After my disappointment with the Aorus x5 MD, my sights got set back on the Aorus x7 DT v7. I actually became interested with this laptop after hearing how good the v6 model was, a couple months back. Unfortunately, the v7 was heavily delayed at the time, so I ended up trying the v6 out and liking it a lot. Except for the screen, that is.
But now the v7 is finally out and Aorus claims they fixed the horizontal lines issue with the screen. It also looks like some other stuff has changed as well, including an updated case design and (finally) a Thunderbolt 3 port. In case you were wondering, the DT stands for “Desktop”. What this means is Aorus is promising desktop performance from this machine, by putting an overclockable CPU and pairing it with a GTX 1080.
I’ve spent about a week with the x7 DT and I have to say, I’m very impressed with this laptop. Of course there are a couple flaws – there’s no such thing as a perfect laptop, right? But in the grand scheme of things, those flaws are pretty minor and I certainly think this laptop is something worth considering, especially if you’re looking for a somewhat portable 17” gaming laptop. So here’s what I found out after putting the Aorus x7 DT to the test.
The specs sheet
| Aorus x7 DT v7|
|Screen||17.3inch, 2560 x 1440 px resolution, TN, matte, non-touch, 120Hz refresh rate|
|Processor||Intel Core i7-7820HK 2.9Ghz, 3.9Ghz turbo, overclockable|
|Video||Nvidia Geforce GTX 1080, GDDR5X 8GB VRAM|
|Memory||16GB DDR4 2400Mhz SO-DIMM, 4 slots, Max 64GB|
|Storage||256GB M.2 NVMe SSD, 2 slots + 1TB 2.5” HDD|
|Connectivity||Killer Wireless-AC 1535 with Bluetooth 4.1, Killer Gigabit LAN|
|Ports||4x USB-A 3.0, 1x USB-C 3.1, 1x USB-C (Thunderbolt 3), HDMI 2.0, mini DP 1.3, RJ45, SD card reader, Kensington Lock|
|Size|| 428mm or 16.9” (w) x 305mm or 12.0” (d) x 22.9-25.4mm or .9-1.0” (h)|
|Weight|| 3.2 kg or 7.05 lb|
|Extras||2x speakers, 2x woofers, microphone with ESS Sabre Hifi DAC, HD webcam|
Design and first look
The overall build quality is pretty decent, on this machine. There are a couple of flaws, which I’ll explain shortly though. It feels solid and easy to carry, and the weight is evenly distributed. There is some heft to this laptop though, as it weighs about 7 lbs. Considering what’s inside though, 7 lbs isn’t all that bad.
The overall thickness ranges between .9-1.0”, which is very thin for a 17” gaming laptop with a GTX 1080 in it. Even though it’s thin, the casing still feels pretty strong. But there is a potential weak point that should be noted.
The back vents, for example, are made of plastic and are fused to the metallic body of the rest of the laptop. It’s not necessarily weak, but I still don’t feel comfortable enough lifting the laptop by just the vents. On top of that, the edges are a little sharp.
The overall design is pretty nice looking, in my opinion. It certainly looks like a gaming laptop, with all the vents, colors and logos. I’ve definitely seen worse though and could easily live with it(well maybe not the trackpad).
If you’re used to Aorus’ design, this laptop will definitely look familiar. At first glance, it’s the spitting image of the Aorus x7 v6. But even though things may look the same, there are some subtle improvements that Aorus has made over the previous design.
Starting on the top though, is the same cover as before. The lid is made mostly of a black aluminum-magnesium alloy. I say mostly because the lip is made of plastic, likely where the Wifi antenna are located. Centered on the lid is a backlit Aorus logo, which is kind of ugly in my opinion. You can’t turn it off but it’s flush with the metal and can easily be covered up with a sticker or something.
Unlike most other laptops, the hinge isn’t on the very edge. Instead it’s recessed a little. This is because there are some very large vents that are built around the hinge, which are obviously necessary to cool the internal components. This is similar to what I saw on the Alienware 17 r4, but luckily the width isn’t as extreme as that one. In fact, this unit is about an inch narrower and actually fits into my backpack (eBags Professional Slim).
Lifting the lid with one finger is possible on this unit. The hinge is strong enough to keep the lid in place when moving from one place to another, but there is still a little wobble – likely because of the size of the screen. It’s inconsequential though, because there’s little reason to touch the lid, once in place.
Because of the recessed hinge, the lid can’t open up past 135°. Most won’t care, but it’s still a limitation to note of. The lid itself is thick enough and actually pretty well built. Like the x5 MD, I think the bezel is actually made of metal on this one, which is a welcome change from the typical plastic. Centered at the top is the webcam, ambient light sensor and microphone array. Pad printed at the bottom is an Aorus logo.
One last thing to note on the lid are the rubber feet at both the top and sides of the lid. This gives plenty of cushion for when you close the lid, eliminating scratches. But it comes at a minor cost because of the slight gap at the lip of the machine. In fact, closing the lid on this machine is so dampened that it’s not quite a satisfying feeling that the lid is completely closed.
Underneath that screen is a metallic palm rest area, with the keyboard and an ugly trackpad, with a giant orange Aorus logo on it. Oddly enough, the trackpad isn’t quite as ugly as the one on the x5, as the colors are a little darker. I’d still prefer it not to be orange(or there at all)… The other feature that stands out is the power button, which glows white when powered on and cannot be turned off.
Unlike last year, where the keyboard was a separate component, the palm rest and keyboard are a single piece. This is a good thing, but instead of a pseudo-unibody design like on the v6, the edges are actually fused with a plastic border. It’s still a quality design and feels ok, but I do worry about gaps forming over time. In fact, there’s a small gap on my unit where the indicator lights bleed through. UPDATE: I ended up getting another unit and there was no gap on this one.
Above the keyboard area are some vents. On both sides of the power button are some thin strips of passive vents. Flanked on both sides are some active intake vents for both the CPU and GPU. The more vents, the better, but those vents do collect dust and need a good wipe down every few days. Unless you live in a clean room, there’s little you can do to avoid this.
There’s plenty of connectivity options on this machine. Starting on the left are tree USB 3.0 ports, a Gigabit ethernet connection, a headphone jack and a microphone jack. By the way, that headphone jack has a Hifi Sabre audio DAC, making your headphone sound quality sound phenomenal.
On the right side is a mini-Displayport, HDMI, Thunderbolt 3 and an extra USB 3.1 USB-C connection. There’s also a memory card reader that’s attached to a PCI lane for ultra fast R/W speeds.
The back of the laptop even has some connectivity as well. A single USB 3.0 port is accompanied with the power connection. I really appreciate this for a couple reasons. First with the power cord being in a neutral position as opposed to the left side, or worse, the right side. It’s nice to keep that cord out of the way, considering it’s used so much. Also that back USB is ideal for a mouse dongle. It’s recessed slightly, so the dongle doesn’t really catch on anything.
The front edge of the laptop is pretty uneventful, with the exception of the indicator lights, which are white in color. Bluetooth, Wifi, HDD, battery and power lights are included. They look like vents at first, but the openings on the corners are actually the speaker grilles. Behind the grilles are a pair of tiny speakers on each side. Aorus says there are only two but there are definitely four.
The bottom cover is made of metal and looks really sharp. There are some solid looking rubber feet in key spots. There are also some passive and active vents, as well as two openings for the subwoofers. The bottom cover is held on by a number of torx screws all around the perimeter. I was a little worried about not having one in the center anywhere, mainly because I thought it would flex. Fortunately, it feels very strong without one.
At the end of the day, I’m pretty happy with the design of this laptop. Yes, the logos are ugly, but they can be covered up pretty easily. The only other complain I have is the occasional creak I hear when moving it around. That pretty much comes with the territory when blending plastic and metal in such a thin chassis. The way I see it, the pros outweigh the cons. This is a great example of how to blend strength, thinness, looks and ventilation.
Keyboard and trackpad
The keyboard on the Aorus x7 is pretty good. It’s a full layout that includes the Numpad, something that’s usually a given for 17” laptops. It’s a chiclet style keyboard, with keys that are pretty well spaced apart. Like I mentioned before, the keyboard is built into the palm rest, so there’s little of no keyboard flex and your typing experience will feel solid.
This is the exact same keyboard as on the Aorus x5, so my opinions are pretty much the same. I retook my typing test and scored my usual 50wpm. I’m more accustomed to typing hard on this keyboard, so my error rate has gone down. But it’s still something people will have to get used to.
The keys themselves have 1.6mm of travel and take a whopping 70g of force to actuate. The feedback force is 40g, so at least the keys spring right back and don’t feel mushy.
The keyboard is backlit and has some pretty nice options. Not only can you change the color of the backlight, but you can do it for every individual key if you desire. This is the same as with the new Razer Blades.
Aorus Fusion is the keyboard software that’s used to control the keyboard backlighting options. From there, you can set up profiles and difference effects, such as ripple, wave and static color schemes. You control the brightness of the keys with a slider in the software, but you can also change it with a keyboard shortcut.
Overall, I’m liking this keyboard more and more. It definitely takes some getting used to, but I feel like I’m able to type well on it, after some practice. Besides the stiff keys, the only other thing I’d consider changing is the font.
One major flaw with the keyboard is it’s prone to jamming. Only certain gamers will be affected by this, but I wanted to note it’s discovery because most gaming laptops have anti-ghosting keyboards. What this means is certain key combinations of three or more keys in the same keyboard zone may not be possible. For example, hitting Q, A and S keys together isn’t possible.
Besides the bright orange logo that I hate, the trackpad is actually pretty nice. This one is NOT the same as the one on the x5 MD though. That model’s trackpad had a silicone finish, but this one is, thankfully, glass. Tracking and touch gestures were very smooth and accurate. I instantly got used to it as if I’d been using it for years.
It helps that it’s an Elan brand trackpad, one that I’m very used to. Additionally, it’s a clickpad, so the lower right corner initiates a right click and everywhere else is a left click. But if you want, the software recognizes single and double taps by default.
The Aorus x7 DT comes with two screen options: QHD and 4k. This unit I have has the QHD screen, more specifically a resolution of 2560 x 1440 px. It has a matte finish and is Tn type. Don’t shy away yet, because this is a really nice Tn screen.
It’s actually the exact same screen that I saw in the Alienware 17 r4, which I really liked a lot. It’s an AUO brand, with part number B173QTN01.4 and model ID AUO1496. The main highlights are that it’s QHD, with a 120Hz refresh rate and a 5ms response time.
The 120Hz feature really puts it over the top for me. Simple things like moving windows around look so much smoother with a 120Hz display. On top of that, FPS gaming looks phenomenal.
Because it’s Tn, the viewing angles aren’t as good as an IPS screen. Side to side angles are still very good though. At 45 degree angles, I can easily read text and most of the colors stay consistent. From above, the colors start to wash away a little, but it’s still usable. From underneath, the colors and images are totally distorted.
I detected no backlight bleed on my unit and there were no dead pixels that I could find. The maximum brightness on this unit reached 370 nits, which is pretty bright. That and the matte finish make outdoor usage pretty feasible.
One drawback to the panel is the poor contrast ratio. At maximum brightness, I measured a 440:1. Images still look good, but you’ll notice that blacks look a little on the grey side – so dark scenes in movies and games won’t necessarily look as dark as if on a higher contrast IPS screen.
I also measured the brightness distribution on the panel and got some pretty typical results. The edges weren’t as bright as the center, but this is typical and something that is not really noticeable to the end user. One last thing to note on the brightness is the minimum whites go as low as 17 nits – ideal for night time reading.
Using a Spyder4Pro, I measured the color space on the panel. I measured 91% sRGB, 68% NTSC and 71% aRGB. On top of that, this panel comes with Pantone certification, meaning that they have an icc profile that is already calibrated for the screen. I found that the calibration they performed was fairly accurate and can probably be trusted for most amateur or semi-professional work you choose to do. Professionals will want to keep their own tool on hand though, as these are generic icc profiles and not specific to each individual machine.
- Panel HardwareID: AU Optronics AUO1496 (B173QTN01.4);
- Coverage: 91% sRGB, 68% NTSC, 71% AdobeRGB;
- Max brightness in the middle of the screen: 370 cd/m2 on power;
- Contrast at max brightness: 440:1;
- White point: 6900 K;
- Black on max brightness: 0.82 cd/m2;
Both panel options are Gsync enabled, which means increased performance and decreased screen tearing, when playing games. It also means the battery life will be lower though, since Optimus isn’t enabled.
You may have seen some poor reviews on the v6 QHD screen. I’ve seen it in person and the panel was plagued with a hardware problem, causing horizontal interlacing lines to be shown on still images. Rest assured that this panel doesn’t have that problem though. The older panel was revision 1.0 and this one is rev 1.4.
Overall, I’m very pleased with this panel. I liked it on the Alienware and I still like it now. It’s a great resolution for the GTX 1080 to easily be able to push 120Hz onto and still have a crisp picture. If that’s not enough though, you could always choose the 4k option.
I don’t have that model available, but I’ve been able to confirm that it is the exact same screen that is on the Razer Blade Pro: Sharp IGZO SHP145A, part number CRX1200. It has a 3840 x 2160 px resolution, 60Hz refresh rate and is full gamut. Meaning that it covers 100% of the aRGB color space.
What I’m not 100% positive about is if the panel is glossy or matte. In the RBP, the panel had glass on top, so I would assume glossy. But Razer has put glass on top of matte panels before, so who knows. Aorus and Newegg both say anti-glare, so it might be matte.
Either way, it’s a great looking screen and I’m sure anyone would be pleased with the picture quality. The only drawbacks would be an increased power drain and possible backlight bleed issues, so beware of that. They 4k model is also much more expensive.
Hardware, performance and upgrade options
The x7 DT comes standard with an i7-7820HK CPU and an Nvidia GTX 1080 GPU, with 8GB of GDDR5X VRAM. It’s a very powerful combination of hardware to squeeze into such a thin package, especially since it’s not power limited like the Razer Blade Pro. The 255W power adapter provides just enough to supply both of these components and get the most out of them – similar to a desktop performance.
There’s also room for overclocking. The command and control software allows for some overclocking presets to overclock the CPU to 4.3Ghz and to add an 80Mhz overclock to the GPU. I would caution overclocking the CPU, as it reached the thermal limits for me (which Aorus sets around 93ish degrees.
I ran all the typical benchmarks to test both the CPU and GPU on this unit. Everything was about what I expected, and is very comparable to how a desktop GTX 1080 performs. Here are my results:
- 3Dmark 13: Fire Strike – 15584 (graphics 20017, physics 11620) ; Time Spy – 6367 – CPU: 88C, GPU 72C
- OC Firestrike Scores CPU and GPU(using C&C):16305 (graphics 20620, physics 12460) – CPU: 95C, GPU: 80C
- Max OC achievable using Afterburner with undervolt(YMMV): 17075 (graphics 21344, physics 13393) – CPU 92C, GPU: 78C
- 3dMark11: P19537
- PCMark 10:5631; – CPU: 85C, GPU: 69C;
- PCMark 10 OC:5862; – CPU 94C, GPU 70C;
- CineBench R15:OpenGL: 119.73 fps, CPU: 803 pts, CPU Single Core: 159 pts.
I’m very impressed with how hard this laptop can be pushed, especially with such a small PSU. It would be nice if Aorus left the choice up to the user to unlock the power limit and use a bigger PSU though.
One thing to note on my unit is that there was a pretty severe temperature mismatch on my core temperatures. In my case it’s 8C and is causing some thermal throttling. This is most likely due to using cheap thermal pads for the heat sink and can easily be fixed with a repaste. Again, I only saw this when overclocking, so it’s not that big of a deal. Honestly, even with the mismatch, this is still pretty good thermals.
I tested out a number of games as well. Here were my results:
- Fallout 4– There’s a particular battle near Corvega which takes place in a foggy thunderstorm. It’s a typical spot where the framerates dip the most for me.
- Ultra settings, Max AA and AP 1440p – 71-84fps with dips as low as 54fps.
- Default high settings at 1440p – 80-145fps with dips as low as 70fps.
- Peak CPU temp 90°C, peak GPU temp 78°C
- Doom– Played through the opening mission for 15 minutes
- Default Ultra settings at 1440p – 90-135fps
- Default High settings at 1440p – 105-146fps
- Peak CPU temp 89°C, peak GPU temp 78°C
- Witcher 3– Walking back and forth through the opening scene and the first tutorial.
- Default ultra settings at 1440p – 58-67fps
- Default high settings at 1440p – 70-76fps
- Default high settings with Hairworks off at 1440p – 86-102fps
- Default ultra settings at 1080p – 79-103fps
- Default high settings at 1080p – 98-120fps
- Peak CPU temp 87°C, peak GPU temp 82°C
These were all taken at stock clocks, by the way. Compared with the Alienware 17 r4, these results are nearly the same. That should be expected though, considering the hardware is almost identical in both machines.
Hopefully it’s easy for you to see how powerful this laptop is. Compared to the Razer Blade Pro and MaxQ designs of the GTX 1080, it’s perfectly clear how much of a performance difference there is.
I think they stretch it a little by calling it a desktop performance, as my results fall a little short of the desktop GTX 1080 (I get a 21786 Firestrike graphics score at stock clocks). But a 5-7% drop is something I could live with, especially since you can make up the difference by overclocking. I was a little hasty with my previous observation because my desktop card had slightly higher stock clock speeds. When comparing this to a GTX 1080 FE, these benchmarks between the two match up, so Aorus indeed does offer “desktop” level performance. The only difference is the level of overclocking capacity, which a good desktop model will likely outperform the Aorus.
Also included in this configuration is 16GB of DDR4 2400 Mhz RAM. The 4k model has 32GB or RAM, if you need more. If you need even more, you can do so by opening up the bottom cover. Underneath are 4 RAM slots, allowing up to 64GB of RAM.
Also underneath the cover is the included 256GB Samsung SM961 SSD. This is a very fast drive, but they are known to run pretty hot, hence the thermal pad that is on it. The speeds are pretty good though, as you can see from my Crystal Disk measurements. If you need more expansion, you can add another M.2 drive in the empty slot.
There’s also a 1TB 2.5” HDD in this unit. It not fast, but it gets the job done. If it’s too slow or noisy, you could also replace it with another SSD. I plan on putting a 2 TB Samsung SSD in that spot.
Noise, Heat, Connectivity, speakers and others
Being as thin as it is, you probably expect the external thermals to be pretty high. And you would be right – this machine gets pretty hot when put under load. As you can see with my readings below, the underbelly of the laptop gets extremely hot while gaming. My maximum reading was 60C, which is the highest I’ve measured since the 2014 Razer Blade with 870m. So gaming on your lap is not recommended unless you have a cooling pad.
The good news is the palm rest stays pretty cool, for the most part. In fact, not only are the top temperatures better than the Razer Blade Pro, they are also very similar to the Alienware 17, which is a much thicker machine.
The excessive amount of ventilation is responsible for that. Having four intake vents on the top and bottom and four exhausts on the back and sides really help move the air around and keep it from being trapped in the palm rest.
This also helps with temperatures under normal loads. With other models, I’m constantly noticing temperature buildups over time, from blocking the small intakes on your lap. The vents on the top really do make a difference in normal use thermals as well and I’m liking what I see(and feel).
*Daily Use – watching Neflix for 30 minutes
*Load – playing Doom for 30 minutes
Obviously the fans on this laptop have a lot of work to do in order to keep things cool. The noise levels coming from the fans are pretty decent though. I took some readings at ear level and at the exhaust. Here’s what I got:
- Ambient noise in the room: 30dB at ear level;
- Light use with lowest fan speeds 34dB at ear level;
- Heavy Gaming: 50dB at ear level, 67dB at exhaust;
I changed my sound meter because I originally thought the levels were abrnomally low when I took my original readings. Turns out I was right and the max level was 50dB at ear level. It’s pretty loud but about what you’d expect from a GTX 1080 an an overclockable CPU.
Since we’re talking about noise and heat, I wanted to point out an oddity with my unit. It’s not every time, but I frequently hear a click in the bottom of the casing when the laptop heats up due to heavy load. Subsequently, I also hear it when it cools back down. UPDATE: I ended up getting a replacement unit because of this and the temperature differential issue and it turns out I had a defect. My new unit works perfectly. All cores are consistent temperatures as well.
After investigation, I found that the cover itself is responsible for making the noise. It appears that there is some thermal expansion going on and the cover is making a noise when it happens. This is where a center screw on the cover would probably help. I’ve checked with others online and it appears to be isolated to only myself for now. I’ll keep you posted if I hear differently.
|Max speed 25ft||90||Mbps|
|Max speed 100ft||90||Mbps|
|Lowest bass frequency||50||Hz|
Radios – The Aorus x7 DT comes with a Killer Wireless AC 1535 module. Bundled with the module is the Bluetooth 4.1 chipset. Overall the card performs pretty well, as I haven’t had any drops in connection. I always seem to have mixed results with Killer Wireless cards, but this one appears to be working better than most.
The reception on the antenna is very good. I took a speed test 25 ft from my router and maxed out my ISP. Even at 100 feet from the router, outside and at the corner of my porch, I still maxed out my connection. No complaints here. If wireless isn’t your thing, there’s also a Killer Gigabit ethernet connection on the left hand side.
Speakers – This unit has 4 small speakers on the front corners and two subwoofers underneath. I really like the sound coming from this laptop but it takes a little tweaking with the EQ settings in order for it to sound right.
After adjusting my settings, I played my typical test song and measured the max amplitude at ear level. On this unit I got 75dB – pretty decent if you ask me. For a gaming laptop, which normally has mediocre speakers, the sound was surpsiringly full and didn’t sound all that tinny. Of course, that requires a lot of adjusting with the EQ settings because the defaults aren’t all that good. The subwoofers help with the mids but they still lack bass and don’t warrant them being called “subs”. I was able to hear bass at frequencies as low as 50 Hz, so that’s actually not too shabby.
Webcam– There’s nothing too special about this webcam. It’s merely a standard HD webcam. The picture is decent in good light, but the graininess is pretty lousy in low light conditions. Maybe someday we’ll be past all these cheap webcams, but not today with this model.
The configuration I received has a 94 Whr battery, a pretty large battery for such a thin system. It’s a contributor to the weight of the laptop, but it’s certainly worth it.
I ran my typical battery test which consists of using the stock “Power Saver” power profile, 20% brightness (90 nits), WiFi off, Bluetooth off, and running a 720p movie in a continuous loop at full screen with the volume muted. I start the clock when it’s unplugged and stop it when the unit performs a self- shutdown. The Aorus x7 DT v7 lasted a total of 4 hours and 13 minutes before shutting down. Not very long, but considering there’s no iGPU in this system, this is pretty typical.
Using HWinfo, I was also able to test the discharge rate at certain conditions and estimate how long the laptop would last in those cases. Wifi and Bluetooth were on for all situations and the volume was set at 25%. Here are my results:
- 23.4W (~ 4h of 2m use) – idle, Power Saving Mode, screen at 0%, Wi-Fi OFF;
- 32.6W (~ 2h 53m of use) – very light browsing and text editing in Edge, Balanced Mode, screen at 25%, Wi-Fi ON;
- 32.1W (~ 2h 56m of use) – 1440p fullscreen video on Youtube in Chrome, Balanced Mode, screen at 25%, Wi-Fi ON;
- 34.2W (~ 2h 46m of use) – 1080p fullscreen video on Netflix in Chrome, Balanced Mode, screen at 25%, Wi-Fi ON26.;
- 26.0W (~ 3h 37m of use) – 1080p fullscreen .mkv video in the Movie app, Balanced Mode, screen at 25%, Wi-Fi ON;
- 43.22W (~ 2h 11m of use) – heavy browsing in Chrome, Balanced Mode, screen at 25%, Wi-Fi ON;
- 82.8W (~ 1h 8m of use) – gaming, Witcher 3 1440p High – 30 Fps limit.
Also included with the laptop is a 265W power adapter. It’s actually 255W, with 10W reserved for the USB charging port on the end of the adapter. It’s actually a really nice and compact power adapter and has some good looking features. Weighing 1 lb and 11 oz, it’s not too bulky or heavy at all.
Price and availability
The model I received is available at places like Amazon and Newegg, for the price of $2899 at the time of this review. It’s a pretty steep price, but if size is a consideration for you, it might be worth it. For comparison, an Alienware 17 r4 with matched specs is priced at $2575, over $300 cheaper.
If you’re looking for the 4k version, you’re going to have to pay a heavy price for it. It’s currently only available at Newegg for the insane price of $3399. Granted, there are some upgraded components, such as 32GB or RAM and a 512GB SSD. But that’s not enough to warrant the price difference – in fact, by my math, they are about $300 off. Unfortunately, there aren’t any cheaper 4k configurations just yet. This is still cheaper than the Razer Blade Pro, if that helps.
If price is a concern but you like the model, you may want to consider the non-DT version of the x7 v7. This model has a standard 1070 in it and is available at places like Amazon for $2499 right now.
I’ve spent the past few months looking for a good laptop with a GTX 1080 in it, and I think I’ve finally found what I’m looking for. The Aorus x7 DT offers a powerful CPU/GPU combo in a reasonably portable package, which is exactly what I’ve been looking for.
On top of that, there’s extra space for more RAM and storage – a huge plus for me. And to top it all off, I really like the screen, trackpad and even the keyboard. All these things together really make the Aorus x7 DT stand out against the competition.
As far as size is concerned, the only smaller laptops with a GTX 1080 in it are the Razer Blade Pro, Asus Zephyrus and the Aorus x5 MD. But as I have shown in all those reviews, they all contain the GTX 1080MQ or equivalent – so you’re paying the same amount of money for less performance.
The Acer Predator and Alienware 17 r4 were also on my list, but considering the size of those machines, compared to this one, it’s hard to choose either one of them. At least for me.
Really, there’s only a couple things I can complain about. The build quality could be a little better I suppose, especially with the thermal expansion noise and the gap at the indicator lights. It’s still a pretty solid feeling device though and I think it’ll last a long time. I would like to see Aorus improve in this area in the future though.
Another thing that could use improvement is how hot it gets. But other than using better thermal paste, I don’t think there’s much else that can be done to prevent the underside from getting so hot. It is a GTX 1080 in a 1” chassis after all.
I guess the last thing that this machine has against it is the fact they took so long to release it. Aorus is a little late to the game with this CPU/GPU combo and the crowd that has been looking for these specs has likely already bought their machine. But if you’re one of those people still looking, the Aorus x7 might be for you.
In the end, I’m willing to live with those minor flaws and look forward to using this machine over the next several months. I have a feeling I’ll be keeping this one a while.
That about wraps up this review. I’ll have this on hand for a while, so feel free to ask me any questions about it in the comments section below. I’ll probably be repasting the CPU and GPU as well, so keep an eye out for any updates in the article about my progress.