Gigabyte Aorus 15G review: a compact gaming laptop with a mechanical keyboard

The Gigabyte Aorus 15G packs in some seriously powerful tech

Gigabyte Aorus 15G
(Image credit: Future)
T3 Verdict

With a mechanical keyboard, some of the best tech around from Intel and Nvidia, and useful software customisations, the Gigabyte Aorus 15G is an appealing option if you're prepared to spend big for one of the best gaming laptops currently on the market.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Top-notch 240Hz display

  • +

    Packed with power

  • +

    Decent enough battery life

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    No 4K resolution

  • -

    Design is very angular

  • -

    Webcam is too low

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The Gigabyte Aorus 15G doesn't quite hit the heights of other gaming laptops in terms of price and overall size – look at the Gigabyte Aorus 17x, for example – but it's still a very powerful laptop and one that you're going to have to spend a substantial amount on too.

Several configurations of the laptop are available: ours had a 10th-gen, 8-core Intel Core i7-10875H 2.3GHz CPU, 16GB of RAM, and 512GB of SSD storage, combined with an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 Super MaxQ GPU with 8GB of memory for some serious graphical power.

It's one of the first gaming laptops to feature an H-series chip from Intel and a 2000-series GPU from Nvidia, so it's sure to be on the radar of serious gamers already. If you want to, you can go bigger and kit this out with an i9 processor and a RTX 2080 graphics card.

What remains fixed is the size and design of the laptop, and the software you get on board to help your games fly. In this Gigabyte Aorus 15G review, we'll take you through everything you need to know about the laptop, from the webcam to the frame rates.

Gigabyte Aorus 15G review: screen and design

Gigabyte Aorus 15G

(Image credit: Future)

Gaming laptops are out of necessity big and bulky affairs – if you want an ultraportable design, don't expect to be able to game on it – but the Gigabyte Aorus 15G does an impressive job of keeping the bulk and the ostentation down to a minimum. This could almost pass for an everyday business laptop, with thin bezels around the 15.6-inch display, and a full keyboard complete with function keys and a number pad.

Speaking of that keyboard, it's unusual in that it's a full mechanical one (built in partnership with Omron), with a pleasing amount of travel (a generous 2.3 mm to be exact) and a reassuring-but-not-deafening clickety-clack sound to accompany your typing. These keys feel like they're going to last you several years of heavy duty use, and you also get the standard Gigabyte Aorus backlighting control with a wealth of colour and brightness options. You can have certain crucial keys light up with different colours, if you need to, which is a really cool effect.

With a 1920 x 1080 resolution and a 240Hz refresh rate, the 15.6-inch display panel is a delight to look at: sharp, bright, and super-responsive. You absolutely won't find lag or ghosting a problem with this panel, as everything from open world games to high-definition Netflix movies look fantastic. No matter what you're looking at on this display, it comes across smooth and well-defined. We were less impressed with the webcam being positioned right under the monitor, but we can live with it (it does at least have a privacy cover).

The full aluminium, CNC-carved, dark grey chassis looks really smart open or closed, and you get a solid selection of ports to make use of here as well – three USB 3.2 Type-A ports, one Thunderbolt 3 USB Type-C port, one Mini DisplayPort, one HDMI 2.0 port, an SD card reader and of course an Ethernet port and a headphone jack. Despite all of this power and connectivity, it's actually a relatively light laptop, tipping the scales at around 2.2 kilograms (4.85 pounds). Gigabyte has been designing gaming laptops for a long time now, and we think the Aorus 15G is one of the best-looking ones yet.

Gigabyte Aorus 15G review: performance and features

Gigabyte Aorus 15G

(Image credit: Gigabyte)

With some of the latest and best tech from Intel and Nvidia stuffed inside, we had high expectations of the Gigabyte Aorus 15G in the performance department, and it didn't disappoint – this is going to be able to play the top titles on the market today with the graphical settings well ramped up (though it's likely that you're going to have to put up with a bit of fan noise in return).

We managed to regularly hit 100 frames per second in Grand Theft Auto V at 1080p with the visuals maxed out, and sometimes significantly more depending on just how much background and scenery was visible. In the 3DMark Time Spy benchmark, the laptop scored an average of 7146 – that's above the average for a gaming laptop, but below the average for a full-size gaming desktop, according to 3DMark's database. There are faster gaming laptops out there, but not many.

During our gaming and benchmarking, the fans were definitely noticeable, but we've heard laptops that go much louder – the Aorus 15G didn't do too badly at keeping the noise down (and you can always turn the audio volume up). You get a comprehensive Aorus Control Centre as part of the on-board software, which gives you a quick and convenient way of updating drivers, applying performance tweaks, and more – it claims to use AI to balance CPU and GPU load, so that's another option to make use of.

With gaming laptops such as this, battery life is usually a secondary consideration – they're packed with so much power that they'll often go into standby mode before you've carried them across the room. With that in mind, the fact that the Gigabyte Aorus 15G battery level dropped from 100 percent to 76 percent after an hour of looping video, and without any battery optimisations, is encouraging. It won't last you a full day but you'll get a few hours of non-gaming use between charges.

Gigabyte Aorus 15G review: price and verdict

Gigabyte Aorus 15G

(Image credit: Gigabyte)

There's no doubt that the Gigabyte Aorus 15G is a beast in terms of performance: whether you're gaming or encoding video or just trying to navigate across 40 different browser tabs, it's going to be able to keep up. Both the CPU and GPU are in the top bracket for 2020, and if it's sheer power that you're after then this laptop should be somewhere near the top of your shortlist.

There aren't too many negatives to talk about, though you could argue that the design and the screen don't exactly scream premium, and not everyone is going to want a mechanical keyboard (we quite liked it). The audio performance isn't the best we've heard, though it's fine enough for your gaming and movie-watching needs, and there's nothing that is a huge red flag that would stop us recommending this gaming machine.

Our review model has an official sticker price of £2,199, though you might be able to find better deals online – that's a lot of cash, but at the same time you can pay significantly more for a gaming laptop too. Other configurations in the Aorus 15G range go from £1,699 to £2,899, so there's plenty of scope for finding the right compromise for your needs and budget when it comes to balancing price and performance.

We quite like the smaller, more understated look of the Gigabyte Aorus 15G, but to someone else it might seem a little business-like and boring compared with the competition – it's a classic case of your mileage may vary. What's not in doubt is that this is one of the most powerful gaming laptops on the market at the moment, and if the design and styling are to your taste then we'd encourage you to check it out.

David Nield

Dave has over 20 years' experience in the tech journalism industry, covering hardware and software across mobile, computing, smart home, home entertainment, wearables, gaming and the web – you can find his writing online, in print, and even in the occasional scientific paper, across major tech titles like T3, TechRadar, Gizmodo and Wired. Outside of work, he enjoys long walks in the countryside, skiing down mountains, watching football matches (as long as his team is winning) and keeping up with the latest movies.