Gigabyte sent through their Aorus 17 XE4 for review purposes and we’ve put it to the test. The 2022-model thin and light gaming notebook packs quite a punch with a 12th generation Intel processor and an Nvidia 3070 Ti housedd within.
The official technical specs for the Gigabyte Aorus 17 XE4 laptop are as follows:
CPU: 12th Gen Intel® Core™ i7-12700H (2.3GHz~4.7GHz), Base Core Frequency: 2.3GHz Performance-core Max Turbo Frequency: 4.7GHz, Efficient-core Max Turbo Frequency: 3.5GHz
OS: Windows 11 Home
Display: 17.3″ Thin Bezel FHD 1920×1080 IPS-level Anti-glare Display LCD (360Hz, 72% NTSC)
System Memory: 2x DDR4 slots (DDR4-3200, Max 64GB)
Video Graphics: Intel® Iris®Xe Graphics, NVIDIA® GeForce RTX™ 3070 Ti Laptop GPU 8GB GDDR6, Boost Clock 1410 MHz / Maximum Graphics Power 130 W *May vary by scenario. Supports NVIDIA Max-Q Technologies: CPU Optimizer, Rapid Core Scaling, Optimal Playable Settings, Dynamic Boost 2.0, Resizable BAR, and Optimus™ Technology.
Storage: 2x M.2 SSD slots (Type 2280, supports 2x NVMe PCIe Gen4)
Note: The storage capacity may differ by country and region. Please contact your local dealers or retailers for the latest product information.
Keyboard Type: Island-style RGB Fusion Keyboard with per-key backlit control
I/O Port: Left side:1 x RJ45, 1 x HDMI 2.1, 1 x Mini DP 1.4, 1 x USB3.2 (Type-A); Right Side: 1 x DC in, 1 x Thunderbolt™ 4 (Type-C ), 1 x USB3.2 (Type-A), 1 x Audio combo jack
Audio: 2x 2.5W Speaker, Microphone, DTS:X® Ultra Audio Technology
Communications: WIFI: Intel® Wi-Fi 6E AX211 (Gig+) Wireless (802.11ax, a/b/g/n/ac/ax compatible), Bluetooth: Bluetooth® V5.2
Webcam: HD Webcam, Build-in Dual Microphone, Support Windows Hello Face Authentication
Security: Firmware-based TPM, supports Intel® Platform Trust Technology (Intel® PTT)
Battery: Li Polymer 99Wh
Dimensions: 39.8(W) x 25.4(D) x 2.4 ~ 2.7(H) cm, 15.7(W) x 10(D) x 0.94 ~ 1.1(H) inch
Weight: ~2.70 kg, 5.95 lb
Now that that’s out the way, let’s dive right into the laptop’s aesthetics. Gigabyte have opted for a sleek, thin and light chassis which is highly reminiscent of their existing Aero range. In fact, you’d be forgiven for thinking this is an Aero laptop since it looks really similar. The first thing you’ll notice upon unboxing is that while the Gigabyte Aorus 17 XE4 looks large, it’s really not all that heavy. Coming in at around 2.7kg, this can easily fit into a laptop bag and be carried around to work or university without weighing you down too much. It really is a wonder of modern tech that manufacturers are able to cram so much computing power into thin and light bodies these days.
Gigabyte have changed up the design of the Aorus 17 quite significantly from previous models though. The laptop features 4 super-thin bezels and a 360hz IPS-level anti-glare display. This maximises your screen space while also allowing extremely high refresh rates to eliminate ghosting in games. Gigabyte have also finally learned that webcams should be placed up top and not at the base of the screen. In a world that’s increasingly online and where web meetings take place daily, it’s unflattering to have a camera peering up towards your nostrils. Having it at eye-level reduces problems with this and we’re glad to see that the webcam is now in a new spot. Notably, this webcam isn’t on the screen’s bezel but is located on a protrusion or bulge that doubles as a great “handle” of sorts when opening the laptop up.
The webcam’s quality is about as great as you’d expect from a generic HD webcam though, so don’t get too excited about it. It serves its purpose but if you want exceptionally crisp 4K quality, you’ll have to shell out far more for a proper camera to use with the laptop.
Moving on to the laptop’s vents, these are in positions around the chassis which direct air away from the user and out into the surroundings. Standard fare but it works well in keeping the laptop’s temperatures under control when under heavy load – such as when gaming.
Gigabyte have opted to place the power port on the right-hand side of the laptop and this is a bit of a mistake in our opinion. We prefer power ports to be directly at the back of laptops because this keeps the charging cables out and away from where you’d typically have your hand on a mouse. There are more than enough I/O ports available including an audio jack, USB 3.2, mini display port, HDMI and more.
The laptop’s keyboard is incredibly satisfying to type on and while it may not be mechanical, it feels good to use. We used the laptop for daily typing purposes and never really felt let down by the keyboard. It serves its purpose well enough and the RGB lighting looks pretty gorgeous in the dark. The trackpad feels really good too and is just the right size for the laptop. It’s also located in the perfect central position and feels natural to use. The trackpad does pick up fingerprints but it’s not as noticeable as with previous Gigabyte laptop models. The same can be said about the laptop’s entire chassis itself. The overall build quality is solid but you don’t want to go throwing this laptop around like a maniac and expect the screen to survive – especially not with those ultra-thin bezels which are barely noticeable. Kudos to Gigabyte for working some black magic in getting those reduced to such a small size.
Now that all the major design features are out of the way, we can get to the most important part – the Gigabyte Aorus 17 XE4 gaming performance. Loading up The Ascent, maxing out every single graphical setting at 1080p, including ray-tracing, we got a solid 66 to 70 FPS irrespective of the action on-screen. This is remarkably impressive and, if you disable ray tracing, you’ll easily push that over 120 FPS.
Next up is a very CPU intensive game, Sid Meier’s Civilization VI. This has become our go-to title for benchmarking devices because of both the AI and Graphics benchmark which holds up even now in 2022. Running the benchmarks yielded the following results.
We ran the graphics benchmark twice to see what would happen once the laptop’s thermals increased a bit. As you can see, the average turn time is still ridiculously low coming in at 53.52 seconds which means that the CPU in this laptop is delivering some excellent performance. The frame times are also extremely low too and the laptop has absolutely no issues running Sid Meier’s Civilization VI with maxed-out graphics.
Last up, we ran Shadow of the Tomb Raider’s built-in gaming benchmark and obtained the following results. The screenshots speak for themselves so check them out below:
After all the gaming, we ran Cinebench R23’s single and multi-core benchmark tests while the laptop was both unplugged and while it was plugged into its charger. Again, the results speak for themselves as seen below. Even without the boost from being connected to the charger, the laptop still yielded high scores in Cinebench R23. Notably, running the multi-core test was extremely fast with the scene rendering significantly faster than when running the single-core test. This is a perfect example of how Intel’s 12th generation processors work with their performance and efficiency cores working in tandem to deliver the best results possible. The i7-12700H in this laptop is ridiculously good thanks to these cores.
Lastly, we went back to the tried-and-trusted 3D Mark’s suite of benchmark tests and obtained the following results:
Based on the results, it’s pretty clear that the Aorus 17 XE4 will handle literally anything you can throw at it. Since the laptop’s screen resolution is only 1080p, the RTX 3070 Ti contained within, along with the beastly processor and more than enough RAM (16 GB) means that you’ll be able to play the latest games at well above 60 FPS, without having to worry too much about tweaking individual settings. Disabling ray-tracing in games will, of course, lead to even higher frame rates and honestly, this is something we tend to anyway because the performance knock is rarely worth it in games.
Gaming with the laptop unplugged is not advisable but, if you do attempt this, you’ll get around 1 hour 20 minutes of battery life depending on just how hard you’re pushing the GPU and CPU. Using the laptop with the brightness set to its lowest and with the WiFi enabled, we got around 4 hours of general usage before it shut itself down. This is standard fare for modern gaming laptops so it’s not something we’re too fussed about.
Overall, the Gigabyte Aorus 17 XE4 is an impressive laptop for 2022. While no local pricing has been released yet, we have been told it will be generally available in Q2 2022. In the meantime, it’s currently on special at Amazon for $1949, and it’s certainly worth every cent.
A Review Unit was provided to Gameblur for this review and was subsequently returned to Gigabyte after a 2 week period
Gigabyte Aorus 17 XE4Gigabyte Aorus 17 XE4
Build Quality9/10 Amazing
Aesthetics and Design8/10 Very Good
- Nvidia RTX 3070 Ti
- 12th Generation i7-12700H Intel processor
- 360Hz IPS-Level screen
- Improved webcam location
- Great performance across the board
- Power port on the right hand side
- Some people might prefer a higher resolution screen than 1080p at the cost of refresh rate