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Bezel-free look for Gigabyte's Aero 15

The Aero 15 is impressively slim for a 15-inch model, at just under 2cm thick.
The Aero 15 is impressively slim for a 15-inch model, at just under 2cm thick.PHOTO: GIGABYTE

Gigabyte's new Aero 15 laptop takes its cue from current notebook trends. First, it is impressively slim for a 15-inch model, at just under 2cm thick.

The slim design also applies to the screen bezel, which is thin enough on three of the sides to create the impression of a borderless display.

As a result, the Web camera has been moved from its usual position above the display, to the bottom at the hinge. As you are most likely looking at the screen while using the Web camera, it results in shots that focus on your chin rather than your eyes.

The narrow bezel helps to minimise the size of the chassis, which is almost that of a 14-inch laptop. This is most apparent in its keyboard, which stretches from one edge to the other. At around 2.1kg, the Aero 15 is about as heavy as the Dell XPS 15, which has a similar display with an ultra-thin bezel.

The Aero 15 is more than capable of running the latest video games. It has a GeForce GTX 1060 graphics chip that is deemed VR-ready by chip maker Nvidia. But Gigabyte appears to be targeting mobile professionals who require something more powerful than ultrabooks with slow, integrated graphics.

  • TECH SPECS

  • PRICE: $3,099

    PROCESSOR: Intel Core i7-7700HQ (2.8GHz)

    GRAPHICS: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 6GB GDDR5

    RAM: 16GB DDR4

    SCREEN SIZE: 15.6 inches, 1,920 x 1,080 pixels

    CONNECTIVITY: 3 x USB 3.0, Thunderbolt 3, HDMI, mini-DisplayPort, Ethernet port, SD card reader, audio jack

    BATTERY: 94 watt-hour

  • RATING

  • FEATURES: 4/5

    DESIGN: 4/5

    PERFORMANCE: 4/5

    BATTERY LIFE: 4/5

    VALUE FOR MONEY: 3/5

    OVERALL: 4/5

This probably explains its restrained aesthetics compared with typical gaming notebooks, although it does come with a choice of green, orange or black for the lid. Personally, I would go for the black version because it looks more appropriate for the office setting.

I would also turn the RGB keyboard backlight to plain white instead of picking a particular shade from more than 16 million colours. Using the preloaded Gigabyte Fusion utility, you can adjust the keyboard backlight such that each individual key has a unique backlight colour. You can also choose from a number of preset lighting schemes.

The Aero 15's matte screen looks good and well-balanced. Apparently, Gigabyte had engaged colour-calibration specialist X-Rite to ensure that the screen produced accurate colours.

It performed up to expectations in games. It managed around 63 frames per second (fps) in Crysis 3 at Very High setting at 1,920 x 1,080 pixels. It also scored 95fps in Doom at Ultra setting.

Keeping this laptop cool are dual fans that get louder while running intensive workloads. However, they were not as noisy as some gaming laptops and, more importantly, they keep the laptop from becoming uncomfortably warm.

Thanks to its huge 94 watt-hour battery, the Aero 15 lasted 6hr in our video-loop battery test at maximum brightness and volume. Do note that, in my experience, this uptime will be significantly reduced if you are playing a game instead.

• Verdict: The Gigabyte Aero 15 gives slim gaming laptops like the Razer Blade a run for their money with its sleek design, good gaming performance and a near bezel-less screen.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 03, 2017, with the headline 'Bezel-free look for Gigabyte's Aero 15'. Print Edition | Subscribe