The competition among all the latest gaming laptops with powerful features and claiming to provide the best gaming experience is tough. The latest Gigabyte Aero 15X v8 2018 gaming laptop, however, may have made its own statement that it’s not just all about the graphics.
Gigabyte Aero 15X v8 Gaming Laptop Review
Featuring the all new and very much hyped 8th generation Intel 6 Core CPU, a new 144Hz display and sporting the impressive NVIDIA GTX 1070 Max-Q graphics card, the Gigabyte Aero 15X v8 has made its way among the top gaming laptops. With its combination of performance, battery life and portability, it has been made to deliver.
- Minimal bezel
- Long lasting battery life
- Great gaming performance
- Impressive graphics
- Average Display
- Poor front-camera placement
- So-so speakers
- Non-premium looking
Pricing & Availability
Gigabyte has priced the new Gigabyte Aero 15X v8 to begin at $2,299 (£2,199 or AU$3,039). It basically features a Full HD (1,920 x 1,080), 144Hz display and Windows 10. Upgrading to a 4K screen and Windows Pro cost another $200. In exchange for a sharper screen, an additional cost $200 is needed.
The company has also launched a de-tuned version of this model, the Aero 15 which sports the same Intel i7-8750H 6-core processor and NVIDIA GTX 1060 graphics at the price of $2,000.
The option of RAM of up to 32GB is available for Aero 15 and 15X which is a healthy option for heavy gaming or graphics relating work. Due to bloatware and multitasking, 16GB just does not seem enough anymore.
At the price mentioned, the Gigabyte Aero 15X v8 is competitive with MSI GS63 ($2,400) and ASUS ROG Zephyrus ($2,300) which also sports an NVIDIA GTX 1070 graphics card. For a preference of NVIDIA GTX 1060, the Razer Blade 14 ($1,700) is comparatively economical. But these 2 models are from last year. Gigabyte Aero 15X v8 comes with the same pricing as its rivals MSI GS65 Stealth Thin and Razer Blade 15 2018. It is a sure shot thing that it requires more investment to get features that are already available on other laptops at a lesser cost as well. However, the package combination features the Gigabyte Aero 15X v8 offers are a rare blend.
Specs we reviewed on Gigabyte Aero 15X v8
- CPU: 2 Intel Core i7-8750H (6-core, 9MB cache, up to 1.4Ghz Turbo Boost)
- Screen: 15.6-inch with Thin Bezel Design
- Display: Full HD 144Hz IPS Panel or 4K (3,840 x 2,160) UHD IPS Adobe RGB 100% Panel – optional (wide viewing angle, anti-glare, X-Rite Pantone certified)
- RAM: 16GB DDR4 (2,666Mhz, 8GB x 2)
- Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 – Max-Q (8GB GDDR5 RAM), Intel UHD Graphics 630
- Storage: 512GB SSD (M.2 NVMe PCle)
- Weight: 49 pounds (2.04kg)
- Size: 14 x 9.8 x 0.74 inches (356.4 x 250 x 18.9mm; W x D x H)
If one has come across the original Gigabyte Aero 15X v8 or used it, they won’t be able to tell much of a difference design-wise in the latest model. That’s because the company chose to keep it simple and clean cut. The design is not loud or attention-grabbing unlike what we saw in MSI GS65 Stealth Thin. Slight changes like replacing the “Gigabyte” logo on the screen with an edgy “Aero” logo have been made. The black aluminum chassis remains the same as well as the port layout and everything external.
The design may appear bland to some but the fact that this design sports that rare blend of lightweight, battery life, and powerful specs may be one of the reasons for such minimal changes. The screen is a solid 15-inch display framed by a 5mm thin bezel which is as good as minimal. The webcam is placed below the screen at a very unflattering angle which we observed during video calls.
At 0.7 inches thick, it is almost as thin as its lightweight rival gaming laptop, the MSI GS73 Stealth, and ASUS ROG Zephyrus GX501. Weight wise, it’s slightly heavier than MSI (4.5 pounds) but lighter than ASUS (4.9 pounds). The lightweight feature makes it convenient to take outside for longer periods of time.
Keyboard: A feature noteworthy that seems to make Gigabyte Aero 15X v8 better than its rivals is the keyboard. It features a full-size keyboard with a numeric keyboard which covers the entirety of the base of the laptop. This may be a huge appeal to some gamers, especially when it comes to multiplayer mode.
The RGB Fusion feature of the keyboard allows personal aesthetical customization. With slightly concave keys, short key distance and solid rebound, this keyboard were one of the most comfortable to use we’ve come across for both longterm gaming and typing.
Trackpad: The trackpads have been generally a let down in many Windows 10 laptops. Xiaomi Mi Notebook Pro had the same sort. The trackpad on Gigabyte Aero 15X v8, however, is relatively better than its predecessor and those used in its rivals.
The friction level is good and clicking is satisfactory as well as tapping. It doesn’t react well to three or four fingers. Normal use won’t make one miss a mouse but for efficient gaming, a mouse for sure will be needed.
Speakers: Gigabyte Aero 15X v8 sports a pair of 2-watt speakers with Dolby ATMOS. The quality of sound is average and the speakers lack bass. HP Omen series stood better in this department. For normal functions like watching a video or playing music, the audio is clear. For gaming though, we’d suggest a pair of good gaming headphones.
Once the lid is lifted, the standout feature of the Gigabyte Aero 15X v8 is the bezel-less (5mm thin bezel) display. The 1080p IPS display is amazing. It does not have the exact 144Hz refresh rate it claims but regardless, it is still impressive. The display also has an option of upgrading to 4K (3,840 x 2,160) for additional investment. This option also gives 100% Adobe RGB coverage but we reckon it might drain the battery at a faster pace.
The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q is a treat for the graphics users. Its powerful display capacity packed with X-Rite Pantone tech along with a sharp resolution deliver a factory calibrated out of the box visual experience. The glare effect and dark patches are near to nonexistent.
With the Intel Core i7-8750H Coffee Lake CPU, 16GB of RAM and 512GB M.2 PCIe SSD, the Gigabyte Aero 15X v8 is designed and configured to run under pressure without breaking a sweat. The company has promised up to twice more processing grunt as compared to the older model.
It is worth mentioning here that the Max-Q cards are used in slim gaming laptops and they are relatively slower but far more battery-friendly hence the long battery life. This probably means that the Gigabyte Aero 15X v8 would consume more battery life than an NVIDIA GTX 1060 but less than a GTX 1070. It does so practically as well.
Gigabyte Aero 15X v8 falls a few points behind the ASUS ROG G703GI and Alienware 15 R5 in performance. Of course these slim gaming laptops are made for hardcore gaming and outdoor use and they can never compete with a true desktop replacement in terms of performance.
Multitasking even to extreme levels went smoothly. Performance hiccups or lagging was not an issue. As for the tests, on the Geekbench 4 multi-core performance test, it scored an 18,348 which beat the premium gaming average (15,965) but falls short of those of Zephyrus (20,263) and MSI GS65 Stealth Thin (18,898) which have the same CPU and GPU as that of Aero. On the Cinebench CPU test, it scored 1,178 points.
While playing Middle-Earth: Shadow of war at 1080p on Ultra settings, it ran between 62 and 72 frames per second. The gaming experience relies almost entirely on the graphics output in this laptop and its delivery is outstanding.
Battery Life & Heat
For a gaming laptop, the Gigabyte Aero 15X has an impressively solid and far more enduring battery life than we have tested. We recorded a battery life of 6 hours and 11 minutes. This is far more than its rivals with the MSI GS65 Stealth Thin running for a 5 hours 23 minutes and the Zephyrus lasting for a mere 2 hours.
Despite the company promising a healthy 10 hour run time, the one we’ve recorded is still impressive enough since it’s a gaming laptop delivering run time of an ultrabook. This feature gives it the upper hand over its rivals. It doesn’t need to be plugging in all the time. Easy portability is also a bonus.
As for the heat, the backside of the laptop has powerful cooling fans that work silently under normal pressure to keep this machine cool. There were no major heat problems throughout our tests. During the entire runtime, it did not reach above the temperature of 95-degrees.
The Gigabyte Aero 15X v8 is all in all a complete package deal and does not comes with any proper configurations unlike what Dell offers.
It allows upgrading from an FHD screen to a UHD 4K display. Also, you can upgrade your memory up to 32GB.
Verdict: Gigabyte Aero 15X v8
For users who are into compositing, video editing, graphics designing kind of work, the battery life and display combo is a win-win feature that Gigabyte Aero 15X v8 offers. The great gaming experience along with is just an added bonus. Do read about new MacBook Pro 2018 with Intel i9 processor if you are wanting it for video editing and other stuff.
As for hardcore gamers, this may not be the best investment since 2018 has been the year of lightweight, fast and efficient yet heavy-duty gaming laptops and the market is booming with the companies launching laptops featuring the same specs for far lesser prices.
If one can overlook the display and a few other setbacks in this laptop. Then it is a great investment for the long-term all-rounder for everyday use.
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