GI­GA­BYTE AERO 15

PCWorld (USA) - - Feature -

Its ex­tra weight comes from its in­cred­i­bly sturdy and solid chas­sis, built to with­stand hot cli­mates and gamers who re­act phys­i­cally to the highs and lows of game­play. For some, that’ll be a draw­back. But it’s hard to hold the Alien­ware 13’s de­sign against it, es­pe­cially af­ter ex­pe­ri­enc­ing the pure lux­ury of its OLED screen: Gam­ing on it makes the best LCD pan­els seem pix­e­lated and washed out.

While per­for­mance is a hair un­der ri­val ma­chines like the MSI GS63VR ( go.pc­world. com/gs63), the dif­fer­ence is al­most neg­li­gi­ble—just one or two frames less per sec­ond in our Tomb Raider and Mid­dle-earth: Shadow of Mor­dor bench­marks. If you can splurge on this ver­sion of the Alien­ware 13, we say do it. From its slick de­sign to its per­for­mance, bat­tery life, and OLED dis­play, it’s ex­cep­tional in ev­ery met­ric we usu­ally ex­am­ine. $2,970 at go.pc­world.com/g15w

Not all gam­ing lap­tops are about in­sane frame rates and high-end fea­tures. There are folks who want a re­ally great gam­ing ex­pe­ri­ence on the go.

For that, we turn to Gi­ga­byte’s Aero 15, which is not much larger than a Dell XPS 15, and only a bit heav­ier than MSI’S GS63VR. But the Gi­ga­byte Aero 15 of­fers bet­ter bat­tery life by sev­eral hours, and DIY up­grades are eas­ier to per­form. Its key­board also fea­tures per-key RGB light­ing that gets quite bright. (Read our full re­view at go.pc­world.com/ar15.)

What keeps it out of the top po­si­tion are a hand­ful of small quib­bles: Its max­i­mum screen bright­ness falls on the lower end of av­er­age, and dur­ing our re­view, its key­board had trou­ble rec­og­niz­ing cer­tain key com­bi­na­tions. (Firmware up­dates did help some, but users con­tinue to re­port prob­lems.) Its off-cen­ter track­pad po­si­tion also takes time to get used to.

Over­all, how­ever, the Gi­ga­byte Aero 15 can play the new­est

Alien­ware 13

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