Gigabyte Aorus 15G gaming laptop: A Review

GIGABYTE have a well-earned reputation for making quality computer hardware – particularly motherboards and graphics cards.

I’ve used their stuff at various points over the years and been very pleased with it, but I honestly didn’t realise until now they also made actual laptops too.

When the chance to review the Gigabyte Aorus 15G came up, I jumped at the chance – and have been really pleased with what I’ve experienced so far.

Straight off the bat, this is probably the lightest and slimmest 15in dedicated gaming laptop I can recall reviewing. The stats tell me it weighs 2.2kg, but it feels less than that and would be a superb work/gaming laptop for the traveller, if only overseas travel was still an option for most people.

The Gigabyte Aorus 15G is an solid gaming laptop.

The screen is a 15in 1080p 240Hz affair, and under the bonnet is a 10th generation Intel i7 processor backed up by 16GB of RAM, a 500GB SSD and (in the review model case) a Nvidia RTX 2070 Super graphics card, although other versions have the 2060 and 2080 in them too.

While I can’t take it on a 737 to test its portability in that regard, I can take it outside and to my local park (because Queensland has lifted several of its Coronavirus restrictions) and confirm it’s light enough to not be a bother to carry around – an important consideration for a laptop.

A big point of difference between the Aorus 15G and some other laptops is that it has a Omron mechanical keyboard, which provides a very different experience to the keyboards on most other laptops I’ve used.

To be honest I’m not sure how much I like it. On my gaming PC, I like a mechanical keyboard with its associated clickiness and sense of “yes, I definitely pressed that button”, but I’m not sure other people in the library or next to me on a plane or in a meeting want to hear me clacking away on a laptop like it’s an old-timey typewriter – particularly on a keyboard as loud as that as on the 15G.

Having said that, it does work very well for games, allowing for a feeling of definitive input and I had no problems at all with them in that regard.

The touchpad was perfectly functional, although I used a wireless mouse for most of the review because gaming with a touchpad is difficult to say the least. For general work/internet use though, the touchpad was completely serviceable.

There’s just something about the unit construction (including keyboard) that exudes a sense of robustness – it handles well when moved about, and I never worried I might break the hinges or twist the unit or anything like that. Gigabyte make a point of noting the laptops are made in Taiwan, which is an interesting point of difference as well.

The keyboard for the Aorus 15G is as colourful as you want it to be. It’s also very clicky, too.

Aesthetically, I really liked it too. The overall design just pleased me, and I really liked how easily customisable the per-key RGB keyboard was. It’s one of those little things I don’t usually pay much attention to, but it ended up adding quite noticeably to the experience, especially at night or in low-light conditions (like hiding in the lounge with the lights off, hoping the kids would finally just go to bed).

The Aorus 15G comes with a 94 watt-hour battery, which Gigabyte say is good for about eight hours of gaming, and while I think that’s probably a bit optimistic (and depending on things like turning the RGB keyboard lights of and dialling the power use back), the battery did last for a couple of hours of full-power gaming when I tested it. I also left the unit on overnight on battery power (admittedly not doing much more than just sitting there) without any issues

I tested the unit with a few games, including Just Cause 4 and Control, and the Aorus 15G ran them smoothly and without any performance issues both on mains power and battery.

The only notable issue I encountered was with Control; if I played the game in fullscreen mode it would give me some very 80s-tastic ghosting and artefacting and weird pink pixels in the top third of the screen, but as soon as I switched to borderless windowed mode these issues went away and the game went back to its amazing-looking usual.

Even general derping about on the internet was smooth and responsive; the a 240Hz screen seemed to make for smooth viewing and computering in general.

The 15G’s aluminium exterior is aesthetically pleasing and adds to the feeling of quality from the unit.

The cooling system worked well – I had no overheating issues, and didn’t find it to be noticeably louder than any other laptop cooling system either.

On the noise front, the speakers were perfectly serviceable too – good sound with some oomph to it – but I did most of my gaming with headphones on, where it also performed well.

There are the usual complement of USB ports, an HDMI port, a 3.5mm headset jack, although the power supply port is about halfway along the right hand size which isn’t an optimal location – I like them closer to (or actually on) the rear, so the power cable is out of the way.

The webcam (with accompanying privacy shutter) is very strangely positioned; being in the middle of the hinge area between the screen and keyboard – perfectly located to give people a view right up your nostrils or of your fingers working away on the keyboard. It’s an odd – even unhelpful – place for a camera and one of the few mis-steps in the Aorus 15G’s design.

To sum it up, I was pleasantly surprised and impressed by the Gigabyte Aorus 15G laptop; it proved itself to be well made, capable, versatile, and just nice to use in general. With an RRP around the $3500 mark it’s into premium laptop territory, but I believe there’s enough here to justify that price tag and it should definitely be on the shortlist for any enthusiast or serious gamer looking for a new laptop.

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