The Gigabyte Aero 14: Powerful, Portable and Productive

TAIPEI, Taiwan — I spend a lot of time writing, but that's not all I do. I spend a fair bit of time photo editing, YouTube streaming and PC gaming, when the time and place allows. That's what makes the Gigabyte's Aero 14 so exciting, because it's made to handle of a number of pretty distinct tasks.

Starting at $1,499, the Aero 14 combines  a sixth generation Intel Core i7 CPU with Nvidia GTX 970M GPU. It sports a 14-inch, 2560 x 1440-pixel matte display that covers more than 70 percent of the NTSC color gamut, and up to two PCIe SSDs, all in a sleek 4.16-pound and 0.78-inch thick frame. So now you can edit photos and videos on a super accurate display or game at full HD without worrying about having enough horsepower, from almost anywhere.

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The Aero 14  also features a sizable 94.2 Wh battery, which, when combined with Gigabyte's custom productivity powery setting, should allow for up to 10 hours of real-world usage. If true, that's some pretty serious longevity for a system with these kind of specs — especially since we've found that the average battery life for a 14-inch machines is only about 8 hours and 20 minutes.

When I got a chance to see the Aero 14 at Computex 2016, I was really struck by how slim and portable this system felt. And despite its size, the Aero 14 retains a full suite of ports, including a USB 3.1 Type-C connector, HDMI, mini DisplayPort, an SD card reader and three traditional USB 3 Type-A ports.

I also liked the Aero 14's various aluminum lids, which come in eye-catching colors including orange and bright safety green, as well as basic black. Another nice touch on the Aero is how Gigabyte added in a row of macro keys on the left side of the keyboard, which can be programmed for use in games, or for functions in specific apps such as Photoshop.  

While there's no official release date for the Aero 14, I wouldn't be surprised if it's ready to order before the end of the summer.