Gigabyte Aero 14 (2017) Review

by Reads (2,237)
  • Editor's Rating

    Ratings Breakdown (1-10)

      • Software & Support
      • 8
      • Upgrade Capabilities
      • 7
      • Usability
      • 8
      • Design
      • 9
      • Performance
      • 9
      • Features
      • 7
      • Price/Value Rating
      • 10
      • Total Score:
      • 8.29
      • Rating 1 to 10, top score 10
  • Pros

    • Attractive design
    • Long lasting battery
    • Powerful specs
    • 3k IPS panel
    • Affordable

     

  • Cons

    • Panel isn’t as bright as competitors
    • Sound is a bit flat

Quick Take

With competitive specs, an eye-catching 3k panel, and a laser thin design the Gigabyte Aero 14 is a great option for users that want both performance and power.


It’s not surprising considering how much we loved it, that the Gigabyte Aero 14 is back in 2017. The revamped ultra-slim gaming laptop boasts several new powerful improvements under the hood including a Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti GPU and sixth generation Intel Core i7 CPU. Best of all the laptop manages to cram that into the same stylish 0.78-inch frame. Keep reading to see why the Gigabyte Aero 14 is an impressive meeting of performance, portability, and affordability.

Gigabyte Aero 14 Build and Design

Last year we loved the Aero 14’s new angular display lid and we’re happy to see it make a return. The aluminum protective lid is rounded along the edges and curve slightly upwards towards the top of the display. The interesting aspect though is the back of the lid which drops off towards the display hinge providing a layered look. It’s simple but it really does catch the eye and helps to separate the Aero 14 from the rest of the competition.

The unit that NBR tested came in an attractive black coloring with orange accents along the back end of the display lid. Gigabyte also offers neon green and orange color options if you’re looking to inject some color into your gaming laptop. Finally, Metallic Gigabyte lettering sits along the top middle of the display lid

The black metallic deck is cool to the touch providing a comfortable wrist rest when typing. Silver Gigabyte lettering sits just below the display and a led lit power button sits just above the laptop’s keyboard. The outer edge of the chassis is indented in the middle, further accentuating the stylish angular design.

Measuring 13.19 x 9.84 x 0.78-inches and weighing 4.17 pounds the Gigabyte Aeros 14 is incredibly lightweight considering there’s a powerful Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti sitting under the hood.

 

Gigabyte Aero 14 Ports

Like any good gaming laptop, the Gigabyte Aero 14 comes outfitted with a wide array of connectivity options.  The left side of the device features a lock slot, a USB 3.0 port, and a microphone/headphone combo jack. The right side houses a power connector, two more USB 3.0 ports, a mini-DisplayPort, and a USB Type-C port. The only thing that’s missing is an Ethernet connector. Luckily Gigabyte was smart enough to include a USB to Ethernet connector with the laptop so that users can have access to a wired connection if they want one. Excellent connectivity options for a slim gaming machine, not much else you could really ask for here. 

 

Gigabyte Aero 14 Keyboard and Touchpad

The Gigabyte Aero 14 features a large island-style backlit keyboard complete with a full row of customizable macro keys. The large square keys are curved along the edges and have a smooth glossy feel. Key travel is decent given the laptop’s slim 0.78-inch profile. The action is fast and precise making it easy to hit keys in quick succession and the consistent feedback quickly snaps keys back into place after being struck.

Located just below the space bar is a sizable touchpad, especially given the slim 14-inch frame. The black hard pad is smooth to the touch affording excellent travel and control. Equipped with Elan drivers the pad did a wonderful job capturing swipes, clicks, and multi-finger gestures without delay.  

 

Gigabyte Aero 14 Screen and Speakers

The Gigabyte Aero 14 houses a 14-inch QHD (2560 x 1440) IPS display. The high-resolution panel offers excellent color accuracy and vibrant colors that will be sure to please. The laptop did a fantastic job of capturing the flashes of brilliant white and yellow explosions and particle effects in the new shooter Destiny 2. The one area where the display does fall a bit flat though is brightness. At 256 nits the Aero 14’s display isn’t exactly dim, but it isn’t as bright as some of the more expensive options in this category such as the Razer Blade, which boasts an impressive 320 nits panel.

Luckily this doesn’t impact the screen’s visibility too much. Under normal circumstances, the display provides flexible visibility with images holding up well over 90 degrees without any color loss or distortion. Unfortunately, the screen doesn’t fare as well in direct and heavy lighting as a noticeable glare did appear on the screen. This means when under heavy overhead lighting or in direct sunlight you may have issues seeing what’s on screen, but the laptop should be fine in pretty much every other situation.

Despite its slim stature the Gigabyte Aero 14 is capable of providing boisterous audio capable of filling a modestly sized room with the ease. While the speakers are certainly loud they do leave a bit to be desired in terms of quality. At max volume, the sound quality is a bit distorted and the laptop struggled fully articulate mids and highs making the laptop sound a bit tiny as a result. The laptop did fare a bit better with game audio capturing the weight and gravity of the far-off explosions in Destiny 2.

Gigabyte Aero 14 Performance

The Gigabyte Aero 14 review unit that NBR tested had a 2.8GHz Intel Core i7-7700HQ CPU, a Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti GPU (with 4GB of GDDR5 RAM), 16GB of DDR4 memory, and a 256GB NVMe PCIe SSD and is currently listed at $1,550. Gigabyte hits an excellent balance between price and performance with this configuration, but users can opt for 8GB of RAM if they want a less expensive configuration or expanded memory.

As evident from the impressive benchmark scores, the Gigabyte Aero 14 is a powerhouse. The fast processor and ample RAM storage make the Aero 14 perfect for multitasking. NBR was able to run 15 active Google Chrome tabs while streaming two HD videos, and listening to Spotify in the background without any noticeable drop in performance. The lightning-quick PCIe NVMe SSD boasts impressive read and write speeds that load files and programs near instantaneously. Of course, the real star though is Nvidia’s new GeForce GTX 1050 Ti GPU. Armed with 6GB of DDR5 the GPU backs a serious punch allowing this slim gaming rig to tackle practically every game currently on the market with solid performance. While testing the device NBR was capable of running Destiny 2 at 1080p (on high settings with max field of view) averaging 74fps (frames per second).

The Gigabyte Aero 14 review unit we tested had the following specifications:

  • Windows 10
  • 14-inch QHD (2,560 x 1,440) resolution IPS display
  • Intel Core i7-7700HQ 2.8GHz CPU
  • Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 (4GB GDDR5 RAM)
  • 16GB of DDR4
  • 256GB NVMe PCIe SSD
  • 802.11ac
  • Weight: 4.17 pounds
  • Dimensions: 13.19 x 9.84 x 0.78-inches
  • Price: $1,550  

Gigabyte Aero 14 Benchmarks

PCMark8 Home (Accelerated) measures overall system performance in Windows 8 for general activities from web browsing and video streaming to typing documents and playing games (higher scores mean better performance):

PCMark8 Work (Accelerated) measures overall system performance in Windows 8 for work-related productivity tasks (higher scores mean better performance):

3DMark Fire Strike measures the overall gaming performance of the GPU (higher scores mean better performance):

CrystalDiskMark storage drive performance test:

Gigabyte Aero 14 Battery Life

PCMark 8 Balanced Battery Test (listed in minutes): 

Gigabyte has come to play when it comes to battery life, far exceeding the expectations of most gaming laptops thanks to its impressive 95Wh battery. In our tests, the Gigabyte Aero 14 ran for 5 hours and 47 minutes before shutting down. Considering that our benchmark test is more strenuous than normal use, you can expect to get upwards of 8 to 9 hours a single charge. Of course, more demanding tasks such as playing games will drain the battery far faster, so it’s still a good idea to have the power cord on-hand. Still, the Gigabyte Aero 14 boasts one the best battery lives that you’re going to see from a ga

Gigabyte Aero 14 Final Thoughts

The Gigabyte Aero 14 is an incredibly well-rounded gaming laptop for those who want a portable solution. It isn’t the thinnest gaming laptop on the market, but it’s still easy enough to carry around. The screen isn’t the brightest but it offers a solid picture with excellent color accuracy and vibrant contrast. The sound is a bit flat, but so are most laptops. The issues to do little to deter from what is a great overall product and best of all the high competitive configuration comes in well below $2,000.

There are more powerful gaming laptops on the market, but few can match the portability, performance, and price point of the Aero 14. While the specs have changed one thing has remained the same, the Gigabyte Aero 14 is still a great deal.

Pros:

  • Attractive design
  • Long lasting battery
  • Powerful specs
  • 3k IPS panel
  • Affordable

Cons:

  • Panel isn’t as bright as competitors
  • Sound is a bit flat



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