It shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone that when gaming laptops evolved from unwieldy, power-hungry behemoths into svelte, portable powerhouses that creative professionals and designers were drawn to them. Of course, when you’re a designer you have some different requirements to a gamer. While a speedy processor and powerful GPU are great for workloads like rendering, image manipulation and streaming, having unnecessarily fast, low-resolution, inaccurate screens plus slow data ports and garish styling are compromises that can cause issues. It’s in these areas where modern creator laptops truly differentiate themselves from gaming laptops that might otherwise (at least superficially) seem to have similar specs. It’s also the core differentiation between Gigabyte’s gaming line of products, AORUS, and its creator-oriented brand, AERO.
Gigabyte knows how seriously content creators take their craft and it’s evident in these latest, 11th Gen Intel processor-sporting AERO laptops. From animation to art to streaming and design, these no-compromise notebooks can do it all. Let’s take a closer look at these extraordinary machines and also hear from some of Australia’s leading creators, as they share their thoughts about how the right gear opens the door to unlimited creative potential.
Introducing the AERO 17 HDR and AERO 15 OLED
The AERO 17 and HDR 15 OLED are Gigabyte’s latest, creator-designated laptops. While they’ve got all the grunt of a top-end gaming machine, their screens, connectors and design features predominantly benefit artistic and design-oriented, professional workloads. While there are obvious differences in screen technology and size between these two AEROs, many of the core benefits, features, specifications and certifications are similar.
Both are available with Intel’s latest Core i7 and Core i9 octa-core processors (up to 5.0GHz) with HyperThreading. These provide a high-performance and efficient platform for all the processor-intensive tasks (and multitasking) inherent with design work. Both also support up to 64GB of RAM, which is essential for anyone who works with the vast volumes of data that creators typically use. They also come equipped with two super-fast NVMe hard drives and support the latest PCIe Gen4 transfer technology, which is twice as fast as PCIe Gen3!
In terms of graphics capabilities, both AEROs are available with the Nvidia’s formidable RTX 3070 and RTX 3080 (both the 8GB and 16GB versions) GPUs. The 15-inch AERO 15 OLED can also be had with the more wallet-friendly RTX 3060. While the 3D processing power of these chips is legendary, special Studio drivers further enhance day-to-day creative workflows by providing time-saving optimisations such as GPU rendering for Adobe apps and a host of other specialist design, CAD, 3D, rendering and architectural applications. Broadcasters and streamers can also make use of Nvidia’s own GPU encoder, ‘NVENC’ which enhances OBS Studio, XSPLIT and Twitch.
Connectivity has been designed with creators in mind. Both these AEROs come equipped with extra-fast 2.5Gbps Ethernet, three USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 ports, miniDP 1.4 and the latest HDMI 2.1 port which supports 120Hz framerates at 4K. Photographers and videographers will love the speedy UHS-II SD card reader which can drastically reduce media transfer times. There’s also a Thunderbolt 4-compatible USB-C port that supports 4K video and massive 40Gbps data transfer speeds. And finally, Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.2 enable fast, wireless transfers. When it comes to top-shelf connectivity, the only difference is that the 15-inch AERO has one 3.5mm audio jack, while the 17-inch model has two.
Thoughtfully considered ergonomics
The full-sized, RGB, AERO keyboard looks radiant with its (brighter-than-ever) Fusion colour technology. It’s accurate for gaming, comfortable to type upon for extended periods and it affords a host of macro customisations. The trackpad is smooth, accurate and supports multi-touch. The HD webcam has a hardcover privacy slider.
Meanwhile, the audio technology represents a first-time collaboration with DTS:X. It both provides superlative noise-cancelling technology for conferencing plus stunning, cinematic, 3D, surround-sound output for multimedia. But what of the screens?
Class-leading AERO displays
We’ve waited long enough. The screens on the new AEROs are both stunning. The AERO 17 HDR wields a 17.3-inch, UHD, 3,840 x 2,160 IPS panel with anti-glare that supports 100 per cent of the Adobe RGB colour space and even has VESA DisplayHDR 400 brightness certification – rare for a laptop.
The AERO 15 OLED takes things up a notch, brandishing a stunning 15.6-inch, UHD, 3,840 x 2,160 Samsung AMOLED display whose sumptuous colours and almost-infinite contrast support 100 per cent of the complex, DCI-P3 colour space. It’s also garnered a VESA DisplayHDR 400 True Black certification.
Both screens get individually calibrated in the factory to X-Rite standards and are Pantone validated for accuracy. While this makes them a dream for designers demanding excellent colour reproduction and accuracy, AERO goes further by surrounding them with a super-thin, 3mm bezel to appear ‘barely there.’
Creative laptops, used by real creators
It’s one thing having a high-profile endorsement of your product, but it’s something else knowing that it’s relied upon by high-profile professionals who use it as a tool of their trade.
Sam Green is a YouTube animator with over 1.3M subscribers and who’s best known for his Minecraft-inspired, EPIC MINEQUEST series. He’s been using his AERO 15 OLED for many months and was so taken with it that he transformed it into an animated character called Gigz. So far, these joint collaborations have generated over 1.6 million views!
Sam says of his AERO 15 OLED, "I find the laptop immediately stunning to look at. Its lightweight, thin screen and customisable RGB LED keyboard makes it very attractive to the eye. In the past I've not been much of a fan when it comes to laptops. They strike me as fragile and slow, and the power has just not compared to your standard tower PC setup. However, the AERO 15, specifically with its RAM, processor and graphics card, make it a power house. I must say my absolute favourite feature as an animator and artist is the OLED UHD screen. The colour and resolution are invaluable in my industry."
Another high-profile user is full-time Twitch streamer Iamfallfromgrace. Grace has been a Twitch partner for over 5 years and has been working with Gigabyte to transform her entire set-up with AORUS gear. She’s also been using the AERO 17 HDR for many months and posted a dedicated video about it on her YouTube channel. She said, "I spend all day in my gaming space, which doubles as an office. Using the AERO 17 HDR laptop, I'm able to have the power of a desktop with the freedom to roam and work from anywhere.
"From editing stream highlights clips in Adobe Premiere to designing giveaway promos in Photoshop, the AERO 17 HDR never misses a beat. Due to the X-Rite Pantone-certified display, I know that what I'm seeing on the screen is accurate.
"If I want to change it up and stream from outside of my usual stream setup, the AERO 17 HDR allows me to do so without any loss of quality in the output."
Another AERO user is BossLogic – an incredibly popular digital artist who has worked on many recent pop-culture movies and has ties to Marvel and DC. He’s been using the AERO 15 OLED for a few months and recently posted this to his 2.2 million Instagram followers, and has been sharing how he uses it to his many followers, here’s one look at that in action.
Why you need AERO
We all love a good gaming laptop, but for true professionals they’re not always cut out for design-oriented tasks – creators’ needs demand appropriate tools.
The good news is that the AERO 15 OLED and AERO 17 HDR easily keep pace with similarly specced gaming laptops, but pack even more features and come in less-bulky, smarter chassis’ that suite all manner of work environments.
With multiple certifications from the design industry’s most notable institutions along with the burgeoning reputation of AERO’s quality and reliability – plus endorsements from high-profile designers who actively use these laptops for work, these are laptops that are tailor-made for creatives of all types.
Where to buy
SAVE up to $700 on on select GIGABYTE AERO and AORUS laptops until the end of September!