- Excellent performance
- Beautiful slim design
- Improved display
- Chassis runs hot
- Fan runs loud
The Aorus X7 Pro is an attractive powerhouse, cramming a ridiculous amount of power into an incredibly slim form form factor, but the expensive price point and loud fan may act as a deterrent for some users.
Armed with two Nvidia GeForce GTX 970M GPUs, the Aorus X7 Pro looks to offer competitive performance levels in the same incredibly thin form factor that the series has become known for. Adopting the same sleek and stylish chassis design as the Aorus X7V2, the refreshed device delivers both power and style in a portable, travel friendly form.
Similar to other Aorus devices this elusive combination doesn’t come cheap. The unit we tested is currently listed at $2,600, but with performance gains across the board, users looking for power and portability will find the X7 Pro to be an enticing offer.
Build and Design
Not much has changed when it comes to the Aorus X7 Pro’s design, but considering how much we enjoyed the look and feel of the Aorus X7v2, that’s a good thing. The slim black aluminum chassis still invokes the aesthetic of an expensive sports car.
The slow curves and jutting edges come together to create a stylish composition that manages to catch the eye, without being too gaudy–a mistake far too many gaming desktop replacements make.
Once again the power button bearing Aorus’ logo resides at the top center of the deck. The button is located smack dab in the middle of the device’s speaker grill. A full-sized keyboard and touchpad are located directly below.
The X7 pro not only looks similar, but has manages to match the insane form factor of previous models. The chassis has the same exact dimensions at 16.8 x 12 x 0.9-inches, but is slightly heavier at 6.9 pounds, likely thanks to its robust innards. At 6.9 pounds (closer to 8.7 pounds with the power adapter) there are clearly better options for users who simply want a portable device capable of playing the latest games, but when compared to other desktop replacements, the X7 Pro is nothing short of impressive. Both the MSI GT72 Dominator Pro and the Alienware 17 are far heavier with larger frames at 8.2 pounds and 9.2 pounds respectively.
Ports and Features
As expected of a desktop replacement, the X7 Pro offers excellent connectivity with a wide selection of ports. The left side is outfitted with a Kensington lock slot, an Ethernet connector, an HDMI connector, a VGA connector, a USB 3.0 port, a headphone jack, and a microphone jack. The right side of the device features a SD Card Reader, two USB 3.0 ports, an HDMI connector, and a MiniDisplay connector. Finally on the back of the device you will find two USB 2.0 ports and the power jack.
Notable features offered in previous models return, including Panorama technology with the ability to host a single image across multiple displays. The X7 Pro also offers Killer LAN networking, which helps to ensure consistent low-latency when using a wired connection. The company’s Command and Control software also makes a return, with a few new tweaks. The company has added a new monitoring tool called “System Gauge” along with a revamped fan manager that offers more comprehensive settings. As always the tile interface remains simple and intuitive.
Display and Sound
While the X7 Pro may have used the same chassis as previous models, the notebook houses a brand new display. The 17.3-inch FHD (1920 x 1080) anti-glare LCD backlit display is a bit brighter than the previous panel at 320 nits. The X7 Pro still offers mediocre black levels, but the laptop offers improved contrast ratios and a NTSC 72% color gamut. With a brighter display and even more vibrant color contrast the X7 Pro’s display is even better suited to media use than previous models.
The bright panel and matte finish also help the display perform well in direct light. However, the screen’s viewing angles are severely diminished in heavy and directly lighting, as images quickly appear washed out. Under normal circumstances the screen’s viewing angles are slightly more generous, but color loss is still noticeable at extreme angels.
The Aorus X7 Pro houses a pair of speakers along with two sub-woofers, which are located along the front right and left sides of the chassis. Sound levels aren’t particularly boisterous, but the sound system is capable of providing audio suitable for a modest sized room. While the X7 Pro isn’t all that loud, it does deliver consistent sound quality. We were impressed by the notebook’s ability to accurately depict an orchestral track. The two sub-woofers also offer a considerable amount of bass for a laptop, making the device perfect for capturing in-game sound effects.
Keyboard and Touchpad
The Aorus X7 Pro offers a backlit full-sized Chiclet keyboard complete with macro keys (located to the left) and a number pad (to the right). Key travel is rather limited for a 17-inch desktop replacement, but the keyboard’s responsive feedback makes it easy to strike keys quickly and accurately. To the left of the device sits five programmable macro keys ranging from G1 to G5, but with five programmable layers the X7 Pro actually offers a total of 25 programmable keys. The backlights switch with each layer to make it easy for users to discern between different macro sets.
Located below the keyboard is a black glass Elan touchpad. The sleek glass pad is devoid of any buttons instead designating the bottom portion of the pad to act as left and right mouse-clicks. The pad is easy enough to navigate and offers decent travel.
We still have the same reservations about the unique touchpad design. It will likely feel foreign to users who are unfamiliar with it, and applying to much pressure to the pad can add friction, making it more difficult to scroll or complete multi-finger gestures. The middle area of the pad still does not compress and thus will not read click gestures. Using the touchpad certainly feels more comfortable after a few days, but we still can’t find any advantages over the traditional touchpad design.