Many gaming laptops can hardly be called compact. Bulky desktop replacements often pack a lot of power, which affects their portability and overall usability accordingly. Fortunately, this does not apply to every gaming model. Some of the representatives of this category of laptops are nevertheless developed with a special emphasis on portability. And although their convenience is far from that of ultrabooks, you can still travel with them more or less comfortably on business. In this material, we will look at the updated GIGABYTE AORUS 15, or as the manufacturer calls it, Super-portable Gaming Laptop in the top version.
GIGABYTE AORUS 15 specifications
|GIGABYTE AORUS 15 (BSF)
|IPS, 15.6”, resolution 2560×1440, aspect ratio 16:9, frequency 165 Hz
|Intel Core i7-13700H
|16 GB DDR5-4800
|NVIDIA GeForce RTX4070, 8 GB
|HDMI 2.1, Mini DP 1.4, USB-A 3.2 Gen 1, 2×USB-A 3.2 Gen 2, Thunderbolt 4, RJ-45, USB-C 3.2 Gen 2, 3.5 mm combo jack
|Wi-Fi 6E + Bluetooth 5.2
|Acoustic system with 2 speakers and a microphone
|Island-type keys with RGB illumination
|Battery and charging
|99 Wh, 240 W power supply unit
GIGABYTE AORUS 15 kit
Gaming laptops are among the most expensive, but they can be completed as simply as basic laptops — the computer itself and a power supply unit for it. AORUS 15 adheres to simple standards, so the manufacturer does not accompany the model with any additional accessories. Fans of “gift sets” will find unpacking such a laptop boring. (Although it does not affect system capabilities in any way.)
In some cases, you won’t have to buy any accessories at all. Gamers most often already have a set of gadgets necessary for gaming (mice, headsets, etc.), so this should not be a problem. And taking into account the relatively convenient dimensions, it is quite possible that the backpack will not have to be updated either. We will talk about this in more detail in the next section.
Design and usability
Ultra-slim gaming laptops are almost non-existent, but some models have managed to maintain a certain balance of power and portability. The GIGABYTE AORUS 15 measures 36×27.2×2.09 cm and weighs 2.39 kg. With these dimensions, the laptop fit into my backpack, which has a corresponding compartment designed for 15-inch laptops. However, it is not easy to fit it in there, compared to ordinary work laptops with even larger displays, but it is still possible to get to the office or travel long distances.
Moreover, the laptop does not look bulky. Yes, it’s still bigger than the regular models, but the brand’s decision to stick with 15- and 17-inch gaming laptops instead of going for the larger 16- and 18-inch ones still helps portability noticeably. At the same time, the manufacturer is still doing well with the build quality and materials (metal and soft-touch coating).
And in the design, there are also a lot of accents that indicate the gaming origin itself. There is a backlight not only at the keyboard but also under the display. Large cooling slots also complement the diagonal lines on the case and trackpad. The mirror logo was also preserved.
A traditional feature of gaming laptops is also the number and variety of interfaces for connecting external devices, and here some of them are conveniently located at the back. Yes, the charging port, Mini DP 1.4, HDMI 2.1, Thunderbolt 4 and RJ45 can be “hidden” behind the display. Along with this, there is one USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 and combo jack for a headset on the left, and two more USB-A 3.2 Gen 2 and one USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 on the right. In other words, there are more ports compared to the previous model.
The bottom panel has not received any unusual design, but it has large rubber feet that provide good support. With them, you can be sure that the laptop will stay in place during intense gaming moments.
Still, GIGABYTE AORUS 15 is not the smallest laptop among 15-inch models, but for its class, it still has good portability. To this, it is worth adding a restrained design, which was still not left without the appropriate stylistic marks. I would also like to separately mention the cover of the top case, which does not collect handprints and is easy to clean after games and work.
GIGABYTE AORUS 15 display
We’ll see how long the 15.6-inch gaming model lasts, but for now we can enjoy its company. The GIGABYTE AORUS 15 has just such a diagonal, with options for Full HD and QHD panels, an aspect ratio of 16:9 and a refresh rate from 144 to 360 Hz (depending on the configuration). However, this time the display has slightly increased the frame compared to the previous model, which is not a critical point for a gaming model.
It’s worth noting that QHD panels only have a 165Hz option, with other options left for lower resolutions. The test model has the highest resolution for this line. Probably, Full HD would be enough, but it’s always nice to have “a few extra” pixels on the display. But, again, you should not count on 240 or 360 Hz on the display.
All screens in the line have IPS matrices (in our case, LQ156T1JW05) with fairly good color reproduction. Only the temperature can be changed in the settings. Among the options is the Native option, which is worth stopping at, because it gives the most accurate image. At the same time, a change in temperature will entail some changes in the coverage of colors, gamma, etc., which will not actually improve the image. But Native is a really nice option for work and recreation.
The maximum level of illumination, even taking into account the matte coating of the matrix, will be enough for most cases of work indoors — 305 cd/m². What was a pleasant surprise is the minimum level, which is 0.9 cd/m². Many smartphones show 1.8-2, but here is a laptop with a lower indicator. This will become an indispensable feature for users who have a habit of working in the dark.
GIGABYTE AORUS 15 security
Support for Windows Hello using infrared sensors will be no less pleasant to use. For reasons unknown to me, many gaming laptops do not get fingerprint scanners. The AORUS division doesn’t ignore the feature by placing the sensors next to the webcam above the display.
They allow you to quickly scan the user’s face and provide access to the system without entering passwords or PIN codes. In addition, such sensors work easily in different lighting conditions, which only adds to the convenience of use. Among others, there are individual applications that may support the feature, such as the password manager 1Password.
Manipulators and multimedia
This time, AORUS 15 got a keyboard without a NUM block, which is subjectively more comfortable than last time with a full layout. The convenience of “blind” typing has been preserved. At the same time, the keyboard is pleasant both for normal work and for games. The only thing you need to get used to is the placement of the Home, PgUp, PgDn and End keys, which are located on the right edge and may initially fall under your hand instead of Delete or Enter. Also, it would not hurt to separate the navigation unit a little, but you can quickly used to its position.
A trackpad is traditionally placed under the keyboard. Its dimensions are 120×76 mm. In this model, it is additionally decorated with diagonal lines that minimally change color at different viewing angles. The accent is unusual and looks cool. The work of the trackpad is not affected by this – it perfectly replaces the mouse for everyday tasks and recognizes gestures well.
The power of the AORUS 15 speakers is not enough to do justice to your favorite music tracks, nor is it affected by the settings in the DTS:X Ultra app. Therefore, it is better to use headphones for such tasks. But for movies, YouTube videos and communication during video calls, the speakers are just perfect.
Usually, webcams even in top laptops are only capable of HD resolution and show very mediocre image quality. And here AORUS 15 pleasantly surprised. Its camera supports Full HD, picks up the white balance well even in “warm” home lighting.
Next to the camera are a pair of microphones. Despite the fact that noise reduction can be found in the settings, it is difficult to say that it is able to cope with the sounds of the environment, the keyboard, the cooling system, etc. Yes, the sound improves somewhat, but you can’t do without additional programs. Of course, it will be imperceptible for owners of gaming headsets or external microphones. But those users who rely on built-in speakers will have to look for quiet places for the speakers.
Performance and software
The entire AORUS 15 line, as is often the case, will offer many configurations. In addition to displays, the user can choose processors (from Intel Core i5-12500H to i7-13700H) and video cards (from NVIDIA GeForce RTX4050 with 6 GB GDDR6 to RTX4070 with 8 GB). Also in all cases there are two slots for DDR5-4800 with support for up to 64 GB and two slots for NVMe PCIe Gen 4.0×4 drives. All models also support three-band Wi-Fi 6E 2×2 and Bluetooth 5.2.
GIGABYTE AORUS 15 (BSF) test configuration is the top among the available options: 14-core Intel Core i7-13700H (6 powerful and 8 energy-saving cores, 24 MB, up to 5 GHz, 45 W), NVIDIA GeForce RTX4070 (8 GB GDDR6, maximum power up to 140 W, frequency – 2175 MHz), 16 GB of RAM and a terabyte drive. On the site, you can find this model with a simpler Core i5-13500H processor and other matrix variations.
At the same time, the proprietary performance management utility GIGABYTE CONTROL CENTER will offer already familiar operating modes for the manufacturer’s gaming laptops. The Creator, Turbo, Gaming, Meeting and Power Saving/Silence Mode modes are available separately, and Power, Eco, Normal, Turbo and Customize are provided for the operation of the cooling system (WINDFORCE Infinity). The laptop itself is able to choose the mode depending on the situation, but it does not prevent the user from launching the desired mod by themselves.
To begin with, we tried to run the usual set of tests. All of them, like the games, were performed in Turbo mode. And here the laptop was able to pleasantly surprise. In separate tests, despite the fact that we do not have a top processor and graphics card, the results were close to the class higher chips of the previous generation. Taking into account that thinner models usually coped worse with the load, the results turned out to be very good and slightly exceeded expectations.
Traditionally, we repeated some tests without connected power. Of course, it is unlikely that users of such systems plan to play at full capacity in the absence of an outlet nearby, but sometimes you still want to work comfortably or watch a movie. And in this case, the laptop should not fail, although the performance “without an outlet” is still significantly lower.
|3DMark (CPU Profile, max threads)
|CineBench R23 (single/multi core)
|1 869/16 346
But after connecting to the mains, you can start playing. And here came the second pleasant moment of surprise, after all, in some benchmarks, the laptop not only kept up with more powerful configurations with previous chips, but was also able to demonstrate several frames more. Considering that this is also a cheaper laptop, it will definitely please the buyer. Moreover, high graphics settings and full display resolution will not become obstacles for demanding games, not to mention popular competitive ones (such as Counter Strike).
- CS:GO — 270+ FPS
- PUBG — 115 FPS
- GTA V — 132 FPS
- Shadow of the Tomb Rider — 92 FPS
- Forza Horizon 5 — 132 FPS
- Metro Exodus — 109 FPS
- Cyberpunk 2077 — 59/94 FPS
However, when using high-performance modes, be prepared for a noisy cooling system. By the way, it does a great job with its tasks: during the stability test, the temperature almost did not exceed 70°C, although it could reach 90°C with the game running. But the topcase, although it was warm, did not cause discomfort from excessive heating. During normal operation, it was no more than 40-45°C in the middle of the case, and the fans, although they could turn on, did not overclock very much and behaved relatively quietly. But for games, you will still need headphones and a room in which the player will not disturb the the others.
The ventilation holes are on the sides and behind the top case. You still shouldn’t keep, say, chocolate next to them. But it is also worth noting that the air is warm, not hot, so, for example, if you leave a mouse nearby for a few minutes, it will not be hot when you return to it. Sometimes there are gaming laptops that literally heat up everything around, and the new AORUS turned out to be a little more loyal at this point.
Also, the manufacturer does not add a lot of unnecessary things to Windows 11. Of the most important, there remains only the previously mentioned GIGABYTE CONTROL CENTER for controlling operating modes, backlight settings, brand updates, etc. Otherwise, the laptop does not need anything else.
GIGABYTE AORUS 15 battery life
As before, AORUS 15 has a battery with a capacity of 99 Wh in all configurations. And compared to the previous model, battery life has almost not changed. That is, watching a two-hour movie with comfortable settings of the screen backlight and speaker volume will cost the battery approximately 30% of the charge, and in office mode the consumption will be 10-15% per hour of operation. Of course, this time will be significantly reduced under load.
Most likely, you will still have to have a power supply at hand, which is relevant for the vast majority of gaming laptops. This model comes with a 240W BJ and weighs 710 grams. It will take 2 hours and 15 minutes to fully charge the battery with it.