Aorus X7 Pro Sync Review

Manufacturer: Aorus
UK price (as reviewed): £2,059.99 (inc VAT) (16GB RAM, 2 x 256GB SSDs; reviewed model - 32GB RAM, 2 x 512GB SSDs)
US price (as reviewed): Various models from $2,499 (ex Tax)

Gaming laptops can be a pretty polarising topic. On one hand they can provide a means for people with a lack of space or the need for a portable PC instead of a tower the ability to play the latest games. Likewise, for casual gamers or fans of less graphically demanding titles, they can make sense too. On the other hand, you always get more for your money with a PC and mini-ITX systems mean you can have serious amounts of power with a pretty small footprint.

However, one of our main bugbears with gaming laptops, especially those with decent specifications that can hold their own in modern 3D-intensive titles, is that they're invariably huge and very heavy. We've seen beasts in excess of 45mm thick and well over 4kg before, but the new Aorus X7 Pro Sync is a refreshing exception to the rule that high-end gaming laptops also need to be back-breakers

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This 17in model weighs a little more than the advertised 3kg, but we found it came in at around 3.2kg - still remarkably light given the monstrous specification. Perhaps more importantly, most of the chassis is less than 23mm thick with just the rubber feet and rear exhausts pushing the maximum depth towards, but still less than, 30mm. It feels portable as a result and very study, thanks to high quality plastics and aluminium that make the X7 a very solid unit indeed. Aesthetically it's gorgeous, with sleek lines and some menacing exhaust vents at the rear.

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The palm wrest is relatively comfortable thanks to the low profile of the laptop - this is in stark contrast to many more hefty units such as those from Alienware, which are so tall they can give you wrist ache within minutes. The touchpad is a rocker-type with no separate buttons. The edges of these are fairly responsive and light, with the whole button area sporting a textured finish. However, there's a big difference in button stiffness from the outside to the inner edge of each button - the latter is considerably harder to depress and this may catch a few people out.
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The keyboard uses standard scissor switches and is pleasant enough to use. It also has multi-level white backlighting and sports a column of macro keys, which can be customised using the included software to execute macros or other tasks such as fan speed modes. Other bundled software includes Aorus's Command and Control, which gives you direct control of a range of functions from keyboard lighting levels to power modes and also the ability to switch between quiet, normal and gaming fan modes, although these will impact on performance.

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Specification-wise, this is one of the fastest laptops available and as you can see from the price, you pay a premium for it. That two grand does net you some serious hardware though. You get two Nvidia GTX 970Ms in SLI and G-Sync is thrown in too, plus 16GB RAM and an Intel Core i7-5850HQ CPU. This is clocked at 2.7GHz and turbo-boosts up to 3.6GHz and as it's hyper-threaded, you get eight threads to play with. It's the four physical cores that provide most of the grunt, though - this is a fully-fledged quad-core, albeit Broadwell-based and not Skylake and also a lower power mobile part.
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