Gigabyte Aero 15X, just another review

I did it. After months of searching and reading almost every review on the web for every powerfull laptop, I’ve made my choice, and I couldn’t be happier. Really. What I looked for was a powerful and compact laptop, with a good battery, removable and expandable ram, fast and expandable storage and a reasonable amount of external ports. It was to replace my old 2013 1366×768 laptop.

At the beginning I was undecided. The machine should have been future proof, good for productivity, programming, and a little bit of good quality gaming (as I’ve never had in my life some high-end hardware).

So I checked MSI GS65, Zephyrus M, Razer Blade 15, some of Lenovo’s thinkpads and of course the famous XPS, but some of them didn’t hit all the points.

My options narrowed down to just Aero 15x, and Razer Blade 15, but RB15 was far too expensive. Hence I started to investigate the Aero 15x.

Reading on Reddit and watching reviews on YT I’ve been scared at the point to almost abandon this choice. According to the reviews it has way too many issues.

It’s hot, it suffers from backlight bleeding, dim display, imprecise touchpad, issues with the keyboard, and Legacy USB is not supported in BIOS and never will be.

You have to be crazy to purchase such a product at that price, and I probably am, I did it.

But which one? Spend extra bucks for the 4K brighter and sharper display or go for the 1080p 144Hz?

After some reading on 4K vs FHD on 15,6″ laptops, I went for the FHD. Less expensive and smoother.

I got it!

You probably can’t understand my tension and hope to have a product without a defect after all that negative reading. After all, it was my biggest expense on a piece of tech.

 

Unboxing

Other than the laptop, charger (mine is the slim one) and instructions you find nothing else. Just a thermal pad for an extra SSD. I don’t understand the folks complaining about the unboxing experience, they sound like apple fanboys. Actually when you hold the laptop for the first time the first things that you notice is that it’s compact, heavy and robust. When you open the lid it’s really cool. It really looks like a weapon as someone on the web already said.

If you love the minimalistic design you gonna love its lines and the overall feel.

My model is the 15X-CF2, and I think it’s the updated (and improved) version from the BK4.

The laptop comes with the latest BIOS version FB08, with Legacy USB support and no backlight bleeding.

The keyboard works well and is soft and it’s similar to the apple keyboard (like this one) I use on my tower pc.

If you know this keyboard you also know that it’s really good for typing. Expect a similar typing experience form the Aero 15X.

 

Touchpad

The touchpad is really solid, robust, stiff, with a short travel but smooth and does not get dirty. It feels durable. The precision of this touchpad is strange. In Linux is quite good, in Windows is a bit less sensitive but it’s not that headache like they say.

 

Battery

Battery life is good for basic activities but if you are going to push it’s better you stay near to a power outlet. Although you can probably expect 2 hours of battery life under load.

The Windows reinstall is mandatory, I confirm that the performances will be better after a complete reinstall. Just don’t forget to backup your calibrated color profiles.

 

Display

The display is very nice, maybe the blacks could be darker (I’m a fan of image quality). I’m glad to have the FHD version and not the 4K, as the more defined display would have been a needless expense. This FHD panel by AU Optronics is sharp and the resolution is more than enough for a 15,6″ panel. If you want the 4K experience in Windows you can scale down to 100%.

In Linux FHD is more than enough, some elements are really tiny, I can’t imagine on 4K. Linux offers just two options for scaling: 100 and 200%, probably the 200% is good for 4K but definitely not for FHD.

 

Audio

The speakers. I’m an honest audiophile I don’t expect booming sound quality from a laptop. But the bass is almost absent, the speakers sound like connected to a high pass filter.

Don’t get me wrong, the highs, however, are really precise and somehow immersive, you feel inside the music.

The speakers on Linux sound better.

 

Keyboard

They say that the keyboard is problematic, I find the typing experience normal for what you expect from a pleasant keyboard.

 

Graphics

If you are going to make a dual boot from scratch keep in mind that you are going to solve some freezing problems on Linux and deal with BSODs on Windows at a certain point until you realize it’s better to use GeForce Experience to install the correct drivers for you. In Linux, I use without any problem the proprietary drivers.

Dual boot

You can install Linux and then Windows and vice versa, it makes no difference. The bios detect automatically bootable partitions and you can bypass grub for booting windows.

 

Conclusion

Am I just lucky? I think it’s not the point. I think Gigabyte fixed some issues with this laptop and released the updated version. So I recommend to everyone looking for a fast and versatile machine to go for this Gigabyte Aero 15X, in particular for the CF2 model if you want to stay sure.