REVIEW: AORUS 17G – Monster Machine For The Gamer On The Go
Gaming tech producers GIGABYTE are going full-throttle in the gaming world with the next-gen AORUS 17G laptop with top notch specs and a built-in mechanical keyboard available now from $3,799.
Powered by Intel Core i7-10875H processor – one of the most powerful chips out there – and the new NVIDIA GeForce RTX Super mobile GPUs, it seamlessly runs any game on the market with its 240Hz 1080p display.
But it’s not for those on a budget, although its hefty price tag does stack up to its specs and where it sits in the spectrum of gaming laptops.
So, does this absolute beast of a laptop, with its rigid construction and full feature set, live up to the challenge of becoming the next-gen desktop gaming replacement that the modern gamer is calling out for?
First thoughts: it’s a heavy beast, and for good reason.
Although only about an inch thick, the laptop weighs approximately 2.7kg and its chassis is comprised of sturdy CNC aluminium.
It feels strong enough to survive a big drop like down the stairs or at the very least an accidental drop from the bed by late night writers or gamers – not tested by this writer!
That cool dark grey-silver aluminium chassis and its front and side vents bring to mind sleek sports cars with smooth clean edges.
You won’t find any stereotypical gaming traits here – besides the RGB lighting on the keyboard – making it a good choice for creative professionals that would like to avail of its powerful performance specifications.
The hinge mechanism is very strong and bulky. The only bit of give is a slight wiggle of the super thin display, but it still feels sturdy and secure.
Once opened it reveals its expansive 17” screen with super thin bezel and the 1080p matte screen, perfect for immersive gameplay.
The best thing about this laptop for me was the keyboard. As a writer I am a stickler for a good keyboard layout and feel.
GIGABYTE claims this is the thinnest gaming laptop with a mechanical keyboard in the world, so you’d assume that it’s worth the effort of including it beyond the novelty.
Having a mechanical RGB backlit keyboard included in the build of the laptop is undeniably cool.
However, despite the expansive space on the laptop, the keyboard looked and felt slightly squished in comparison.
For instance, the arrow up key and the shift key were practically on top of each other. Not ideal if you use the arrow keys in gaming or the right shift key for capitalising.
I shift between a standard keyboard and a HyperX mechanical keyboard for my work and day-to-day computing use and feel the keyboard on the AORUS 17G is somewhere between a true mechanical keyboard and a regular run of the mill keyboard.
The keys are quite comfortable Omron B3KL switches, similar to the more traditional Cherry MX switches but with a lower profile so they don’t stick out of the keyboard. You will be forgiven for not realising they are mechanical at first glance.
It has the satisfying press of a mechanical keyboard with a less ostentatious typewriter click.
The keyboard is a nice feature and quite the design feat to include in a laptop.
The trackpad is smooth and very responsive and the fingerprint reader is without fault. Quick set up and near-instant unlocking.
So far besides a slightly squashed but otherwise delightful keyboard, I am 100% on board, but then, like with the AERO 15, GIGABYTE breaks my heart with their decision to place the webcam at the base of the screen.
I understand that the super thin bezel leaves no room for a webcam and provides more screen real estate for gaming and video content.
Regardless, it is the most unflattering angle for webcams. No one looks down at their keyboard when they are on a Zoom call or video chat. It’s not sensible in today’s world of remote working.
That being said, it was a quality camera feed. It was just capturing the underside of my chin and not my actual face – it’s very difficult to make your chin look good in a webcam.
PERFORMANCE & DISPLAY
As expected, the AORUS boots up quickly and has excellent processing times thanks to its powerful Core i7 10th gen processor and WiFi 6 card.
The processor is packed with 8 cores, 16 threads and can boost 5.1GHz, now that’s powerful!
But if that’s not enough for you, the laptop is upgradable with extra M.2 and DDR4 slots under the hood if you require more RAM.
Although it is built for gamers, it packs the power required for video-editing and intense graphic work.
Gamers and creatives would also appreciate the gorgeous 1080p display that covers 72% NTSC colour gamut with Pantone certification. The NTSC standard makes games look more realistic, and combined with the 240Hz refresh rate and 72% colour gamut, makes for a more immersive experience.
Superfast 240Hz refresh rate, shoot outs and rushing through lush rainforest in Shadow of the Tomb Raider was so fluid and bursting with lifelike colour – you’d forget it was all a game.
While the beautiful display and keyboard make setting up a gaming rig almost unnecessary, the AORUS 17G features an array of ports for all your gaming or creative needs: 3x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A ports, 1x Thunderbolt 3 port, 1x HDMI, 1x ethernet, 1x input audio, 1x output audio, and an SD card reader.
Again, it falls short of ticking all the boxes. The audio is a little flat.
The speakers are bottom-mounted and while the audio could be worse, with its price tag it should be better especially as there appears to be space to fit them in!
When it comes to battery life, the AORUS 17G surprised me.
With its powerful processor and energy-sapping display, I was expecting it to last an hour or two while gaming, but it still had plenty of juice after hour three.
The AORUS 17G lives up to the promised 6-7 hours of battery life, but if you are taking it on your travels it would be best to charge it up beforehand and take the charger with you.
There isn’t too much inbuilt custom software but it does feature the easy to navigate AORUS Control Centre which allows users to check the status of hardware and change key settings and customise the light settings of the RGB mechanical keyboard.
Finally, a gaming laptop to replace desktops! The AORUS 17G packs a lot of punch providing desktop-grade performance in a portable setup. Designed for pro gamers, it’s great for the gaming enthusiast who wants cutting-edge technology and performance.
I often review laptops that aren’t the best for the “gamer on the go”. This is the first that I can truly say is for the gamer on the move.
It’s the gaming minimalist’s dream in one sleek (if slightly hefty) package.
And saying that, it is lighter than most other options on the market and it boasts the computing power, graphics card, refresh rate and display specs that make having a second screen moot.
But, if you wanted to set up a gaming rig at home, it has all the ports ready to go.
If you are after a budget item, then this is not for you. If you are willing to spend more to achieve more, the AORUS 17G is an absolute dream to play and work on.
Design – 9/10
Performance – 9/10
Value – 9/10