Life can be so beautiful… at least… if a 4K OLED panel can be used on a laptop. And that’s what the Gigabyte Aero 15 OLED offers – what’s in the name…
I was able to use the laptop for a while, so it’s time to put something on paper. How I like it, you can read about it here!
AERO 15 OLED XD
Windows 11 Home
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11th Gen Intel® Core™ i7-11800H (2.3GHz~4.6GHz)
Intel® UHD Graphics
NVIDIA® GeForce RTX™ 3070 Laptop GPU 8GB GDDR6
Boost Clock 1290 MHz, Maximum Graphics Power 105 W
NVIDIA Max-Q Technologies:
Dynamic Boost 2.0, Resizable BAR, and Optimus™ Technology.
15.6″ Thin Bezel UHD 3840×2160 Samsung AMOLED Display (VESA DisplayHDR 400 True Black, 100% DCI-P3)
*X-Rite™ Color Calibrated & Pantone® Validated
2x DDR4 Slots (DDR4-3200, Max 64GB)
Mobile Intel® HM570 Express Chipset
2x M.2 SSD slots (Type 2280, supports 1x NVMe PCIe Gen3 & SATA/ 1x NVMe PCIe Gen4)
GIGABYTE Fusion RGB Per-Key Backlit Keyboard
3x USB 3.2 Gen1 (Type-A)
1x Thunderbolt™ 4 (Type-C)
1x HDMI 2.1
1x mini DP 1.4
1x 3.5mm Headphone/Microphone Combo Jack
1x UHS-II SD Card Reader
1x DC-in Jack
2x 2 Watt Speaker
LAN: RTL8125-BG REALTEK (2.5G) Ethernet
WLAN: Intel® AX200 Wireless (802.11ax, a/b/g/n/ac/ax compatible)
Bluetooth: Bluetooth® V5.2
Firmware-based TPM, supports Intel® Platform Trust Technology (Intel® PTT)
35.6(W) x 25.0(D) x 2.13 ~ 2.15(H) cm
14.02(W) x 9.85(D) x 0.84 ~ 0.85(H) inch
It is time to unpack the Gigabyte Aero. In this case, it is a review model that has been sent to other reviewers. But, of course, that shouldn’t spoil the fun.
The Aero is a gaming laptop with decent specs, which is pretty neat for a laptop weighing 2.3 kilos. However, it does come with a large charger as a result. Fortunately, the 230W charger charges the laptop quickly.
The back of the laptop also looks neat. Even though it is a Gigabyte laptop, an Aero logo is still displayed, which also lights up when the laptop is on.
I wouldn’t be myself if I didn’t open the laptop as well.
First of all, what stands out? At the bottom are the speakers, and above the keyboard.
The memory consists of two strips of 16GB 3200MHz 1.2v ADATA DDR4 SO-DIMMs, which totals 32GB. And that is just great for a laptop like this. In addition, there are two NVMe slots, one of which is already filled by a 1TB SSD. To the left of the 99Wh battery is another NVMe slot.
The gigabyte Aero has two good fans with 71 blades per fan. In addition, 5 heat pipes are used to dissipate the heat. The i7 is still kept pretty cool with that. In fact, without using the Gigabyte console (software), the standard preset is that the fan is not very audible. During gaming, it does really rage.
For a laptop like this, you could also expect more extreme shapes or other highlights. But it is still quite a neat/normal laptop.
The screen is nicely molded into this laptop. The bezels on the side are very thin.
Let’s not forget, this laptop has a Pantone color calibration with an OLED screen. In short, the colors are spot-on!
In addition, the keyboard has 16.7M colors. For example, each key can be adjusted separately in terms of color, or complete wavy rainbows can be displayed.
This keyboard also has a per-key macro function that can be set via the software. And of course also an N-key rollover.
In this case, it was a laptop with a Nordic layout.
It is still hilarious to take pictures from a monitor. As a reader, you obviously don’t see very well what I see – due to the photos and compression on them. However, I can assure you that it looks great. I’m a big fan of OLED in terms of colors.
Also while gaming.
The Aero has the following connections on the sides (left and right)
Headphone/Microphone Combo Jack
mini DP 1.4
UHS-II SD Card Reader
One thing to note is that the Aero has glossy glass. So there is no matte coating on the panel. This makes the colors a lot more ‘vivid’.
The BIOS of the Aero is quite basic. It does what it’s supposed to do, but there’s not much exciting behind it either. It’s not a BIOS like you see on the Gigabyte Z690 Xtreme.
The laptop in use
The Aero is not only a fierce gaming laptop in terms of looks, but it can certainly be used for gaming. Fortunately, with the RTX 3070, there is a lot of power available, and that is nice. In fact, that is also necessary with the 4K OLED screen. The 3070 can also be used for rendering, as a user of this laptop may also do image editing (video/photo editing). I have been able to edit a lot of photos for my reviews via this laptop and that is a pleasure.
At these times, the battery can be adjusted quite well with the Gigabyte Control Center, so that about 6 – 7 hours of battery life can be achieved. If you turn on the turbo mode, for both the graphics card and lighting and brightness, you’ll be done after a few hours and you’ll be peeking at a dark screen.
Still, I would like to emphasize the OLED screen again. After all, OLED has beautiful colors, and this laptop does that quite well with the X-rite (and Pantone) calibration.
So if you are an image editor looking for a laptop that has a lot of power and storage options, then this is also a very interesting option. Because the screen itself is already very good, there is no need to purchase an additional calibrated monitor.
As for gaming, that just works very well on this laptop. It must be said that it is important to use your own presets and not to select the standard low, mid, high or ultra presets. Then you will be disappointed with some games. Let’s face it … you play on a 4k screen after all. An option was also to adjust the resolution of the games to 2560×1440 to still achieve that ultra preset – that helps a lot.
While gaming, the laptop does get warm, but which laptop doesn’t with such a graphics card and CPU. Personally, however, I didn’t find it very annoying, or at least I didn’t feel that I couldn’t put my hand on the laptop anymore because it got too hot, fortunately, it’s not that bad.
While benchmarking games like FarCry – even on low or medium – it sometimes just looks like you’re on an ultra preset. This is also due to the sharpness of the 4K in combination with the colors of the OLED panel. After all, you see more.
It is therefore very nice to be able to switch from normal use with such a laptop – typing some Word documents and then being able to play extensively again.
Sound from the speakers is fine, but don’t expect a high-end stereo set – not even a normal stereo set. In my opinion, it can be compared to sound coming from a TV. That also sounds… reasonable.
What is also very nice about this laptop is the number of connections. Because there are just a lot of USB connections and Thunderbolt connections on the laptop, you don’t have to work with adapters or the like so quickly. This also applies to the mini-DP and HDMI connection.
Of course, I’m also curious about some benchmarks.
Let’s kick off with some games first and then some other benchmarks.
Well, a contemporary benchmark, as in the past with Crysis 2, is Cyberpunk 2077. At 4K it looks beautiful, but it is not very smooth.
What is funny though, is when the same preset is played at just a little lower resolution it just does look really beautiful – and smooth too.
Also with F1, it remains cool to race. On 4K, the Aero is pretty awesome. Add a controller or racing wheel and go with it!
Far Cry New Dawn
This is another one of those beautiful games. Still, with 4K you can get a lot of fun out of this game. The fire (in case of explosions) and the woods/trees look beautiful. Especially on 4K with such a panel. There is certainly still some tinkering to be done on the presets to make it run completely smoothly. If not, you can always switch back to 2560×1440.
Middle Earth: Shadow of War
This game has decent explosions and movement/detail in the environment in the benchmarks. This causes considerable frame drops. By tinkering here too, much more can be achieved. For example, on medium, the average is 72 frames – with drops to 20, so there’s still some leeway there!
I always like this benchmark; on low, it’s like MineCraft, where everything is very, very blocky. On ultra (ultimate) it looks really beautiful. Here too there is a lot of leeways given the fact that ‘normal’ runs on in terms of frames. Put some things back from ultimate to normal and here too; go with it.
With Geekbench, the Aero 5 – for a laptop – still scores quite reasonably.
It is also interesting to see what the difference is between the battery settings being balanced or high performance.
The 4983 has been achieved with high performance. The balanced setting ticks (only) 4089 points. That’s quite a reasonable difference. Funny enough, a single core does slightly better than the high performance with the balanced setting.
I also played this joke with the Cinebench 23, where I switched between balanced and high performance. Here too there are quite a few differences in points, where the high performance obviously scores better.
Of course, PCMark is also included. In this case, it was decided to leave the preset at ‘high performance’.
Safe to say that it makes quite a difference how both the laptop is set up, as well as the preset in games. By tinkering with this you can get the most out of the system. And the power is there…
Gigabyte is not very widely present in the notebook market, because there is already a lot to offer at many levels (entry-level, etc.). Nevertheless, among other things, Gigabyte is aiming for a higher segment with the Aero. And that can be seen quite clearly with this OLED XD variant.
The Gigabyte Aero OLED XD is not extremely heavy, so at 2.3 kilos it is still fairly easy to carry.
Despite the RTX 3070, 32GB, and i7, this laptop still manages to get at least 6 hours – in my testing, browsing, etc.
And I think that’s just nice. Making such a powerhouse last so long is a stunt. The Gigabyte Control Center must be installed for this. If you don’t do that, you’ll be staring at a black screen after an hour or so. And that won’t do you any good…
The OLED panel is beautiful, the colors come out spectacularly. One of the first things I said when the laptop turned on was ‘Wow!’. And that was not because I saw myself on the screen…
In my opinion, OLED and 4K are a golden combination. For my reviews, I edit/process some photos now and then. Because of the colors and especially the detail of the 4K screen, you can enjoy playing. The Nvidia RTX 3070 also provides a lot of gaming fun. Still, it must be said that some games are really ‘too’ heavy for the 3070, but with a little tweaking, you can still get the most out of it. After all, it is a 4K monitor. Once you have been able to tweak everything, you can enjoy playing. But, people won’t buy this laptop just for gaming; with an x-rite color calibrated screen (and Pantone validated) you can be sure that everything will look beautiful. A true professional would therefore also be able to handle this thing quite well.
In terms of disk space … there is no HDD in it, in this case, there is already one 1TB SSD and there is still room for a second one. So you can go wild in terms of SSDs. However, the Thunderbolt 4 connection also offers additional options for fast external storage (for example, by connecting a Thunderbolt 4 supporting NAS).
Even though the laptop does not have any mechanical keys, it tests just fine. The documents that I was able to type on the laptop were typed without any problems. In addition, colors, macros, and other patterns can be set via the same Gigabyte Control Center. For example, the brightness and color can also be linked to the different modes that are currently being used. For example; the energy-saving mode sets the lighting to 20% and standard white, with turbo it is set back to 100% with a rainbow color.
The sky’s the limit…
So as far as I’m concerned, this is a tremendously cool thing. The screen alone convinced me. And then we also come straight to the price. This laptop is then no longer for sale – after all, it is last year’s model. But I can’t wait for the next generation to arrive either. No doubt I’ll try to review it again… then I’ll be busy for a few weeks – and I’ll have a lot of edited photos right away…
The Aero came to about 2200 euros at the end of last year. And I must confess that I find that neat for a laptop with these specifications.
In my opinion, the Gigabyte Aero OLED XD deserves 4 out of 5 stars.