As creators in 2019, we’ve never had so many options available to us.
Whether you use a PC or a Mac, whether you do illustration, photography, videography or anything in-between, there’s a great tool out there for you.
Historically, creators on Windows machines require very high levels of performance, especially when doing video work. So it’s no surprise that many of these people defaulted to gaming rigs or pre-built configurations with fantastic specs to get their work done.
While this is great and it gets the job done, some of these pre-made configurations aren’t tailored towards creatives. This is where the Gigabyte Aero comes in.
And it starts here, with the display.
Most high performance or gaming rigs feature displays with a super high refresh rate and lower resolution. This tailored towards high movement and smoothing out twitch reactions while gaming - not something that’s super required for creatives.
Instead, what we’ve got here on the Gigabyte Aero is a gorgeous 15.6 inch, 4K AMOLED display.
It’s Pantone-certified, supports the P3 colour gamut, and each unit has been tested for supreme colour accuracy.
It’s an absolutely gorgeous display with vibrant colours, super deep blacks, and a thin bezel to boot. And of course, it’s made by Samsung - they’re one of the best display manufacturers in the world right now.
As creatives, this is probably the most important part of a computer for us. After all, we engage in visuals, so when deciding on a machine, make sure to select one with a fantastic display.
Performance and real world usage
Okay, let’s geek out a bit.
Especially for you video heads and part time gamers (like me), performance is an absolute must.
Thankfully, Gigabyte delivers.
On the processing side, the Aero is fitted with the latest 9th gen Intel i7 processors and can be configured to i9 if you need it. On the graphics side, it’s kitted with NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX or RTX series’ of graphics cards, which is more than enough for any creative work.
The model I reviewed was the XA model, which came with an i7 processor, RTX 2070 and 16GB of ram - not even close to top end specs by any means, but you can certainly spec this up to be a monster if you want it to be with an i9 processor and RTX 2080 GPU.
Not that most people really need that much power. For general Lightroom and Photoshop work as a photographer, this machine blasted through everything I threw at it.
Lightroom generally is a huge resource hog and is generally pretty slow, so a good graphics card really makes a significant difference. But with this configuration, even complex layering of adjustment layers, using resource-intensive actions like Dehaze and auto-masking while brushing were a simple affair - the Gigabyte Aero handled them like a pro.
I also do quite a bit of gaming. While I certainly missed a 120hz refresh rate for twitchy games like Overwatch, this display with it’s 1ms response time and 60hz refresh rate, in tandem with the excellent RTX GPU is more than enough to play even the highest-end games with relative ease and no dropped frames.
Having a capable machine that has the ability to enable both serious work and serious play is something that’s important to me, so I’m glad the Aero delivers here.
Build, IO, and battery
The Aero is fitted with a mostly plastic casing that’s solid and nice to touch.
For a Windows machine, it’s light and thin.
The exterior has minor detailing, with a subtle illuminated AERO logo on the front. The keys feature an RGB lighting system which is wild and not really to my taste, but you can set this up how you like.
Also while we’re talking about keys here, while I absolutely love the travel, typing experience, and cap placement of the main QWERTY setup, I find having a num-pad on a laptop to be such a weird, jarring experience. Personally, I think it’d be much nicer to get rid of the num-pad and then centre the keyboard so you’re not typing to the left. A minor detail, but something worth pointing out.
The Aero also features a fingerprint scanner and coverable webcam - both great options for Windows Hello and logging in quickly.
From an IO perspective, this thing has serious options.
On the right side, we have an SD card reader, Thunderbolt, and 2 USB 3 ports. On the left, an RJ45, audio input, USB 3, USB C, and a HDMI port. Everything you need, really.
Battery life is impressive for the performance you get with this machine.
I was able to get about 4-5 hours if on-screen time with full brightness settings and doing pretty intensive Photography work. Pretty impressive if you ask me!
This machine genuinely impressed me. The combination of that fantastic display and beefy specs, wrapped in a box that’s well-built and has a ton of IO ticks many of the boxes that most creatives could want in a Windows machine.
Whether it’s photography, videography, gaming or anything in between, the Aero can handle it all.
If you’re interested, you can find more information about the Aero 15 OLED and where to purchase it here.