Gigabyte Aero 15W-BK4 Gaming Laptop Review

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Gigabyte is not the biggest manufacturer of laptops; in fact, in the recent years they have been rather quiet in this front. But now they seem to have activated once more: in the spring of 2017, the company released a new gaming notebook called Gigabyte Aero 15W-BK4. It’s surely pricey, massive, and full of performance – but the question remains, does it provide enough value for the hardcore gamer?

So it runs all games fine?

Yep, Gigabyte Aero 15W-BK4 does, and the laptop does it good. The company decided to use GeForce GTX 1060 engine in this laptop, which is a mid-range graphics card featuring 6GB GDDR5 video RAM. Now, there are a few faster cards than this, for example the GTX 1070 and 1080. The difference is most notable when resolution goes beyond Full HD, like when you’re playing on 3840×2160. But with this laptop you’ll be stuck with 1080p, which also means you can use capped settings on any game whatsoever. Even the graphics-heavy ones, such as Doom (+60FPS) and The Witcher 3 (+50FPS) would bend to the laptop’s will!

As a side note, this graphics card supports Virtual Reality, adding to its future proof.

Other components under the hood

The storage drive is one of the better things inside Gigabyte Aero 15W-BK4. There is a 512GB solid-state drive giving space for your files and performance for the notebook. It’s M.2 2280 drive with SATA interface (although also NVMe PCIe is supported). The manufacturer states it’s upgradeable, although I bet many people are not eager to swap half a terabyte SSD out because it’s so damn useful. The specifications also state there is another M.2 slot inside for adding a secondary storage drive.

The processor department is not any worse, it having Intel Core i7-7700HQ right there. This processor runs on four cores for the benefit of multitasking, and has a high 2.8GHz clock speed to keep the laptop lag-free. The clock speed also increases to 3.8GHz with the built-in turbo boost. All in all, the i7-7700HQ is one of the fastest processors in 2017, various benchmarks make this clear. For example, CPU Mark would give this unit a solid ~9000 points.

As for the memory, this Gigabytes has a single 16GB DDR4-2400 RAM stick. This is more than most people need, but some games with other processes running in the background surely require that sixteen gigabytes to get the best frame rates. If, for some reason, you’re doubtful about 16GB you can still go to 32GB as one memory slot on the mainboard is unoccupied.

Video

Ports and interfaces

In Gigabyte Aero 15W-BK4, three USB 3.0 and one USB 3.1 Type-C port are welcoming your devices. The Type-C also supports Thunderbolt, although I can’t say for sure if you can charge the laptop through that.

The notebook has a full-sized HDMI 2.0, it outputs Ultra HD (4K resolution) 60hz image for your screen. So yes, you can connect HD television or PC monitor to that, and use the Gigabyte with a bigger screen if you want. The specifications also say a mini-DisplayPort is featured on this unit.

There is no optical drive because manufacturers think/know that most games and programs are downloaded from Internet these days, thus no need for physical optical drives anymore. However, if you need one, you can use an external drive as a remedy. The laptop also has SD card reader which you might find most useful for data transfers.

The wireless adapter seems to be the long-range, strong signal 802.11ac WiFi card with Bluetooth 4.2 enabled. No built-in support for Ethernet cable is provided, but the laptop ships with USB to RJ-45 dongle as far as I know.

Miscellaneous things

Gigabyte Aero 15W-BK4 contains a 15.6″ Full HD display with wide viewing angles thanks to the IPS (In-Plane Switching) technology. It’s also anti-glare display with no touch support, just like these gaming screens often are. High-definition (most likely 720p) webcam is embedded on top. As the notebook is new, there are no user reports about the display yet, but I’d expect sharp image because the rig is pretty expensive.

There’s a heavyweight 94Whr Li-polymer battery on the notebook. It looks like a non-replaceable unit. It’s hard to say how long it will last; I would say ~5 hours when not gaming is pretty close to the truth. Getting 2 hours for gameplay should be possible.

The laptop has an RGB backlit keyboard and the color of the keys can be individually changed.

Why should I buy this?

Gigabyte Aero 15W-BK4 is exactly the type of laptop gamers would enjoy. The graphics performance is high for the newest games – and older ones too. The laptop also works with Virtual Reality so it will not be obsolete any time soon.

The performance for everything non-gaming related is super as well. A 512GB solid-state drive, 16GB RAM and most importantly, a Kaby Lake i7 will take you far. You can throw Photoshops, video editors and multitasking at this rig and it will take all of that without breaking a sweat!

Why should I not buy this?

If you are not an avid gamer, getting this premium laptop would be a waste of your money I’m afraid. It’s pricey because of the gaming-friendly components, after all.

Summary

To put it simply, Gigabyte Aero 15W-BK4 suffices for smooth FPS gaming with plenty of eye candy set on. The GTX 1060 graphics card is all it takes for a player to enjoy games of 2017 and earlier, while the quad-core i7 processor and 512GB solid-state drive will add to lag-free environment in software-related stuff. The notebook costs a lot, but at the same time you are getting a lot: a quality build and enormous performance for your gaming sessions!

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