X3 V3 First Impressions (X3 with 970m)

Discussion in 'Gigabyte and Aorus' started by FoHMike, Jan 21, 2015.

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  1. FoHMike

    FoHMike Notebook Geek

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    Reposted from my thread about win7 on the X3, but people seemed interested, so here goes:

    Needs: I needed a 13-14" machine for work (I'm bouncing between countries for months at a time, portability is huge for me) but that could also play games when I wasn't working. I also wanted a high res/dpi screen, 16gb of ram, and at least 512gb of SSD storage with room for 1tb.

    My reasons for choosing the X3 V3:

    1) Availability. Dellalienware jacked the price of their broadwell machine up by $300, and still isn't shipping them until the end of this month. I needed something ASAP due to my constant traveling, and these systems happened to be available in a country I stopped in. Blade refresh is still months away, and I'm very hesitant to buy anything from razer (given the *awful* quality of their peripherals and measly 1 year warranty - what, they think their own product won't last more than 12 months...?)
    2) Macro keys: freaking *massive* timesavers for those of us that work on a laptop as a day job. If I tended to stay in one place and have a desk, etc, I'd have a kb with macros, but I don't, so this is a HUGE help in productivity
    3) Hardware. I'm still intrigued by the AW13 and will probably get one at some point, but currently I have no place for a 'graphics amplifier', and I'm really hesitant about the 860m that's in the AW. Also, the 3 m.2 ports are super nice to have, for someone that is as space-intensive as I am. Obviously, the 970m is pretty enticing too, especially given how much narrower the gap is between mobile and desktop performance with maxwell

    First impressions: (smashed into one paragraph for your disjointed reading pleasure)

    The screen is omg amazing! no kb flex like some complained about, and everything seems reasonably well built except for perhaps the lid, which could have used a bit more quali-tay. I would have thought this machine would be metal, but it seems to be plastic. It's hard to tell for sure though, and could be a combo of both. The hinge also creaks when opening/closing - IMO, the machine is priced too high for these sorts of issues. The thing is light enough for me to pick up with just a thumb and pointer finger and move around no problem. Would be nice if the lid opened wider, but it's limited to what seems about 110 degrees. No bloatware, and aorus's software works very well. I've only had it a few days and have not gamed on it yet, but I'll try to get firestrike downloaded and post some #'s. I really like the keyboard - I'm not a fan of chiclet keys in general, but I can type very well/fast on this kb. The touchpad rocks - I've never liked a touchpad until this one. So smooth! I use a trackball normally, tho. The logo is a mirror on the V3 instead of painted white, which is kind of spiffy.

    Dat Compromise

    Ultimately, it always seems like you compromise somewhere. If you want mac build quality, you're stuck with underperforming hardware that's overpriced (same for the Razer Blade, which is probably the closest you get to mac build quality in a PC, although you don't take quite the same hardware hit as you do with a mac, the Razer could be a brick in 13 months). The AW13 is just a bit too little, too late, for a bit too many $, and the P34V3 is freaking ugly and will also be mostly plastic. The Aorus tops the hardware charts in the thin-and-light, but for the price, is a bit lacking in the build quality - perhaps that's the tradeoff for the lightweight, or the engineering. There's always a compromise >< The AW13 was my 1st choice (AW build quality + warranty + keyboards have traditionally kept me coming back) but then they jacked up the price and you still can't freaking get one, so aorus it is. I think all of the 13-14" thin-and-light gaming laptops out there do the job, it just depends on what compromise fits your particular useage of the machine. Choose the one that's best for *you*, rather than trying to determine (or debate) which one is the *best*. My .02 :)

    Any Q's, just ask!
     
  2. daza100

    daza100 Notebook Geek

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    thanks for the update yeah the build quality concerns me for that price but can you do some gaming and temps theres no videos of the v3 970m anywhere and battery life if you can
     
  3. Logs

    Logs Notebook Consultant

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    Did you get it with the killer wireless card or the Intel? Any problems with it? I'm trying to decide now between this and the p35x since the 34 is only coming out with 3vram. Does the screen do 1080 well? I'm suprises xoticpc doesn't have this yet. I only see hidevolution for the states. Is everything pretty accessible or do you need to tear it apart to get to the ram sticks,msata.
     
  4. LVNeptune

    LVNeptune Notebook Virtuoso

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    By the way the Intel wlan issues I think are actually a fault with the card/drivers NOT the unit. I bought a 7260 because it got rave reviews then after I installed it I've had weird issues where the wifi randomly cuts out and has huge bursts of lag. Assuming I get the Aorus I'm getting the killer. Only a $30 upgrade from HIDEvo. Worth it IMO.
     
  5. whwtan

    whwtan Notebook Evangelist

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    Hi Mike,

    Excited about joining the club! :)
    I just grabbed my system yesterday and am extremely pleased with it so far.
    I feel that the build quality is splendid honestly...but I kept my expectations low. The last system which blew me away and stays as the most amazing notebook ever created is still the Sony Vaio VPCZ series which they killed off.

    The Alienware 13 was never in my shortlist though. It was always against the P34, MSI Ghost and Razer Blade [kudos to them for getting the ball rolling]
    I saw the graphics amplifier for the Alienware and while the idea is good, the size of the amplifier is the nearly same as my desktop. The Vaio VPCZ2 had the graphics amplifier coupled into an external slim blu ray player.
    [And my desktop is a high end i7 4790K O/Ced with GTX980. It'd run circles around any non-insane laptop]

    But yes, I did say this in another thread, I agree with you that there isn't "the best", I really like the X3 Plus because it ticks just about most of my requirements. Honestly I actually like the P34W in terms of looks most...but you've got to compromise somewhere. LOL

    Hey, I understand that the 3xSSD slots are mSATA not M2, did I get that wrong? I haven't opened up my unit yet. It would be a MAJOR bummer if it's M2.
     
  6. daza100

    daza100 Notebook Geek

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    Yes mSata I believe m.2 was used in v2 only 2 tho I'm so glad the v3 has 3 mSata slots can you test some games temps and battery life I'm waiting for reviews before I buy 1 thanks
     
  7. LVNeptune

    LVNeptune Notebook Virtuoso

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    It is 3x mSATA in the new V3
     
  8. Hephaestos

    Hephaestos Notebook Guru

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    Full aluminum chassis, actually.
     
  9. LVNeptune

    LVNeptune Notebook Virtuoso

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    The v3 is not all aluminum. The bottom chassis is mostly aluminum, the keyboard isn't. The top lid isn't. The blade is all aluminum though.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2015
  10. whwtan

    whwtan Notebook Evangelist

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    Hi LVNeptune,

    Wow...

    I'm feeling really good about this particular purchase. [Rarely happens] The not-so-obvious improvements such as 2xM.2 into 3xmSATA may not be huge to a lot of buyers but it is significant to me. Not to mention it comes with a free unused slot so I don't even need to discard a HDD or SSD in the process.

    I've been using a few laptops before this in the order where they're most recently used.
    1) Fujitsu U904 -> Switched the HDD into a 1Tb SSD. I think this is the last time I would be tricked into getting a low voltage laptop. It feels sluggish compared to my previous laptop. [Used 1 month]
    2) Clevo P151HM. The worst keyboard I have ever experienced. I'm always missing my spacebars and a letter here and there. For a touch typist it's one of the most painful of experiences. It's actually quite usable otherwise...I've set it aside as my non-movable office desktop replacement. When you connect it with an external keyboard and use dual displays through the displayPort it's actually very commendable. [Used 12 months] Iris Pro 5200 is very nifty if you're not playing any demanding games. If you're willing to set most graphics options to the lowest possible and you'd be able to play stuff like starcraft, diablo 3 etc.

    The last system I've used for the longest time is still my VAIO VPCZ1. It was the epitome of ultrabooks before the word ultrabook even existed and for years there was simply nothing in the market which came close to it. Whenever I rocked up to a laptop store and asked them for the following: minimum FullHD, Adobe RGB 90%, 3 USB ports, RJ45 LAN port, SSD, Nvidia/AMD graphics and it must be lighter than 2kg preferably 1.5kg and I stressed to them that I wasn't even looking for an upgrade, I was simply replacing my old laptop which has those functions I get looks from the sales reps as if I was asking for the impossible.

    This Aorus [LOL I have not even heard of this brand 2 weeks ago honest] has really blown me away by being lighter than 2kg. It has a keyboard which I'm not having any issues typing [unlike P151HM] the 970M actually makes games playable, the screen is 1800 height [Perfect for me because I want to set 14" screens to 900 resolution, another side effect bonus is that most games now run at 60FPS even at high settings], doesn't like up like a Christmas tree, has incredible storage options, comes with displayPort for multiple display output, and it's black/dark in colour which makes it very suitable for my taste. Quite a dream come true.

    Not to mention the competitive options out there, the P34W, MSI GS60, Razer Blade. It's been really good these few months. Broadwell and 9XXM are really going to rock the boat this year.
     
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