You Win Some, You Lose Some
If you want a premium gaming laptop experience, there’s no doubt in my mind that you’ll get it with the Aorus X5 v7. The collection of top-end hardware, particularly the overclockable Core i7-7820HK and high-resolution G-Sync display, delivers a noticeably better gaming experience over more basic GTX 1070 gaming laptops with the Core i7-7700HQ inside.
The additional CPU power in the X5 v7 doesn’t always lead to a better average frame rate at 1080p, but it does produce noticeably better minimum frame rates at this resolution, which creates a smoother experience. The difference at times is significant, enough that in some games it makes ultra settings playable where previously they weren’t with the same GPU.
The X5 v7 is only available with high-resolution G-Sync displays, either 1620p or 4K depending on the model. At 4K, the GTX 1070 can struggle to hit playable frame rates at Ultra settings. However if you’re willing to drop down to high or medium, 4K is a realistic option, and G-Sync really helps smoothing out sub-60 frame rates. With a high-res display, you also get the best of both worlds: the ability to play at lower resolutions where the GTX 1070 thrives, and the ability to play at 4K where the GTX 1070 can handle it.
The display on the Aorus X5 v7 benefits from X-Rite Pantone certification, which we first saw in the Gigabyte Aero 15. This certification leads to better out-of-the-box accuracy than most laptops on the market.
I’m also a fan of the X5 v7’s size. It’s not as slim as Max-Q laptops, but it’s still pretty portable at 2.5kg (5.5 lbs) heavy and 23mm thick. Often when companies produce gaming laptops with HK-series CPUs, they make them thick and heavy; that's not the case here at all. The keyboard is worth mentioning, too, because it’s great to type on and has full RGB backlighting. The trackpad… not as good.
The only major issue I have with the laptop is its loud cooling solution, which runs at audible levels even when the workload is light. Some tweaks to the fan curve would improve this, but it certainly won’t keep the system quiet while gaming. You’ll need to wear headphones to block out the loudness of the cooler under full load, and while this isn’t unusual for a laptop, the X5 v7 is at the upper end of the volume scale.
To get the Aorus X5 v7’s GTX 1070 gaming experience, you’ll need to pay a hefty premium. GTX 1070 laptops tend to start around the $1,499 to $1,699 mark, but the entry-level X5 v7 costs a whopping $2,399. Of course, you’re getting much better hardware in every regard, though some will certainly find that $900 margin very hard to swallow. We’re not quite hitting GTX 1080 laptop pricing, but this laptop does come pretty close.
Pros: Better performance than most GTX 1070 laptops thanks to its overclocked CPU. High-resolution G-Sync display with X-Rite Pantone certification. Portable design with a great keyboard.
Cons: Loud cooling solution. Awful trackpad. Expensive.