Gigabyte Aorus X9 Gaming Laptop: Full, in-depth review
- Great performance + display
- Outstanding keyboard
- Lack of portability
- Low battery life
With a winning combination of a 4K display, mechanized keyboard and solid performance, the Gigatyte Aorus X9 is almost-certainly going to be the gaming laptop you’ll wish you had.
As we touched on before, the Aorus X9 doesn’t do a whole lot to break out of that glowy-metal-sci-fi-death-machine box that most gaming products fall into. However, that’s not to say it doesn’t excel within the genre. I mean, look at the thing. It’s all heavy metal edges, seething vents, RGB lighting. The works.
Obviously, if you’re a sucker for super-slim form-factors, this might not be the glowy-metal-sci-fi-death-machine for you. Sure, the Aorus X9 definitely pushing the boundaries for thinness in its (SLI-graphics-sized) weight-class but - all things considered - slim just isn’t going to be the word you go for when you handle it.
The Aorus X9 is a high-end desktop gaming experience squeezed into the frame of a laptop - and it is absolutely unapologetic about it. At 29.9mm, it just is not what you would really call thin. Nor can be said to be that all that portable. Like most gaming laptops in its price range, it’s more portable in theory than it is in practice.
On paper, it folds right up and you could take it with you using a bag or backpack - assuming you find one large enough. In reality, the X9 weighs 3.59kg. There are dumbbells lighter than that. So you’re probably not going to want to carry it around with you on the regular. Jokes aside, it is nice that the avenue of mobility is open to you. You’re probably not going to want to shoulder the burden unless absolutely necessary, but it remains good to have the option there.
Especially since, once set up, the display for the Aorus looks so good. Images look rich on the 4K display and when we used it to test out new releases like Forza Motorsport 7 and The Evil Within 2, both looked gorgeous. More on them later.
The mechanical keyboard built into the Aorus X9 is also worthy of note. Plenty of gaming laptops have touted, promised or imitated the experience of a mechanized keyboard. However, few have pulled it off quite as well as Gigabyte have here. The X9’s keyboard has a really punchy responsiveness to it, and it comes with fully customizable RGB lighting (powered by Aorus Fusion software).
The X9’s keyboard uses brown key-switches, so it isn’t too noisy to use either. Even after a few hours of playtime, the keyboard still felt surprisingly tactile - even if the distance between it and the edge of the laptop sometimes felt just an inch or two too far for comfort.
The last thing to touch on here is the speaker setup. Though it sometimes felt like they were in competition with the Aorus X9’s four fans, the front-facing speaker hold their own. All told, there are two 2-watt speakers and two 2-watt woofers. In practice, they carried a reasonable amount of clarity in the sound they produced. They didn’t sound particularly spectacular. However, it would be fair to say they disappoint either.
Gigabyte allow you to mess with the speakers a bit more via an equaliser interface. Beyond the easy stuff like setting up profiles, the real sell here is the ESS Sabre Hi-Fi DAC. This adds support for 192Khz / 24-bit audio into the mix, right where it should be for a high-end laptop like this.
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