For a long time, buying a laptop has been about making compromises. If they’re big and powerful then they’re often heavy, noisy and have poor battery life. If they’re thin and light, then they’re often lacking in power. But, nowadays, you shouldn’t have to compromise – and Gigabyte’s latest AERO 17 is the perfect example as to why. Whether you need a laptop for resource-intensive design-work, hardcore gaming or simply watching movies and TV, this large-screened, 17.3-inch portable powerhouse has you covered.
The first thing to note is that while 17-inches may lie firmly in ‘desktop replacement laptop’ territory, the days of that moniker meaning you have to deal with an unwieldy, unportable form-factor are over. Despite its generous screen size, the AERO 17 is only 21mm thick, less-than 40cm wide and weighs just 2.5kg –core specifications that you’d normally associate with a 15-inch laptop chassis. Add to that a battery-life that’s enhanced with Microsoft Azure AI and which can push a full 8 hours and you’ve got one surprisingly-portable machine.
A display that handles everything with ease
Part of the reason for the compact chassis is that the 17.3-inch screen’s bezel is just 3mm thick at the top and sides. If you’re worried that a lack of bulk equates to a lack of features, fear not though: the AERO 17’s screen options are among the best on the market. You’ve got a choice of two distinct screens, so you can choose the one that’s right for you. For gamers, Gigabyte has fitted an LG-made Full HD 1080p IPS panel that runs at a speedy 144Hz, giving you super-smooth and accurate motion performance for the ultimate gaming experience. For content-creators or movie buffs, the second option is an Ultra HD 4K HDR panel with a brightness rating of 400cd/m2 at the VESA-certified DisplayHDR 400 standard – meaning it’s perfect for editing (or even just streaming) High Dynamic Range 4K movies and TV shows.
On top of that, all AERO 17 displays support 100% of Adobe’s RGB colour gamut and have been certified for X-Rite’s Pantone Colour Calibration. Gigabyte individually tunes every screen before it leaves the factory, meaning they’re ready to go for demanding colour-accurate work straight out of the box. In short, the colour performance and consistency is superb to the point where even the most demanding graphic designers will be able to rely upon its accuracy.
The screen’s not the only display element to come with cutting-edge certifications. The AERO 17 as a whole supports Nvidia’s RTX Studio technologies, which means it provides superb reliability for creative apps, fast ray-tracing performance and AI-based processing. This standard comes with particularly high requirements and, not surprisingly, the AERO 17 doesn’t just meet them, but blows them out of the water.
No compromises, inside or out
The top-end AERO 17 models showcase the best consumer laptop components on the market in 2019, with options scaling all the way up to Intel’s eight-core Core i9-9980HK processor (the first time eight-core chips have been available for laptops), along with 64GB of dual-channel Samsung RAM, Nvidia’s top-end RTX 2080 graphics chip, and a huge-and-speedy 1TB PCIe hard drive. Whether you’re gaming or rendering, this is one of the fastest portable machines currently on offer.
Of course, if all that power is more than you really need, Gigabyte still has you covered. There are eight different AERO 17 models available in Australia, which range in price between a very-affordable AU$2,599 to a ‘pros-only’ AU$6,299. Whatever you choose, you’ll find a model that matches your specific needs, and there are potentially big savings to be made if you want less storage, less graphical grunt or are happy with a Full HD screen, for example.
And no matter which one you opt for, you can rest assured that the power within your AERO 17 will remain discreet. Gone are the days where a high-powered laptop sounded like it was going to take off due to loud, blaring fans. Gigabyte’s latest cooling technology is called SupraCool 2 and is based around two 71-blade fans, five heatpipes and 11 vents. These all combine to ensure that maximum heat can be pushed out of the chassis without disturbing even the quietest chic, design studios.
Perfect for both play and work
That’s not to say that the AERO 17 can’t make some noise when you want it to. The inbuilt speakers provide surprisingly immersive surround sound, and when combined with that 4K, 17-inch display’s incredible visuals, that makes it an outstanding option for watching HDR movies or shows on Netflix or Amazon Prime Video – either on your own, or with a friend or two.
When it comes to gaming, the AERO 17 amply delivers too. Every model offers a gaming-grade Nvidia GeForce GPU to help drive that screen at buttery-smooth framerates. And with Nahimic 3D Audio technology built in, you can pinpoint exactly where sounds are coming from on the virtual battlefield.
While it’s all very good to know that a laptop can perform every task well, it’s also important to note that it’s great to interact with in the first place! The AERO 17’s new keyboard offers improved responsiveness compared to previous-generation AERO devices, has a full-size keypad and arrow keys, and the built-in RGB Fusion 2.0 rear-lighting system is brighter than ever. Meanwhile, the trackpad supports multiple multi-finger gestures and contains a fingerprint reader that is compatible with the highly-secure Windows Hello login.
Other premium features include an HD webcam with privacy slider, high-performance Killer Networking plus the latest Wi-Fi 6 AX1650 wireless connectivity. And it also includes all the connectivity features you’ve come to expect, with a 1Gbps Ethernet port, two audio jacks, three USB 3.1 Type-A ports, two USB-C ports (that both support Thunderbolt 3) plus DisplayPort 1.4 and HDMI 2.0. There's also an ultra-highspeed (UHS-II) SD Card reader that offers transfer speeds up to 300Mbps. All in all, it’s a perfect setup for creatives who rely upon external storage, multiple peripherals and external displays.
Of course, if you’re investing in a machine like this then it’s fair to expect it to look good and the AERO 17 does not disappoint. Its aluminium chassis utilises cutting-edge cutting technology and Nanoprint Lithography to achieve a design that’s inspired by science fiction. What you’re left with is a classy device that oozes sophistication whether its in a swanky, creative office or at the grimiest gaming LAN.
Score free extras for a limited time
A great laptop is more than the sum of its many parts and so you want to know that such complex machinery is going to last and be reliable. The good news is that Gigabyte has a long-history of creating sophisticated technology, to the point where it’s offering a generous two-year warranty with the AERO 17.
And if peace of mind isn’t enough to tip you over the edge then there’s an added, limited time bonus on offer right now too: Gigabyte is throwing in a free laptop backpack and a free 12-month Office 365 subscription with every AERO 17 purchase.
So, whether you’re a gamer, designer or just want the best laptop for general entertainment, be sure to check out the AERO 17 for its unbeatable combination of power and portability.
For more information on the AERO 17 series, please visit the official Gigabyte Australia product pages:
Where to buy
The Gigabyte Aero 17 is available in Australia from the following online retailers:
Sign up for Black Friday email alerts!
Get the hottest deals available in your inbox plus news, reviews, opinion, analysis and more from the TechRadar team.