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Gigabyte AERO 17 HDR Review
Review By @ 06:18pm 06/08/20


Save up to $800 on AERO as part of GIGABYTE's Spring Sale.

Product: Gigabyte AERO 17 HDR
Type: 4K NVIDIA RTX Studio Laptop
Price: ~ $3599.00
Availability: Out Now
Link: gigabyte.com/au/Laptop/AERO-17-HDR--Intel-10th-Gen

Little stickers you see on a box relating to some sort of certification are often little more than nice to haves, a visual tick for the sake of a visual tick. Even when they’re bonafide ‘good-to-knows’ it’s not always an indication of overall quality. When it comes to laptops that feature the NVIDIA RTX Studio sticker or branding – the opposite is true. As per our recent deep dive, an RTX Studio laptop is a premium piece of kit designed in collaboration with NVIDIA that not only offers up serious gaming performance but is something of an ideal productivity tool for content creators.

So yeah, we’re not talking about productivity in the sense of answering a few emails or responding to messages in a Discord chat – we’re talking editing videos for broadcast, graphic design, various other forms of media and things that involve intense rendering tasks. For the rest of us, an RTX Studio laptop will add some impressive firepower to our meme generation. The Gigabyte AERO 17 HDR, in the 4K model reviewed here, is an RTX Studio rig. And right off the bat you can – quite literally – see the difference that such a label can bring. With its focus across productivity and gaming the Gigabyte AERO 17 HDR features an excellent 4K display that supports the full 100% Adobe RGB colour gamut with decent HDR to boot.

Look and Feel




With a large 17.3-inch display and a lot of tech under the hood, the Gigabyte AERO 17 HDR isn’t a replacement for the sort of ultrathin productivity machines that are tailor made for answering a few emails or logging into Zoom. The 2.5kg or so weight and 3‎96(W) x 270(D) x 21.4(H) mm size is still relatively thin and portable and sleek too thanks to the aluminium chassis -- but it's not quite at the level you can find across some of the competition.


"The Gigabyte AERO 17 HDR, in the 4K model reviewed here, is an RTX Studio rig. And right off the bat you can – quite literally – see the difference that such a label can bring.”



The larger size of having a 17.3-inch display also means you get a few handy ports you don’t normally see too – like full-sized HDMI, fast Ethernet to mini DisplayPort 1.4 and a plethora of USB goodness. There’s a desktop-like quality to the Gigabyte AERO 17 HDR – even though it’s a fully portable laptop. Even though the model tested is primarily an RTX Studio laptop, Gigabyte still managed to put in some bright gaming-style RGB lighting underneath the easy-to-use and comfortable keyboard.

Under the Lid




Processor:10th Gen Intel Core i7-10875H
Display: 1‎7.3" Thin Bezel UHD 3840x2160 HDR Adobe RGB 100% IPS anti-glare display LCD
Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 SUPER With Max-Q Design
Memory: 16GB DDR4 2666MHz SDRAM
Storage: M.2 NVMe PCIE 512GB SSD
OS: Windows 10
Interfaces: 3‎x USB 3.2 Gen1 (Type-A), 1x Thunderbolt 3 (Type-C), 1x HDMI 2.0, 1x mini DP 1.4, 1x Headphone out, 1x Microphone in, 1x UHS-II SD Card Reader, 1x DC-in Jack, 1x RJ-45

The first thing you notice as mentioned in the introduction is the quality of the Gigabyte AERO 17 HDR display – pristine and factory calibrated 4K with 100% Adobe RGB, 400-nit brightness and accurate and vibrant HDR. With HDR turned off the brightness here is, well, intense and more than enough for productivity across the entire Adobe Suite without having to worry about any sort of degradation. With HDR the results are rather good but not quite on par with some of the higher-end HDR-1000 or HDR-1400 displays we’ve seen. But, as those displays tend to cost as much or more than the entirety of the Gigabyte AERO 17 HDR, the 4K display Gigabyte managed to pack in here is the sort of thing that exceeded our expectation heading in.

Now, one aspect of an RTX Studio machine is the use of RTX Studio drivers as opposed to the usual GeForce Game Ready drivers we’ve grown accustomed to. As to why, that comes down to specific optimisation for Adobe apps, Maya, video editing software, and other tools that can take specific advantage of RTX hardware. The results are immediately impressive – where offloading tasks like rendering and other intensive bits of digital work normally assigned to the CPU nets you sizable performance gains. The sort of stuff that when put next to a high-end Mac, will make those eyebrows perk up to say “woah, okay didn’t realise that a GPU could do that”.

Incorporating the latest 10th Gen Intel processor and RTX 2070 SUPER are of course the two main pieces of the hardware puzzle at hand, though in keeping with the RTX Studio’s focus on not only pairing hardware with a great display but the performance to match -- this means everything from the SSD chosen to the memory to the networking bits and bobs of the Gigabyte AERO 17 HDR are of excellent quality. Incorporating some of the best known and best performing brands in the business - including Gigabyte's own reputation for quality.

Gaming Performance




But we finally come to it – the ‘but’. In that you’d think a rig designed for performance, something that demands high-end chipsets and a pristine display, would be great for gaming with little or no additional inspection required. For the most part that’s right, the Gigabyte AERO 17 HDR is great for gaming – with the RTX 2070 SUPER performing well across some of the most demanding titles we could throw at it. The downside, weirdly enough, comes down to the display – which at 4K 60Hz (in the model tested) is a little too high-end for the GPU and without proper 1440p support (yeah, it’s unfortunately 1080p or 4K only) there’s no best of both worlds here.




At 1080p 60Hz isn’t high-end enough and at 4K 60Hz is hard to maintain unless you’re playing Fortnite or DOTA 2 or something that doesn’t put a huge strain on the GPU. That said, the full 100% Adobe RGB colour gamut and HDR support is amazing for games like The Division 2, Forza Horizon 4, and more recently Microsoft Flight Simulator. So, the complaints here come down to personal taste, and as Gigabyte offers a version of the laptop with a 144Hz 1080p display better suited for gaming, the option is there for those whose priorities are gaming over RTX Studio production.

Overall




Battery life is an area that the Gigabyte AERO 17 HDR excels too though it’s safe to say that when under heavy load either through gaming or using the RTX hardware for improved Adobe performance – that battery percentage metre will drop at a fairly steady rate. For everyday usage though the Gigabyte AERO 17 HDR can go the daily distance with around 8 hours – which adds another plus in the column set aside for portability.


"The full 100% Adobe RGB colour gamut and HDR support is amazing for games like The Division 2, Forza Horizon 4, and most recently Microsoft Flight Simulator.”



In the end though the screen, build quality, and quality of components are the star because when you add them all up you get a clear picture of just how impressive a NVIDIA RTX Studio rig can be. Coupled with the RTX Studio drivers and Gigabyte’s own software and calibration tools, outside of the relatively higher price-tag and a lack of 1440p resolution support, the Gigabyte AERO 17 HDR is a productivity beast. A machine that’s great for gaming too because this is one laptop that knows how to put together a truly brilliant 4K image.
What we liked
Excellent 4K display calibrated for accuracy and detail
Great build quality that includes high-quality components
RTX Studio design makes it great for productivity across the entire Adobe Suite
And it's good for gaming too
What we didn't like
Display weirdly doesn't support 1440p
A little thick and heavy compared to some
We gave it:
8.5
OUT OF 10