Aorus X5 v6

This slim Pascal-powered gaming laptop is almost the full pacakge

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Aorus isn’t selling the X5 directly from its website, but you can pick up various versions of the laptop with slightly differing specs from retailers online.

As an alternative to the model with the 3K display, it can also be had with a Full HD Wide Viewing Angle display that ups the refresh rate to 120Hz and sports a 5ms response time and support for G-Sync.

Read more: HP Envy 13 (2018)

While this option would mean that you would miss out on the expansive room afforded by a 3K panel, it would be better for shooters and fast-paced games due to its faster refresh rate.

All configurations come with an overclockable sixth-generation Intel Skylake Core i7-6820HK processor capable of Turbo Boosting up to 3.6Ghz, backed up by either 8GB or 16GB of main memory.

As mentioned, the X5’s keyboard suffers from less than adequate build quality, but it features some nifty lighting capabilities that look great when gaming in the dark.

Backlighting is customizable using the company’s Fusion software. There’s the usual wave and ripple-type effects that we’ve come accustomed to, and five G-keys (or macro keys) are positioned on the keyboard’s left-hand side also light up different colors depending on which profile is selected.

The X5’s chiclet-spaced keys offer a decent amount of travel, which aids typing, but suffer from key rattle once you pick up speed.

Thankfully, Aorus has ditched the glass trackpads on its gaming laptops from recent years. The X5’s has a matte surface, and it's much more practical.

We’re not talking MacBook-like levels of smoothness, but the trackpad is sufficiently sized for executing Windows 10 gestures and is tuned well enough to let you navigate the desktop with ease.

Benchmarks

3DMark Cloud Gate: 23,978; Sky Diver: 28,805; Fire Strike: 12,931

Cinebench CPU: 626 (cb) points; Graphics: 60 fps

GeekBench 3: 3,771 (single-core); 12,233 (multi-core)

PCMark 8 (Home Test): 3,993 points

PCMark 8 Battery Life: 2 hours and 35 minutes

Battery Life (TechRadar movie test): 3 hours and 41 minutes

The Division (1080p, Ultra): 69 fps; (1080p, Low): 158 fps

GTA V (1080p, Ultra): 49 fps; (1080p, Low): 128 fps

Performance

The X5 pulls it off where it counts: gaming performance. Its 3D Mark Fire Strike score of 12,931 surpasses one of our favorite laptops from recent months, the Asus ROG Strix GL502, scoring almost 500 points more.

Benchmark scores fluctuate, of course, but by looking at our game benchmarks we can see that the two machines perform equally well.

Played at 1080p, you can expect even the most punishing titles like GTA V and The Division to hover around 60 frames per second (or fps) mark with the graphics settings maxed out when played on the X5.

Load up a lesser demanding game, and the frame count reaches even higher.

In Overwatch, we achieved between 110- and 120 fps on Ultra graphics settings using an external 144Hz monitor.

But, while it’s a nimble performer, the X5 isn’t the quietest laptop to game on. When pushed to its limits, the fans make their presence known and sound like a miniature helicopter taking off.

Heat is dispersed from noisy fans positioned at the rear corners, along with vents located around the back and underneath.

Looping a 1080p video of Guardians of the Galaxy, the X5 lasted 3 hours and 41 minutes – just long enough for us to see its closing credits before juice ran out.

We liked

The Aorus X5 is relatively thin and light for a 15-inch gaming laptop equipped with Pascal graphics – although it's fairly wide and long.

Games run with fluid frame rates even on their highest settings thanks to the powerful GTX 1070 inside, which brings desktop-grade performance in a laptop form factor.

They look great on the X5’s attractive display, which impresses with a balanced 3K resolution that’s sharp and color-packed, but not overkill in the pixel count department.

Finally, the X5 has a great selection of IO, including an SD card reader and USB Type-C. Finally, upgrading the machine is made possible by access to components including the storage, RAM and battery.

We disliked

While we can’t knock its gaming performance, the X5 is a noisy operator that makes itself heard when placed under strain.

And we think that the X5 should be made of sterner stuff considering its hefty price tag. It’s simply too easy to flex the lid and bashing away on the keyboard almost feels like using a cheap laptop due to the amount of flex.

Aorus is clearly aiming for an understated design with the X5, but it’s a little dull to look at compared to the Asus ROG Strix GL502’s orange-and-black color scheme.

Final verdict

The Aorus X5 doesn’t come cheap, but this is one of the slimmest gaming titans on the market here – and it packs a punch. Just don’t expect it to do its thing quietly.

Everything on show runs smoothly, thanks to the GTX 1070 GPU inside and high-end Skylake processor – whether it’s games or applications on the desktop rendered superbly on the X5’s high-resolution display.

There’s a decent amount of upgradability too, so you won’t have to worry about replacing the battery or storage down the line.

If you're prepared to shell up the money for a laptop that will be able to play the latest titles on their highest settings for a good 2 - 3 years, the Aorus X5 is a fine choice but one that's not without its flaws.