When you think of a laptop built for gaming, you'll probably be picturing something with a big case and a wide screen, probably in the region of 15.6- or even 17.3-inches. This larger size has become the standard for gaming laptops, but there are a number of advantages to a smaller chassis, the most obvious being portability.
Aorus has taken the concept of the small form-factor ultra-portable gaming laptop to the extreme with the X3 Plus v3, setting out with the intent to create the most powerful notebook-sized PC currently available.
If you're dropping £1,800 (around $2,780, or AU$3,500) on a laptop – or anything else for that matter – you'll want to feel that you're getting your money's worth, and unboxing the Aorus V3 certainly makes the right impression.
It arrives in a stylish black and orange presentation box, with all the components individually wrapped in fabric bags and a soft cloth suitable for cleaning the keyboard and screen. It looks like what it is – a top quality product intended for the discerning buyer who's looking for something a bit special.
The device itself is also beautifully presented, with a sleek and stylish flat black case featuring a slightly pointed leading edge and gaping exhaust vents at the back, design motifs reminiscent of a high-end supercar or a stealth fighter jet. It is very slim and light, a shade less than 23mm thick and weighing 1.87kg including the battery, the sort of size and weight that you can take virtually anywhere.
The case is aluminium on the top and bottom, giving it a nice solid feel despite its light weight, with only the moulded back and sides being made of plastic. Open it up and you're looking at a 14-inch screen with a narrow quarter-inch bezel, and a full-sized backlit keyboard with an intriguing row of extra keys down the left-hand side.
The case carries a comprehensive array of ports, including HDMI and Mini DisplayPort outputs, three USB 3.0 sockets, headphone and microphone sockets for your headset, an SD card slot and an RJ45 socket on the back for hooking up at LAN parties. It even has a Kensington locking point for the security-conscious, although you probably wouldn't want to leave something this valuable and portable lying around unattended.
Here is the spec sheet provided to TechRadar:
- CPU: 4th Generation Intel Core i7-4710HQ Processor (2.5GHz-3.5GHz)
- Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 970M GDDR5 6GB
- RAM: 16GB DDR3L-1600
- Screen: 14-inch QHD+ 3200 x 1800 Wide Viewing Angle LCD
- Storage: 2 x 256GB SSD, RAID 0
- Ports: USB 3.0 x 3, HDMI, Mini DisplayPort, RJ45, Mic-in, Earphone-out, SD Card
- Connectivity: 802.11ac Wi-Fi; Bluetooth 4.0
- Camera: HD webcam
- Weight: 4.12 pounds / 1.87kg
- Size: 12.9 x 10.3 x 0.9-inches / 330 x 263 x 23mm (W x D x H)