The Gigabyte Aorus 15 is a sleeper agent. When the powerful laptop’s lid is closed, there’s almost no tell that this is, in fact, a gaming laptop. But inside, the Aorus 15’s 2023 model packs some serious tech, including a 13th-Gen Intel Core i7 and Nvidia’s RTX 4070 mobile GPU. That GPU gives the Aorus access to Nvidia’s cutting-edge AI tech, Frame Generation, which uses Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS) to add more frames to your games. (In my benchmarks, around 20 additional frames per second).
Gigabyte Aorus 15 – Photos
The Aorus starts at $1849, making it surprisingly affordable for the performance offered, but there are some noticeable caveats – especially if you’re using it as your daily laptop.
Gigabyte Aorus 15 – Design and Features
The first thing you’ll notice about the Aorus 15’s design is how unassuming it is. Sure, there are signs that it is, in fact, a gaming laptop, like per-key RGB and a glowing light bar under the display. But using Gigabyte’s Control Center software, you can minimize or maximize your gamer aesthetic. You can choose between a handful of RGB light patterns – I preferred RGB Rainbow Wave and found the Pulse and Cycle options distracting. Turn the lighting down (and change the obnoxious default background), and the Aorus looks less like a gamer’s laptop than an actuary’s. Overall, a gaming laptop that camouflages into its surroundings is a big plus, but it also means the design can feel a little uninspired.
When closed, the Aorus measures .82” high, but its blocky, angular chassis makes it feel a good deal thicker than that. At 4.96 lbs, it's not exactly lightweight, either. The top display is metal, while the base is plastic – but both feel remarkably sturdy. The plastic base has no discernible squishiness or creaking, and the lid glides open.
That lid supports a 15.6-inch 2560×1440 display. While Gigabyte calls it a “Thin Bezel” frame, it is, at best, a stretch. The sides are relatively small, the top is not, and the chin is enormous.
The top bezel has a large camera array, allowing you to sign in with Windows Hello. Unfortunately, it’s just not the best webcam around. Unless the lighting is perfect, the image it captures is often darker than it should be, and boosting the brightness only negligibly affects the picture quality.
The Aorus 15 features an Nvidia RTX 4070 mobile GPU, Intel’s 13th-gen i7, and high-speed 16GB DDR5 48000MHZ SODIMM memory (configurable up to 64GBs) and a terabyte of NVMe storage for the OS drive (up to 8TB). To support its powerful internals, the Aorus has fan vents everywhere. Nearly all the heat pushes from the rear exhaust, which adds about an inch of overhang to the laptop.
Besides the cutting-edge specs, one of the most significant changes in design this year is the port positioning. Previously, ports were crammed along the sides – this time, you’ll find five ports on the rear, including an HDMI 2.1 port, DisplayPort 1.4, Thunderbolt with power support, and DC Power. This drastically helps reduce the cord clutter, especially when plugged in.
Gigabyte Aorus 15 – Gaming Performance
No two ways about it, the Aorus 15 is a powerhouse. I was able to achieve 60+fps on Ultra settings in just about every game I tried. Even Cyberpunk 2077 clocked in above 60 fps without DLSS Frame Generation, while toggling the tech on boosted the fps to over 100.
The QHD Display is also beautiful, with stark contrast and vibrant colors. The 165hz refresh rate made gameplay look smooth, and I never caught myself yearning for a faster refresh rate.
During day-to-day usage, the Aorus stays quiet. The fan noise isn’t noticeable while watching videos, browsing the internet, or performing other mundane tasks that make up a day of casual use. But as soon as you start a game, it’s an entirely different story. When you’re gaming, the fans get loud, and it doesn’t matter if you’re playing Valheim or Vampire Survivors. This is even more noticeable because the speakers are both tinny and too weak to drown out the fan’s humming. You can customize your fan speeds (and respective noise) in Gigabyte’s Control Center.
The silver lining is that those fans do a tremendous job keeping the laptop cool. The Aorus can push a tremendous amount of air out of the rear exhaust without the keyboard getting noticeably hot.
Like all high-end gaming laptops, the Aorus burns through its battery at record speed. It’s equipped with a 90WHr battery, which lasted around four hours and 16 minutes in our PCMark Modern Office test. We also ran it through the Modern Office test after tweaking Gigabyte’s Control Center software, and our results were all over the board. In one test, the computer lasted seven hours and 33 minutes. Unfortunately, that seems to be the exception rather than the rule, and the battery only lasted a measly hour and fifteen minutes during gaming.
The Aorus features an appealingly large glass touchpad, which reminded me a bit of the Macbook’s best-in-class touchpad. For many tasks, it makes a mouse nonessential. But unfortunately, if you’re like me and prefer a tactile click over a touch click, you’ll find yourself consistently frustrated by the touchpad’s inconsistency. It requires a very deep press to register reliably. Multiple times, I clicked a button, heard the touchpad click, but nothing happened onscreen. This happened enough times for me to vaguely distrust the touchpad, which is too bad because its large glass surface is otherwise exactly what I want out of a laptop touchpad.
While the keyboard’s a bit better, it’s still a bit mushy for my liking, and pressing keys on the right side feels noticeably different from the left side. On the left, you can feel a bit of give under the keyboard, while the right feels firm. And the J, K, or L keys make a distinct noise compared to all the other keys.
The Aorus 15 is a tale of two laptops. As a gaming laptop, it’s an absolute powerhouse. It offers excellent performance at a price low enough to leave you side-eyeing your desktop. Its attractive QHD display, powerful fan, and fast storage make it more than capable of gaming on ultra settings. But its shortcomings are enough to give pause: its mushy keyboard, flimsy speakers, and temperamental touchpad make it hard to recommend as a daily driver.