Welcome to Unpacked
On today’s episode we’ve got something exciting from Gigabyte’s Aorus lineup. Aorus’ X7 was
released early this year and it combined Dual GTX GPUs with a Quad-core Haswell processor
in a supremely thin form factor. Well all of that was utilizing a 17” footprint, so what did AROUS
pare down in order to create a 14” model? We’re about to find out – THIS is the Aorus X3
So here it is the AORUS X3 Plus – yes notice I did say Plus. There are actually two models of
this particular laptop. This plus model is actually a 13.9” form factor while the 13.3” model is
branded as the vanilla X3. Amazingly, the specifications for both systems is identical other than
the screen. More on that later.
Let’s first do a physical tour of the device. Let’s start with the lid – here we’ve got the bird of
prey logo standing out on a matte black finish. The whole system has a premium feel – largely
due to the anodized aluminum finish.
Flipping it around to the back you’ll find two very large vents and an RJ45 LAN port. This is
actually so rare these days on gaming grade notebooks. The implementation here is from Killer
rather than Intel so you’ll be getting “gaming priority” grade networking out of this system.
Finally on the bottom – not much to see here other than the stereo speakers and rubber feet.
Before we open it up, let’s do a quick rundown of the specs of this powerhouse gaming laptop.
The processor is an i7-4710HQ. That’s a 2.5GHZ Haswell chip that boosts up to 3.5GHz. That
CPU is paired with 8GB of DDR3L 1600. The two slots are filled out of the box, but if you want,
you can throw two 8GB sticks in there for a maximum of 16GB.
For storage, it comes with Dual M.2 SSD storage slots each supporting up to 512GB. The
HM87 Express Chipset motherboard can be configured to enable RAID for these drives just for
that extra bit of extreme performance.
Of course for wireless connectivity you’ve got your usual assortment of wireless options
including 802.11ac over the 5GHz frequency and Bluetooth 4.0. As mentioned earlier the Lan
port on the back is a Killer NIC. And the final spec is an important one – no gaming grade laptop is complete without that
discrete GPU. The GPU is a 870M with 6GB of GDDR5. This of course supports Optimus tech
which means that the GPU can shut down when the system isn’t requiring the extra graphical
horsepower and instead rely on the integrated Intel HD 4600 graphics.
Next up, let’s open up the laptop to reveal the gorgeous LCD panel. As mentioned earlier this is
the 13.9” screen. What I didn’t tell you was this is actually a 3200×1800 resolution. Yup that is
a 3K matte finish IGZO screen with stunning contrast, and minimal backlight bleed, and wide
viewing angles that might not be IPS grade, but are way better than your standard TN panel. At
this size and resolution, you’re getting a stunning 262 ppi which is higher than Apple’s “retina”
level screens on their macbook pro lineup.
Oh and remember that 6GB of VRAM on the video card? Well Gigabyte did that for a reason.
With a screen of this size, when you’re gaming in such high resolutions, that number becomes
very important. In order to store the high resolution textures and the rest of the graphical data,
you need more VRAM. Too many times we see people try to game in 4K with too little VRAM
which can become a bottleneck in the system.
Alright, now earlier I mentioned that there are X3 and X3 Plus variants of this system. This right
here is the X3 plus with the amazing 3K panel that has a 13.9” diagonal size. The X3 is actually
the exact same laptop in terms of dimensions, except that they have gone ahead and created a
13” panel with a QHD 2560×1440 resolution. It packs the same IGZO tech, except that the
vanilla X3 has a larger bezel to make up for the 0.9” deficit in screen real estate.
One last thing about the screen. It is not a touch screen here despite the bundled Windows 8.1
operating system. That can be a bit jarring for users who are now used to a laptop with a touch
Next to the screen is your standard 720p resolution webcam. Moving on to the keyboard you’ll
find a strong white backlight that is user customizable in terms of brightness. The keyboard
layout is also mostly standard and has 5 programmable G keys that can cycle between user
programmable profiles. The only unusual thing about the keyboard is the arrow keys. Honestly
not really sure why they did this to an otherwise standard keyboard layout. The keys have a
decent travel distance but lack any sort of tactile feedback.
The glass mouse trackpad has fantastic tracking but if you’re one with greasy fingers, this can
become a problem – nothing that a mouse wouldn’t fix.
This powerhouse of a laptop is powered by a 73.26Wh battery that in my tests managed a fairly
decent X hours of battery life when gaming and X hours of battery life when doing normal tasks.
Oh and to charge that beefy battery? Gigabyte have bundled THIS massive 180W power brick.
It should come as no surprise given what we’ve seen from them before with the BRIX lineup of
That about wraps it up for this showcase of the AORUS X3 Plus. Thanks for watching
Comment below and let us know what features you can’t live without on a gaming laptop?
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