Gigabyte is releasing a new gaming laptop this month, being part of a slowly growing list of gaming laptop manufacturers that suddenly care about color graded screens. Dubbed the AERO 15, it’s a VR-ready laptop with one of NVIDIA’s recent Pascal graphics chips, the GTX 1060 — so in practice it can carry its own weight.
It’s enough juice to power a VR session, but more importantly, keeps a laptop of this type lightweight and portable enough to actually be considered a mobile powerhouse.
Earlier this year when Razer announced the Blade THX, it boiled down to attention spent on the screen’s color grading. The approach isn’t nearly as drastic (read: marketing) at first glance with the AERO15’s X-Rite Pantone color grading, but it’s one of Gigabyte’s main selling points for the laptop.
As a quick refresher: a color-graded screen ensures accurate colors in editing, gaming and just about everything you’d use a screen for. It’s most beneficial to creators and editors, where an untuned display can quickly turn a serious project into an inaccurate mess.
Quickly, let’s check pricing: the AERO15 starts at $899, but feels way beyond the aesthetic qualities you’d usually see on a sub-$1000 laptop. The lid has a smooth, aluminum finish, with textures towards the bottom. You get a bit of everything: aggressive lines, an individually backlit keyboard with programmable keys and orange, black or electric green color options.
Back to the screen: it’s borderless and beautiful with a 5.1mm bezel, and the whole machine has a 19mm (0.74 inches) thickness and 2.25kg (4.9lbs) weight. The multiple AERO15 models I laid eyes on only had HD displays, but a Gigabyte rep told me a color-graded 4K version is planned to release next month. Overall, it’s not the thinnest machine on the block by any measurement, but once you pick it up you quickly realize it’s not hefty at all.
Though I’m not sure how I feel about the webcam, which is mounted near the bottom and to add insult to injury, doesn’t support Windows Hello (facial recognition). One of the consequences of current edgeless monitor design, I suppose.
The rest of the AERO15’s specs solidify it as a well-specced machine, considering size and battery constraints. A 7th generation 2.8GHz quad-core Core i7 processor, up to 8GB RAM, up to two PCIe SSDs and a healthy selection of USB 3.0, USB-C/Thunderbolt 3, HDMI and SD ports make up the rest of the machine.
Other than expecting a review in the near future, I’m interested in seeing if this ongoing trend of color-graded laptops is producing better systems that can truly be a desk setup that fits on your lap.