Hands-on with Gigabyte Aorus gaming laptops, peripherals at Computex 2014By Tim Schiesser
Yesterday I looked at Gigabyte's latest PC hardware at their VIP suite in Taipei 101, and today I'm looking at their gaming gear under the Aorus brand. At Computex 2014 the company was showing off two new laptops, and a new modular keyboard, and a new gaming mouse, all of which I went hands-on with.
I'll start with the new mechanical keyboard, the Thunder K7, which uses Cherry MX Red keyswitches and features a modular design. With the keyboard, you can detach the section used for the numpad and macro keys, and add it to either side or remove it all together. Alternatively, you can use just the numpad by itself through a special, included cable.
The modularity of this particular mechanical keyboard is very cool, and when I had some time actually typing on it, you get that fantastic feel and feedback from the mechanical keyswitches. Being able to swap between having a numpad or macro keys keeps the overall size of the unit down as well, compared to other gaming keyboards which often have both.
The accompanying mouse is the Thunder M7, which is designed for MMO gamers by packing 16 programmable buttons and a ridiculous DPI of 8,200. I'm not an MMO gamer, so I don't find the keys all that useful, but even if you don't use them the mouse is comfortable to game with, although not as comfortable as my personal Razer DeathAdder.
Moving on to the Aorus gaming laptops, and Gigabyte had two brand new models on show: the X7, and the X3 Plus. The Aorus X7 was first launched at CES 2014 but it has already been updated with new internals at Computex, including an Intel Haswell Core i7 CPU, hugely powerful Nvidia GeForce GTX 860M SLI graphics, and up to 8 GB of RAM.
The monster laptop comes with a 17.3-inch 1080p display and a huge 73 Wh battery, although even then the battery life will likely be quite bad while gaming. With that said, the X7 is surprisingly slim and light ("only" 3kg heavy and 23mm thick) for this type of notebook, and from what I saw it was more than capable of driving a multi-monitor Battlefield 4 experience.
If you're looking for a more compact gaming notebook the X3 Plus is a much more compelling product. Packing a beautiful 13.9-inch QHD+ (3200 x 1800) IGZO display, Nvidia GeForce GTX 870M graphics plus an Intel Haswell Core i7 CPU, and up to 16 GB of RAM, the laptop is seriously powerful. In fact Gigabyte claims it's the most powerful of its size.
The X3 Plus weighs just 1.83 kg and is again 23mm thin, looking very sleek in person with a bit of the usual gaming notebook flare. No word on how battery life is, but I had some gaming time with the device and there's no shortage of power. With the aforementioned dimensions it's also one of the most portable gaming notebooks I've seen.