Hands-On: Gigabyte Aero 15 Boasts RTX 2080 Max-Q and AI Smarts
Surprise, surprise: Gigabyte’s Aero line is getting an RTX upgrade, but the company isn’t stopping there. The new Aero 15 will have Microsoft Azure AI, making this one of the smartest gaming laptops we have ever seen.
The computer will start at $2,299 ($2,199 each, if you buy two) and launch sometime at the end of January.
With Gigabyte including the Microsoft Azure AI, the AI (if enabled) accesses the Azure cloud database and pulls previously gathered information on whatever app you’re running, in order to best optimize it.
For example: If you’re playing PUBG at 50 frames per second, the AI will crank up the GPU, and you’ll end up netting 60 fps.
And for content creators, Azure is also compatible with everything in Adobe’s lineup, so you can get upwards of a 30 percent boost in performance while video-editing in Premiere. If the Microsoft Azure AI works as advertised, it can completely revolutionize gaming laptops.
Maxing out the Aero 15 will net you an Intel Core i9-8950HK processor, an Nvidia GeForce GTX 2080 Max-Q GPU with 8GB VRAM, 32GB RAM (2 slots for 64GB) and two 2TB SSDs.
The Aero 15’s black hood isn’t too elaborate, but it does have a sleek two-toned arrow cutout below it that highlights the lid's carbon fiber design. The hinge was impressive, as it looked like it was majestically sculpted into the chassis, until I finally noticed the webcam hiding in plain sight — and it wasn't placed well.
At the very least, the Aero 15 is light and slim, weighing just under 5 pounds and measuring only 0.74 inches. It comes with with three USB 3.1 ports, one Thunderbolt 3 port, an HDMI 2.0 port, a USB Type-C / DisplayPort 1.4, a headphone jack, an SD card slot and an RJ45 port.
To counterbalance the webcamon the hinge, we’re getting superthin bezels. On top of that, Aero 15’s 15.6-inch panel can be configured with a 3840 x 2160 resolution and cover 100 percent of the Adobe RGB spectrum. It didn’t look that bright in person, but in-game, a PUBG character’s backpack was sharp and colorful.
Another thing I’m excited about is that Gigabyte is including fully customizable RGB lighting for each key on the keyboard. The software will also remember which keys you use the most when you play games and illuminate them for you. And it doesn’t just look gorgeous; it felt punchy and tactile as I danced my fingers all over the deck.
Something long overdue is that the touchpad is finally getting Windows precision drivers, so your gestures should be more responsive and accurate.
We weren’t able to fully test the audio, but Gigabyte shipping the Aero 15 with NAHIMIC 3, which will provide 7.1 virtual surround sound as well as a fully customizable equalizer.
Gigabyte rated the Aero 15 to last up to 10 hours on a charge, which is unheard of for a gaming laptop. We’re interested in putting that to the test.
We’ll have more details to share once we fully review and benchmark the Aero 15, but if our preview has told us anything about 2019, it's that AI could completely change the way we game.
Credit: Laptop Mag