Gigabyte continues to be a premier manufacturer in the PC market, featuring numerous products, including mice, keyboards, gaming chairs, motherboards, laptops, mini-PCs, and more. With such a diverse product range, the brand has a good deal of mind share. It doesn't hurt that they continue to push and adapt, such as with the creation of the AORUS brand for enthusiast-tier products.
In today's review, I look at the Gigabyte AORUS 15G notebook. This high-end, 15.6-inch unit looks sleek and packs some truly impressive hardware. For the CPU, the system packs an 8c/16t Intel i7 10875H, and for your gaming needs, it has an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Super Max-Q. The display is where Gigabyte decided to go the extra miles by offering a 1080p IGZO panel with an impressive 240 Hz refresh rate. That alone isn't worth too much fanfare, but the fact that it is also X-Rite Pantone certified and factory-calibrated certainly is. Good specifications are nice, but a properly calibrated screen? Now, that's fantastic. So without further ado, it's time to see what the AORUS 15G XB is capable of!
|Model:||AORUS 15G XB|
|Size:||14.0 x 9.84 x 0.98 in.|
35.6 x 25.0 x 2.5 cm
|Processor:||Intel Core i7-10875H|
2.30 GHz (5.10 GHz Turbo)
1920x1080 240Hz IGZO
|Operating System:||Windows 10 Home 64-bit|
|Integrated Graphics:||Intel HD Graphics 630|
|Dedicated Graphics:||NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Super Max-Q|
8 GB GDDR6
|Memory:||Crucial 16 GB (2x 8 GB) 3200 MHz @ 2933 MHz|
2x SO-DIMM slots (both are occupied)
|Storage:||Intel 760P 512 GB NVMe SSD|
|Connectivity:||1x HDMI 2.0|
1x Thunderbolt 3
3x USB 3.2 Gen 1
1x Mini DP 1.4
1x UHS-II SD card reader
1x RJ45 Ethernet jack
1x 3.5 mm audio combo jack
|Communications:||Killer Ethernet E2600|
Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX1650
Bluetooth 5.0 + LE
|Audio:||Realtek (R) Audio|
|Input device:||ELAN Trackpad with fingerprint reader|
Fusion RGB mechanical keyboard (OMRON switches)
|Power:||230 W AC adapter|
94.24 Wh battery
Packaging and Contents
The packaging is rather bland. While the AORUS logo is prominently featured on the back and front alongside the G2 Esports logo, there isn't much else to see. That said, the design, while not as attention-grabbing as others I have seen, is at least a step up from the typical brown box. The other sides are essentially the same, with little to see other than a barebones specifications table.
Upon opening the box, users will find the laptop inside a black cloth bag, situated between some foam inserts for protection. The power brick and cord are in a smaller box next to the laptop. Suffice it to say, it's your standard-bog packaging, nothing to write home about, but it did its job as the unit arrived safe and sound without a scratch, and that is all that matters.
Everything you need and nothing you don't seems to be a theme here. The unit comes with everything you need to get started. The only extras are a thermal pad and some hardware to install another NVMe SSD, but otherwise, what you see is what you get.
- User guides
- Warranty card
- M.2 thermal pad and extra hardware
- Battery charger and cable
A Closer Look
The AORUS 15G XB is at first glance a sleek and clean-looking notebook with an illuminated logo dead center. Its aluminium shell and plastic bottom plate feel solid, and it's a nice step up compared to the overly gaming-centric, nearly all-plastic designs of the past. But in light of stiff competition, it's not exactly amazing, either. Sure, the illuminated logo can be considered a bit tacky, but it's not nearly as in your face as the illuminated light bars and other eccentric design choices I have seen over the years. As such, I commend Gigabyte for keeping things a little bit simpler and a bit more professional here.
Flipping the unit over and looking at the bottom, we can see Gigabyte wants to keep the unit cool since it has proper venting for components. While this does mean dust will make its way in more quickly, the upside is greatly reduced temperatures, which typically means more performance.
The front edge is clean, with only a small vented opening breaking up the otherwise solid fascia. On the left side is a large vented area for exhausting heat. Regarding connectivity, you will find 1x HDMI 2.0 port, 1x Mini DisplayPort 1.4, 1x USB 3.2 Gen1 Type-A port, 1x combo audio jack, and an RJ45 Ethernet jack.
The unit's back has a massive exhaust vent for the two cooling fans, and better yet, it's not completely boxed in or overly complex in design. Obviously, with fewer obstructions, airflow will see an improvement, which is a good thing. On the right side are 2x USB 3.2 Gen1 Type-A ports, 1x Thunderbolt 3 (Type-C) port, 1x SD card reader, and the power plug. As for the vented opening, it's much the same as on the other side in that it functions as another exhaust port.
The keyboard is backlit and mechanical, which is certainly quite nice, but the OMRON switches for said keyboard are the biggest surprise here. According to Gigabyte, this is the first laptop with OMRON mechanical switches, so I cannot attest to their reliability. However, considering my experience with OMRON switches in various gaming mice and how well they have held up, I suspect these will hold up just fine, but again, only time will tell. That said, it doesn't hurt that they have a 15 million keystroke lifespan. As for how they feel, I would describe them as similar to MX Blue mechanical switches, but not quite as loud, and with a resistance similar to my keyboard with MX Red switches. It's a weird combination, but I was able to adjust quickly and had no issues typing at my typical pace.
The trackpad is average in regards to size, but tracking felt accurate while completing daily tasks. When it comes to the left and right buttons, they felt good but not great. Compared to the middle, the outer edges had to be depressed a bit further for a click to register. It is not a drastic difference and can be considered much improved over the more typically mushy trackpad buttons I have used on older gaming laptops. However, I would still like it slightly firmer on those outer corners. Regardless, the trackpad is above average overall, but it won't wow you. When it comes to gaming or any kind of productivity work, you will probably want a traditional mouse anyway.
Finally, the terrible 720p webcam is positioned right above the power button beneath the display. The little privacy cover is a nice touch, but unless you really need to use it, leave the cover in place and just forget it exists as the picture quality is terrible.
A look Inside
Gigabyte did a great job in terms of assembly for the AORUS 15G XB. To remove the bottom plate, just remove the screws, at which point the base plate, which does have plastic clips, will lift off easily. This will give you access to most of the components you would want to upgrade or replace with little issue. On the left-hand side of the back of the unit, you will find the WiFi card, NVMe SSD, and a massive cooling fan that forces air through two heatsinks.
The right-hand side has a similar cooling arrangement of three heatpipes and two heatsinks. Just above the fan is the CMOS battery. A closer look at the NVMe SSD shows it's an Intel 760P 512 GB drive, and the WiFi 6 from Killer Networking is technically an Intel AX200NGW, which in my testing on various units and systems has proven quite able and reliable. Meanwhile, the memory is from Crucial.
A closer look at the secondary NVMe M.2 slot shows it can handle PCIe or SATA offerings in that form factor, and Gigabyte does include the necessary hardware for it. As for the battery, a Li-Polymer battery pack, its model number is GAG-J40, and it is rated at 15.2 volts, 6200 mAh/94.24 Wh. Finally, the Crucial memory is rated at 3200 MHz; however, Gigabyte has it configured at 2933 MHz and 21-21-21-47 timings.
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