Aero 15w-v8 review

Discussion in 'Gigabyte and Aorus' started by Jacob Lefton, Nov 28, 2018.

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  1. Jacob Lefton

    Jacob Lefton Newbie

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    Hi - I just purchased this laptop from HIDevolution and I'm pretty happy with it! I had them do a few things as well, and I had good service. I want to share a few thoughts, because most reviews are about the 15x model. This is a two-pronged review.

    tl;dr: 4/5 stars. This is an incredible computer, especially coming from a 2013 HP Pavilion - there's no comparison! There's quirks though. Also I wish they offered a warranty like Dell - I travel a lot, and sending this out for repairs for X weeks is not a great thing to think about. If you have questions, including any of the running issues, I'm happy to answer.

    1. Specs:
    Gigabyte Aero 15W v8-BK4
    GTX 1060
    8th Gen i7-8750H
    Standard 512GB SSD
    Samsung 970 EVO 500GB SSD (with OS installed by HIDevolution)
    32GB Dual Channel DDR4/2400MHz installed by HIDevolution
    Killerâ„¢ Wireless-AC N1535 installed by HIDevolution

    2. Physical design:
    I was a blacksmith in my previous job, so I have a great appreciation for how things feel in the hand - in my opinion, this is one of the best laptops I've held.
    - I love the look. The computer feels great compared to my old plastic one. However, the aluminum, especially on the screen, is reallllly thin. I'm a little nervous about it receiving any pressure or weight while traveling. I also think the screen should be able to tilt a bit more - flat is ideal, but the angle is quite tight. I hit this limit when holding it on my lap in weird angles while traveling for work. I also hit the limit when I prop the computer up to get the camera to a better angle for video conferencing - it's a bit awkward.
    - The screen is amazing. I can't speak to anything else out there, but it's nice.
    - I am quite happy with the keyboard. Folks talk about it being awkward, but that's if you are migrating from a laptop without a numpad. I use my numpad extensively, so this is great. The keys feel nice. I do have some that require a bit more force - especially the delete key. I was kind of worried about this at first, but I realized I'm such a messy typist anyway, that it really doesn't make a difference. It's taking a few weeks to really attune to it, but we're getting there. I added the keyboard skin recently (yay, no crap in the body), and that made everything more tricky because of added friction on the keys. Also, it's a cloudy white silicon and kind of ugly compared to the sleek black body (but really? This is a tool and it's more important that it feels right rather than looks like a spaceship.)
    - The logo on the back should not light up like that, and there should be a switch to turn it off. Come on, Gigabyte - it's 2018, and that can't be so hard to do. Some of us do not want to flash around our stuff. Also, this orange stripe? I'll pass next time!
    - I wish I could get a good shell for it, but apparently a lot of the companies won't manufacture them because there are so few Aero folks out there.
    - The battery seems to be great thus far. I mostly work plugged in, but I have a lot of travels coming up, so I am grateful for something that lasts a while and can do some heavy lifting.
    - I paid for light leak check, and I got a screen that has a limited light leak and no dead pixels. It's fine, even though I do some filmmaking and graphics work. Compared to the photos I've seen of other ones, I think I lucked out - however, this is definitely something that Gigabyte needs to address in the future.
    - I got the CPU&GPU repasted, but the thing still gets h-o-t when it's working hard.

    3. Software & electronics stuff
    This is where the computer starts to fall apart, but it's largely because Windows is such a terrible operating system!
    Some of this is also Gigabyte's Smart Manager. They've gotten so much negative feedback on this - I don't know why they haven't really spent some good time to design it well yet. Most of my comments on this are nitpicky UX stuff, but there's some bigger things.
    - Overall, everything is beautiful and smooth. There are some issues that can have more or less impact on tasks at hand.
    - I had HIDevolution reinstall Windows for me, to save a bunch of time and headaches. Great call.
    - Windows 10 is still terrible and the worst thing about using this computer. Unfortunately, I can't really change my primary system to Linux and I won't buy into the Apple ecosystem if I can help it.
    - I had one BSoD, and I can't tell you why! It happened at the beginning on like the first day, and then never again.
    - I think I replaced the trackpad drivers - it works great, but I wish I had a physical button.
    - I can not really get the RGB Fusion stuff to work properly - there's no real manual that I can find, and no good tutorials. Basically, I want to make the numpad turn on when I open the windows calculator app, because why not?
    - Every so often when I close the computer and re-open it, the Killer wireless card gets lost - as it, stops appearing in the device manager. The only solutions I've found are a full hard shutdown, wait a little while, and restart, and in case of that not working, I need to fully cycle the battery - i.e. drain it completely, wait a bit, and charge again. I bet this is a Windows/Killer interaction, but it's not great.
    - Speaking of wireless... Bluetooth doesn't seem to work correctly?? Is this a Gigabyte thing through Smart Manager, a Killer thing, or a Windows thing?
    - I find the pantone color profile flickers sometimes. It happens in different cases and I don't know why.
    - Sometimes the screen brightness will get stuck low, even though I push it up to 100%. This happens usually when loading a game.
    - I wish the screen brightness stepped up and down in the same fashion as the volume - increments of 2 or 1 rather than increments of 10.
    - The volume control steps by 2 but then jumps by a lot if you repeatedly press the button - this is really unnecessary. It should be consistent instead of trying to anticipate what I want.
    - The Battery charging options in Smart Manager aren't really clear, and sometimes when you change between them, it doesn't seem to have actually changed the settings.
    - What else? There's lots of little software quirks. Windows 10 makes me feel gross. I don't want most of the gimmicks, but there's no way to turn them off.

    4. HIDevolution:
    - Overall, these folks were really comfortable to work with, and I would again. I didn't have any particular problems, and I paid them a bundle of money to repaste the CPU & GPU, add some RAM and an extra SSD, reinstall windows, check for light leaks, etc. All of that work seems to have been done skillfully, and I have no complaints on it.
    - They did tell me they could time the delivery - it came a few days early, which meant the warranty clock was ticking before I was really in a position to respond to it. It's not a big annoyance, but I think important to note that little requests like that could get lost.
    - However, I requested one of those keyboard skins, because those were floating around in a special fall bundle that was coming in and out of availability right when I ordered the computer - they sent it to me immediately, and I'm quite happy about that.
    - I would work with them again - they were quite pleasant, and I asked a lot of questions.

    That's about it. I know there's a number of running issues, and I didn't look them up for this but if you have a specific question, please ask!
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