer Ethernet and Killer Wi-Fi too. This is meant to be optimised for gaming, ensuring maximum bandwidth is dedicated to your games and that other apps don't interfere.
We oddly found the Wi-Fi side of this to be a bit flakey with some niggles where standard things like browsing the web or watching videos resulted in unnecessarily slow experiences and buffering. We think this is likely a software issue - as it had no negative impact while we were playing online with friends and we didn't notice any latency issues or lag problems there either. Plugged into Ethernet and the connection is clearly even more stable.
Another gripe we had with this laptop is the setup of the webcam. Probably to keep the screen as bezel-free as possible, Aorus has chosen to put the camera below the screen on the chassis, just above the keyboard. It's nicely hidden behind a privacy shield so you can lock it away when you don't want to use it, but it's at such an angle that if you use it while typing then all people will see is a bit of your head and your fingers wildly flicking across the keys. An odd design choice for a gaming laptop that's powerful enough to use for streaming. No one is going to want to use this built-in camera for Twitch.
On a more positive note, the Aorus 15G comes with a Windows Hello-capable fingerprint reader built into the trackpad. A simple press of this and you're swiftly into Windows, which makes things a lot easier. That trackpad also offers multi-finger gestures for fast controls and shortcuts. For example, pinch to zoom, four-finger touch to open action centre, and three fingers swipe down to show desktop. Nifty!
An unusual keyboard
- Aorus Fusion RGB Per-Key Mechanical Keyboard with OMRON Gaming Switches
- Low profile clicky switches
- 2.5mm key travel
- N-key rollover
One of the stand-out features of this laptop is the keyboard setup. This machine comes with OMRON mechanical switches, giving you an experience more akin to a traditional mechanical keyboard than a standard laptop keyboard.
These keys feature low profile, clicky switches, with 2.4mm of travel and 1.6mm actuation. The result is a satisfyingly tactile feedback and an accurate response for gaming.
The keyboard also offers Aorus Fusion RGB lighting, which gives you per-key illumination options that can be tweaked within the software. It's not the best lighting we've seen (MSI's GE65 Raider is more impressive) but it's nice to see another brand using an RGB backed mechanical keyboard setup.
It's also satisfying to use without being obnoxiously or unnecessarily loud. These mechanical switches will also be more durable than traditional laptop keyboards so that should keep you gaming for longer, even if you're heavy-handed.
The Gigabyte Aorus 15G is undeniably a pleasure to use for gaming. It's also well qualified when you're not - with better battery life and more connectivity options than most gaming laptops.
Aside from a few minor gripes with lap gaming, fan noise, and Wi-Fi oddities, the Aorus 15G doesn't disappoint. No, it's not as portable as many other laptops we've tested, but it packs some serious punch into its distinctive design.
Add a fast and responsive screen, satisfying keyboard, impressive specs, and the Aorus 15G is well worth considering on your gaming laptop shopping list.
MSI GE65 Raider
The MSI GE65 Raider is another gaming laptop that's packed full of great design features and includes nifty additions like a SteelSeries crafted keyboard that's bound to please PC gamers. A great gaming package and a brilliant alternative too.
Asus ROG Zephyrus G14
The Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 might be a bit smaller, but it's also slightly snazzier and more portable too. We found this laptop to be a joy to use for gaming and working and with 10 hours of battery life, it doesn't disappoint.
Alienware m17 R2
The Alienware m17 R2 is a bit larger than the Aorus 15G but it's also a powerful, lightweight and easy-on-the-eye gaming laptop that packs a punch.