When Gigabyte, a Taiwan-based gaming hardware company, says it’s launching a premium brand, you tend to listen. It’s not that its current range of gaming laptops aren’t premium — from the prosumer Aeros to the sort-of-budget Sabre range, Gigabyte laptops don’t mess around. But the Aorus range is slightly different.
It takes things even further, a passion project for Gigabyte designers to entice the super high-end, money-is-no-object buyers among you. Gigabyte first showed of the Aorus X9, the king of the Aorus range, at CES 2017 as a prototype, but the hands-on model on display at Computex 2017 came with the announcement you’d be able to buy it later this year.
Well, it’ll be on sale, anyway.
- 17-inch UHD 4K screen (or a 3K screen with 120Hz refresh rate)
- Dual Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070
- RGB backlit mechanical keyboard
- 30mm tall
And… that’s pretty much all that’s been announced publicly so far. Safe bets are an Intel i7 core processor and SSD/HDD combined storage. Gigabyte is claiming the dual GTX 1070 setup will give you 30 percent better graphics performance than a single 1080. It’s the kind of thing that’s hard to test on a show floor, but it certainly looked very impressive. There’s no word on price yet, but given Gigabyte’s regular range, I’d expect something around $2,500 (around AU$3,370, £1,950).
The keyboard bears the programmable RGB backlighting that seems to be an industry standard now (though it’s per-key, as opposed to panels, which is the latest trend), but what was really impressive was getting mechanical switches and two full GPUs in something that size. Travel was a little shallow, but the keys felt good and the wide frame meant spacing wasn’t an issue.
What is new is some additional little design flourishes like the LED trim on the front corners (below) and the eagle-shaped vents on the bottom.
It bears the supercar design hallmarks of a lot of portable gaming machines, from the brushed, sweeping curves to the trimmed, carefully cut exhaust vents on top and bottom. It’s fitting, because you can look at this sort of computational overkill like you would a performance vehicle. Your average person may not need it, or even know how to use it. But damn, do they want it.
Check out more of CNET’s Computex 2017 coverage here.