- Decent Performance
- Impressive Display with 240Hz
- Good Specification and Thermals
- Dated Design
- Underwhelming Thermal Dissipation
- Subpar Keyboard
- Disappointing Speakers
When it comes to gaming laptops, we hear the usual big names and if you aren’t in the gaming community, the name AORUS might not ring to your ears. But you’d know Gigabyte. Here’s a fun fact, AORUS is Gigabyte’s Gaming Division that makes peripherals, component and Gaming Laptops as well. AORUS 15 is their flagship laptop and thanks to AORUS Malaysia, we were able to take it for a spin to see how this laptop can handle tasks and if it’s any worth the price tag.
Look and Feel
In 2020, its quite the surprise that the AORUS 15 has both understated and edgy look for all the different reasons. If you were to take this laptop out of your backpack, chances are – people would know it’s a gaming laptop from how it looks and even if you are in a meeting room, chances are people would not take their eyes off your laptop. On the top panel it has an AORUS Logo and this slash design with silver accent. Once you open it, you’ll notice that the hinge on the display is held in the middle area and it has some wobble but other than that, it is held pretty alright. Although, I’d like to see a better hinge implementation as this one may have a huge hit on wear and tear in the long run.
As for the feel, they have gone for a nice combination of plastic and metal going on. The body is solid and constructed really well. What’s a little surprising is how well they have designed the air intake and output as it does have some impressive clearance overall. It would have been nice to have a microfiber mesh at the bottom to remove and clean as it would keep the components from getting affected by the dust. Other than that, the whole feel of it is alright.
Specification and I/O
The AORUS 15 which was passed to us boasts the following specification:
- Intel Core i7 Processor 9th Gen 9750H, Clocked in at 2.60GHz
- NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 with 8GB GDDR6 VRAM
- 16GB DDR4 2667MHz RAM
- 512GB Intel SSD | 2TB HDD
The laptop does have enough number of ports all over the place. On the back, it has the DC IN barrel port, HDMI, Mini DisplayPort, USB-C and a Kensington Lock. On the left, there’s a Headphone and Microphone Combo jack, 2 x USB-A and on the other side, there’s an Ethernet port, USB-A and a Micro SD card slot. It would have been nice if the laptop had a full-size SD Card slot instead as it would benefit users like myself who uses a lot to transfer our images and videos for editing purposes.
Display and Performance
AORUS opted in for a 15.6” 240Hz Display from Sharp for their AORUS 15. Rather than rooting for a display that covers every corner, the design of the monitor is quite alright with very minimal bezels and the webcam positioned on the top and obviously the AORUS logo below the display respectively. The display has a matte coating, so which means it’s an anti-glare display. It’s definitely pure bliss as you don’t have to deal with lights reflecting on the display. The panel sides more towards a warmer tone going on. Other than that, yes – it does not support G-Sync but instead it uses the Adaptive Sync Display which is the current trend right now. There aren’t many games that can fully take the 240Hz advantage. We tried Division 2, Witcher 3 and Overwatch to see the display’s average frames.
In terms of performance, we couldn’t ask for any less. Thanks to the relatively portable yet beefy specification – it’s nice that the laptop packs quite the punch. The RTX 2070 can put up a good show with the Intel Core i7 Processor and not to forget, the 16GB RAM is decent enough to get things going. As it has two storages, we ran CrystalDiskMark to see the speeds. AORUS is very proud of their all-Intel configuration. That said, the Intel SSD under the hood gives good speed: with a Sequential Reads of 2821MB/s and Write at 1570MB/s. The HDD on the other hand, isn’t from Intel of course – and the speeds are as expected: Seq. Reads at 149.4MB/s and Write 127.5MB/s.
As for the other benchmark, we used Geekbench and CPU-Z respectively – which you can check out the scores below.
Keyboard, Trackpad and Speakers
Keyboard and Trackpad are very important aspect of a good experience with a laptop. AORUS has opted in for a membrane-based keyboard with quite a key travel which has very little sound to begin with – especially when you play or type on it. It’s definitely an acquired taste and to me, I wish the keyboard could have been better by being a little clicky and a better tactile feel to it. But for the time being, it served really well. Love the fact that they have went for proper arrow keys and the inclusion of a number pad is a nice touch.
The trackpad is wider and has enough room to move around. The trackpad left and right button is very nice and clicky which was something to my liking. Other than that, the gestures and the controls are decent, all thanks to Windows Precision Drivers built right into it.
What got me really disappointed with this laptop are the speakers. The laptop is said to boast 3D Audio for Gamers and its powered by Nahimic. The speakers are positioned right above the keyboard and its sounds very flat, tinny with almost no dynamic range to the audio. It does get loud but it’s the kind of loud you’d not want to listen to honestly. AORUS really needs to step their audio game up. If it was a thin and light gaming laptop, I could have closed one eye and be like – it’s okay, they did their best, but it isn’t.
Battery Life and Thermals
Now as it’s a gaming laptop, the battery life is pretty much where I expected it to be. Under just light tasks, the laptop can last about an hour 30 minutes tops and you can get like extra minutes if you were to toggle the Battery saver mode. But if you think about editing or game on this, expect it to hit only the hour mark. Its better to bring the power brick with you, so that you don’t get stranded in the middle of nowhere.
Thermals – it’s a very important aspect. When the AORUS 15 kicks in, you can feel the heat on the keyboard surfaces – over the top of the keyboard and on the complete right side of the keyboard and the palm rest. The RTX 2070 touches 86 Degrees and the Processor at 92 degrees and that’s with the fan on moderate speed. Once the Windforce kicks in and setting the fan at maximum speeds, the thermals have a slight improvement – the processor touching at 81 degrees, but the GPU drops to about only 84 degrees. It’s alright but the fact that the heat dissipation isn’t managed properly especially on the keyboard area, it’s a little hard to use and if you have an external keyboard or mouse, then you wouldn’t worry too much. On idle, the processor comes to a temperature of 53 degrees and the GPU comes to 51 degrees.
Checking out their laptop for the first time, it was quite the surprise in terms of performance as it does pack quite the punch under the hood. That said, the AORUS 15 is a good laptop to consider if you are looking for a laptop that screams Gamer at every angle or the moment you open up to flash that understated edgy design. It’s definitely not a perfect laptop, in fact – there was more flaws than I expected it to have. Honestly, it’s alright because everyone has to start somewhere. Coming from a brand that made an epic creator centric laptop – Aero 15, I have hope that their next AORUS laptop would be a better one. I know so. 😉