Gigabyte Aorus 16X review


Gaming laptops aren’t a modern phenomenon, but manufacturers keep coming up with modern ways to make them a bit annoying. It’s truly remarkable how much time and energy has gone into making the situation worse. In case of Gigabyte Aorus 16X this maxim was applied to the keyboard: specifically to the QWERASD keys. In the version submitted for review, they are lucid with a white letter on top, while the rest of the keyboard is black with a backlit key. This means that the backlighting – which is the usual pulsating RGB rainbow – makes the letters at the top much harder to see.

This may not be a massive problem as touch typists and key-based gamers will rely on muscle memory to find the key. But if you ever look down to see which key you’re about to press, the letter may be challenging to see. Conversely, if you turn off the backlight, everything will become clearer. Backlit WASD keys are not a novel idea, but their implementation in this case is clearly questionable.

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In other stores you will find a laptop that is great for playing games. Thanks to the 14th Gen i7 processor and RTX 4070 graphics card, it is well configured for high levels of detail and frame rates at the native 2560 x 1600 resolution of the 165Hz display. It’s also brilliant, as my colorimeter shows a supposedly 400-nit screen that at its peak displays an itch-inducing 573 units of brightness.

The slogan “Team Up, Keep Fighting” printed just below where your hand rests while typing, includes elements of a typical gaming laptop design, as well as plenty of vents and the way they illuminate the Aorus wordmark on the desktop on the back of the case. chassis in the same way that some cars display the manufacturer’s logo on the ground. It’s quite nice, and at the same time it’s something you’ll immediately turn off.

Aorus 16X specifications

(Image source: Future)

PROCESSOR: Intel Core i7-14650HX
Graphics Processor: Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 (140W)
Storage: 1TB SSD drive
Screen: 16 inches 2560×1600 IPS, 165 Hz
Communication: Wi-Fi 7, Bluetooth 5.4, 1x USB4/Thunderbolt 4, 1x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C, 2x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A, 1x micro SD, 1x Ethernet, 1x HDMI 2.1, 1x headset, 1x DC input
Dimensions: 35.6 x 25.4 x 2.7 cm
Libra: 2.3 kg
Price: $1,649 | 2097 lbs

Further keyboard issues stem from Gigabyte’s decision to place the home row keys (End, PgDn, etc.) to the right of the Enter key, which means you’ll regularly clip them when trying to confirm until you get used to the layout. The Enter key itself is half-height to make room for the massive slash, which can be useful if you employ the terminal a lot. It’s a ten-key design, plus the keys are a good size with good travel – including the arrow keys – and it includes Microsoft’s fancy modern Copilot key for chatbot fans. However, they are quite resistant to the press and must be pressed down to register them. The trackpad, which takes up a wide portion of the front and center of the case, is much better, responsive, sleek, and unobstructed by the pattern of lines painted on it.

The laptop also comes with 32GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD, which is really useful in these times of 150GB gaming as 500GB drives are starting to make a real difference tight. Both are also user-updatable. The IPS screen is surrounded by a narrow frame with a thicker upper edge, which houses a webcam that supports Windows Hello. It’s a pretty standard setup, as are the ports dotted around the sides – you get a full-sized HDMI 2.1 port for all your VRR tricks on an external display, and USB 3.2 Gen2 in both Type-A and Type-C versions. There’s a single USB4/Thunderbolt port, which can also be used for charging, although there’s no symbol next to it to indicate this, as well as Ethernet, a headphone jack, and a microSD card slot. It’s well-equipped and has Wi-Fi 7 on board, so you’ll be able to get the best speeds from the latest routers.

The included power adapter is another compelling design decision, as it plugs into the side of the laptop, but has no L-shaped connector, so it sticks straight out to the left rather than neatly running to the back of the desk. The 99Wh battery, however, provides about six hours of battery life on a single charge, which is good for a gaming laptop, although it will drop significantly if you put a hefty load on the GPU All time.

Our tests showed that the laptop achieved decent frame rates in games like Cyberpunk 2077 with Ultra ray tracing at 1440p resolution. The Gigabyte RTX 4070 card runs at slightly higher power than the recently reviewed Lenovo Legion 7 16 PC Gamer, and in some tests it beats this machine, even though it is equipped with an Intel Core i9 processor. However, the impact of this processor can be seen in other tests, where the Gigabyte model lags behind, but never significantly.

Does this i7 make a massive difference compared to i9 equipped machines? Not that much where it counts. If you look at the Cinebench R23 results, which render the same scene using one CPU core and then reusing them all, the i7-14650HX in the Aorus 16X manages 117 points less than the i9-14900HX in the £3,600 Razer Blade 16 in single-core mode . As the i7 is 5.2 GHz compared to the i9 5.8 GHz, you can expect a difference, but it’s not huge.

The huge difference comes when you open up all the cores and it’s 16 in the i7 compared to 24 in the i9 – the difference between them is over 6000 points. But you have to remember that you pay much less for a Gigabyte i7 machine than for a Razer i9, although there is also an i9 version of this Aorus.

There’s also artificial intelligence in the 16X that goes beyond simply pressing the Copilot key to generate an image of a sexy motherboard. Gigabyte is so excited about this that the sticker stuck to the front of the device features an AI logo next to the screen stats and the Wi-Fi 7 logo. In practice, the effect of this is twofold. AI Nexus is available in the Gigabyte Control Center app, you can let it monitor your usage in AI Auto Gear mode, switching between Nvidia and integrated GPUs as needed in exactly the same way laptops have done for years, only now with AI. There is also an AI Generator tab that opens an overlay for the Stable Diffusion and Wahey image generator! It’s time for a sexy motherboard again.

Such laptops were stolen en masse by Microsoft with the announcement of Copilot+, and all laptops related to them run on Snapdragon chips. Since it’s a Raptor Lake Refresh chip, the processor doesn’t have the NPU shenanigans of the Meteor Lake Core Ultra, and it’s unclear which Copilot+ features will run on it once they’re released.

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