Aorus & Gigabyte Gaming Laptops – 2017 Brand Rating and Report Card
Gigabyte and its high-end subsidiary Aorus offer a diverse lineup of gaming systems. Whereas Aorus laptops are svelte, lightweight powerhouses with high-end specs, Gigabyte systems tend to be bulkier, more colorful and less expensive. Due to the schism in branding, Gigabyte laptops miss out on some of the more premium add-ons like customizable keyboards, two-year warranties and software licenses, which is why they've landed in the No. 7 spot.
Gigabyte and Aorus had the lowest review scores during the test period, with a pair of laptops earning 3 and 4 stars, respectively. The Gigabyte P55W v6-PC3D earned 3 stars for its vivid display, but it runs hot. The 4-star Aorus X7 v6 is sleek and has a G-Sync display, but below-average battery life.
Gigabyte and Aorus, its offshoot premium brand, are like two halves of the same coin. Whereas Gigabyte values function over style, Aorus serves up a sleek, stealth-fighter design, with neither brand sacrificing on performance.
Gigabyte has never been one to shy away from color, as seen in the upcoming Aero 14 laptops. Even the P55W v6, which could pass as the X7 v6's little brother, has an eye-catching pop of orange down the side.
Whether it's Gigabyte or its more high-end subsidiary Aorus, you can expect panels with deep color and bright illumination. The P55W v6, for example, has a 1080p panel that can reproduce 110 percent of the sRGB gamut with a luminous 321 nits of brightness.
The Aorus X7 v6 is equally impressive with a screen that reproduces 114 percent of the sRGB color gamut. However, we were disappointed in the overall inaccuracy and dimness of the QHD display.
Gigabyte and Aorus keys tend to be on the small side. However, we've found that the keys offer a great snappy feel, as evidenced by the P55W's 2.1mm key travel and 64g of force.
Gigabyte machines have tended to use single-color backlighting, but that’s changing with the new Aero 14 laptops. Similar to other high-end gaming rigs, the X7 v6 offers customizable backlighting along with a row of macro keys.
Gigabyte has been making gaming laptops for years, first as Gigabyte and now with the Aorus sub-brand. Gigabyte stays current with Nvidia Pascal graphics, VR-ready systems and better-than-HD displays.
The Gigabyte Aero 15 manages to fit VR-ready gaming into a surprisingly slim ultraportable design, while the Aorus X9 concept the company showed off at CES adds a mechanical keyboard to the mix in addition to an overclockable CPU and a pair of Nvidia 10-series GPUs in a SLI configuration.
Gigabyte's laptops, such as the P55W v6-PC3D, offer some gaming utilities. For example, its Smart Manager apps allow for fan adjustments, bandwidth optimization and GPU overclocking. And if you're away from a power source, BatteryBoost claims to extend life on a single charge without dinging frame rates.
Aorus, the company's high-end gaming line, has a deeper well of tools for gamers. For instance, the Aorus Command & Control module in the Aorus X7 v6 includes options for fan speed and clock speed for the CPU and GPU. You can also adjust the X7 v6's keyboard backlighting settings in Aorus Keyboard, including color choices and 13 keyboard lighting effects. Finally, this app lets you record and set programmable macros and adjust audio settings for different game genres.
Aorus offers a one-year free license of XSplit Gamecaster and Broadcaster, while Gigabyte fans only get three months. Both systems are pre-loaded with Killer Networking software to help prioritize network bandwidth when necessary.
Selection and Customization (4/5)
While Aorus and Gigabyte might not be as well-known as MSI or Alienware, it has a pretty diverse lineup of gaming systems that include thin-and-light machines like the Gigabyte Aero 14 and larger 17-inch systems like the Aorus X7 DT V7. We also like that you can choose from multiple brightly colored lids on the Aero 14 and 15, or premium upgrades like G-Sync displays on the X7 v6.
However, one thing that's pretty annoying is that customers can't purchase systems direct from Gigabyte or Aorus. Instead, you need to go through third-party retailers like Cyberpower PC or Newegg, which makes configuring and ordering your ideal machine more difficult than it should be.
Depending on which laptop you buy, you'll get either a one- or two-year limited warranty standard. All Aorus laptops, Gigabyte Aero series and Gigabyte P34 / 35 / 37 units come with two-year warranties, while the others have only one year of protection. Whichever warranty you have, the company pays for shipping both ways if your laptop needs service. Unfortunately, opening your laptop to upgrade the RAM or storage will void your warranty.