GIGABYTE Aero 14: Thin Gaming Laptop with NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M and 10-Hour Battery Lifeby Anton Shilov on May 30, 2016 8:30 AM EST
GIGABYTE has introduced its new Aero 14 gaming laptop, which weds a relatively thin form-factor with high-performance components such as an Intel Skylake-H CPU, and a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M GPU, along with a high-resolution display and a claim of a 10-hour battery life. The new notebooks are designed for those who would like to have decent performance in games, but who are not ready to sacrifice mobility for gaming.
The GIGABYTE Aero 14 is based on the Intel Core i7 H-series processor (four cores with Hyper-Threading technology, 6 MB LLC cache, 45 W TDP, dual-channel DDR4 memory controller, integrated Intel Gen9 graphics core) and is equipped with a 14” IPS display panel with a 2560×1440 resolution. The system can be equipped with the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M (1024 stream processors, 64 texture units, 32 raster operations pipelines) or the 970M (1280 SPs, 80 TUs, 48 ROPs) graphics adapters, up to 32 GB of DDR4 memory (using two 16 GB SO-DIMMs) as well as two SSDs in M.2 form-factor (with PCIe 3.0 x2 interface). For some reason, GIGABYTE decided not to reveal exact details regarding things like Wi-Fi as well as the amount of VRAM, but it is natural to expect the PC of this class to feature 802.11ac.
In a bid to make the system even friendlier to gamers, GIGABYTE included a keyboard featuring five programmable keys to simplify input of complex key combinations. Other I/O capabilities of GIGABYTE’s Aero 14 include one USB 3.1 Type-C receptacle, three USB 3.0 ports, a TRRS audio connector, a SD card reader, an HD webcam, built-in speakers and microphones as well as an HDMI 2.0 and an mDP display output.
The Aero 14 comes in a full aluminum chassis, though, we are not dealing with a unibody design here. GIGABYTE offers three color options for the display lid, with black, green and orange to emphasize gaming nature of the device.
Despite of rather powerful hardware inside, the Aero 14 boasts with a 10-hour battery life (obviously, when the integrated graphics core is used), which is in-line with that of modern business notebooks. To make such long battery life possible, GIGABYTE integrated a 94.24 WHr lithium-ion polymer accumulator into its gaming laptop. The Aero 14 is 19.9 mm thick and weighs 1.89 kilograms, making it one of the lightest and thinnest notebooks with gaming-grade hardware inside.
The Aero 14 from GIGABYTE will, among other products, compete against Razer’s Blade, which is also relatively thin (17.9 mm) and sports a 14” display. When compared to the Aero, the Razer Blade has a higher resolution 3200×1800 display, slimmer chassis, as well as Thunderbolt 3 support. However, GIGABYTE’s machine has larger battery, potentially more DDR4 memory (because the Blade uses soldered down DRAM and cannot be upgraded), potentially higher amount of storage (thanks to two M.2 slots) as well programmable keys.
Exact pricing of GIGABYTE’s Aero 14 will depend on actual configuration, but typically, gaming machines from the company are not overpriced.
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ToTTenTranz - Monday, May 30, 2016 - linkWhen the world + dog is about to present laptops with FinFet GPUs from AMD, Gigabyte releases a thin and light model with 1.5 years-old nvidia GPUs?
kent1146 - Monday, May 30, 2016 - linkThose new GPUs you mentioned aren't out. We don't even have the first desktop launch products on the Polaris / Pascal generation. We have no idea when the mobile parts will be announced,made available, and put into shipping laptops.
There is plenty of time to launch a 970m GPU laptop, and then do a refresh when the 1070m GPUs eventually come out... especially since the Pascal GPUs don't dramatically increase TDP.
It would actually make LESS sense for Gigabyte to wait until Pascal mobile GPUs are out. With the amount of time it takes to get inventory of those yet-to-be-announced mobile GPUs, refresh the laptop design, manufacture those laptops, and get inventory into the retail channel, Gigabyte would miss the back-to-school buying cycle; and potentially even the holiday 2016 season as well.
idris - Monday, May 30, 2016 - link(I respect the reply & fully appreciate model refreshes & to showcase new product lines etc)
Granted, availability & pricing (unofficial/rumours/hints have some level of detail) not confirmed as yet; but AMD Polaris announcement is in a couple of days...
DanNeely - Monday, May 30, 2016 - linkin particular, the retailers (boxmart and online) who sell lots of laptops to the less tech literate demand 'new' models on a yearly basis (thus all the rebadges); and they have a lot more buying clout than we geeks on forums/comment threads. Assuming an MXM module, a mid year refresh when the 1070 is out should be an easy option for Gigabyte to do.
ImSpartacus - Monday, May 30, 2016 - linkYeah, I hope it's just a placeholder. Hopefully just a drop-in replacement in 6 mo or so.
digiguy - Monday, May 30, 2016 - linkNo TB3? Missed opportunity....
cm2187 - Monday, May 30, 2016 - linkWhat about the absence of ethernet port? Do gamers really play over wifi?
kaidenshi - Monday, May 30, 2016 - linkIf this is an issue you can pick up a USB 3.0 to Gigabit Ethernet adapter, usually under $25. You might not achieve true Gigabit speeds, but that isn't as important as latency, and the latency of the USB 3.0 bus is measured in microseconds, not milliseconds, so it should be fine for gaming.
cm2187 - Monday, May 30, 2016 - linkAll my experiences with ethernet dongles have been terrible. Gigabit capped at 100mbit, dongle not be recognised when waking up from sleep or after being replugged. I won't touch an ethernet dongle anymore.
kaidenshi - Monday, May 30, 2016 - linkAre you sure it was both Gigabit and USB 3.0? It also sounds like you may have had a driver issue (if you were using it in Windows that's entirely possible, as Windows 10 is still flaky with certain USB 3.0 devices).
This is the one I had for my MacBook Air (it went with the MBA when I sold it), and it worked fine. It capped around 850Mbps, was very low latency, and I never had any issues with sleep/wake or otherwise.