Gigabyte Aero 15 (Y9/X9/W9)
Meta-review: Editors generally agree that the 2019 Aero 15 is an exceptionally powerful laptop that some users will love. However, it falls short in the battery life, webcam and ‘AI gimmick’ departments.
Gigabyte Aero 15 (Y9/X9/W9) Prices
Gigabyte also owns the Aorus brand, which targets the high-end segment of the gaming market. So in order to not compete with itself, Gigabyte-branded laptops are not as explicitly gaming-oriented. But the high-end gaming hardware in the Gigabyte Aero 15 (Y9, X9, W9 and RTX 20 series) is a clear indication that these laptops are aimed at gamers, although they are not as flamboyant as some of the competitors.
Gigabyte Aero Configurations
Gigabyte’s Aero 15 comes in several models that cater to different needs and budgets. The Aero 15-Y9 and Aero 15-X9 are visually identical and have the same overall feature set, but the Y9 may be equipped with an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q graphics card, compared to the X9’s RTX 2070 Max-Q.
Both models have the same processor options: either the common 6-core Intel Core i7-8750H or a faster and more expensive Core i9-8950HK. The Core i9-8950HK is also a 6-core, 12-thread CPU, but runs at considerably higher clock rates than the i7-8750H.
Most configurations of the Aero 15 include 16 GB of RAM, but some ship with 32 GB. The laptop has two RAM slots that will hold up to 64 GB (2x 32 GB). Storage configurations can include 1+1 PCIe NVMe solid state drives in the M.2 2280 form factor, or one NVMe + one SATA drive.
Display choices are also similar between the Aero 15-Y9 and Aero 15-X9. You get to choose between a 144 Hz 1080p display or a 4K/2160p (60Hz) option.
Connectivity in all models is handled by a set of Killer WLAN and Wi-Fi adapters. There’s also a Thunderbolt 3 40 Gbps USB-C port, as well as a fast UHS-II SD card reader.
The Aero 15’s general gaming performance will depend on your choice of graphics card (GPU). Both of the alternatives are Max-Q options. Nvidia’s Max-Q design signifies that clock rates and power consumption has been tuned down to make the cards suitable for laptops. However, the GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q and RTX 2070 Max-Q are both very laptop powerful GPUs in 2019, only surpassed by the non-Max-Q variants.
The above scores are rounded-off averages from a range of user-submitted benchmark runs. Exact scores will differ between systems and individual runs.
As always, the 4K (UHD) panel options will require a lot more GPU power to run games at the display’s native resolution, but the RTX-series cards are currently (2019) the laptop graphics cards that are best equipped for 4K gaming. It might still be too much of a strain for the RTX 2070 Max-Q to render the most demanding games at much more than 30 FPS.
Much like competitors such as the Alienware m15 and the 15-inch Razer Blade, the Gigabyte Aero 15 is very thin and light for a gaming laptop. It weighs in at a mere 4.49 lb/2.0 kg including its rather large, 94.24Wh battery (up to 8-hour battery life, according to Gigabyte). The keyboard is per-key RGB backlit in 16.77 million colors, with macros and anti-ghosting technology. Gigabyte also emphasizes the laptop’s Microsoft Azure AI functionality, which appears to be a moderately useful app optimization scheme.
Gigabyte Aero 15 Reviews
Notebookcheck (Aero 15-X9, Core i7-8750H + RTX 2070 Max-Q, 144Hz 1080p panel)
The Gigabyte Aero 15-X9 is a class-leading thin and light gaming laptop, but it is not quite as impressive as its predecessor was a year ago.
Engadget (Aero 15-Y9, Core i9-8950HK + RTX 2080 Max-Q, 144Hz 1080p panel)
On one hand, it’s awesome that I can get so much power in a portable device, letting me game, watch movies and work wherever I go. However, the pricing keeps going up and the performance gains are getting smaller and smaller.
TomsHardware (Aero 15-X9, Core i9-8950HK + RTX 2070 Max-Q, 4K panel)
… if you’re a gamer or creative type who wants something portable with powerful graphics, an excellent screen and fast storage, the Aero 15 X9 is for you. Just never use the webcam.
Engadget: (Aero 15-Y9, Core i9-8950HK + RTX 2080 Max-Q, 144Hz 1080p panel)
Linus Tech Tips: (Aero 15-X9, Core i9-8950HK + RTX 2070 Max-Q, 144Hz 1080p panel
- Exceptional performance considering size and weight
- Still an attractive design
- Per-key RGB backlit keyboard
- 4K display option
- Poor battery life
- Sub-par webcam
- Questionable 'Azure AI' feature
Specification: Gigabyte Aero 15 (Y9/X9/W9)