The X7 Pro v5 is Aorus’ top gaming laptop this year, and with good reason. For inside its plain black chassis lies two Nvidia GeForce GTX 970M chips, which work together in SLI to produce astonishingly quick frame rates that even a high-end GTX 980M – the chip inside Aorus’ X5s v5 Camo – would balk at.
Indeed, it produced a phenomenal 70fps in Metro: Last Light Redux on Very High with SSAO turned on at its highest resolution of 1,920×1,080, which is almost double the 48fps achieved by the X5s under the same conditions. As a result, Full HD gaming on the very highest settings shouldn’t be a problem for the X7 Pro v5, but the laptop’s key attraction is its ability to run games in 4K.
You’ll need to connect it to an external 4K display via its HDMI 2.0 port in order to do this, but I managed a respectable 30fps in Metro with SSAO turned off on Very High, and a near perfect 54fps in Dirt Showdown with the graphics set to Ultra. This is incredibly impressive for a gaming laptop, and it puts the equally eye-wateringly expensive Asus ROG G752VY to shame.
Of course, the X7 Pro v5 isn’t left wanting when it comes to raw CPU power, either, as its quad-core 2.7GHz Intel Core i7-6820HK processor is a more than worthy partner for its dual graphics chips. Tearing through our 4K multimedia benchmarks with an overall score of 118, the X7 Pro v5 joins the Gigabyte P55W v5 as the quickest laptop we’ve reviewed to date, so you shouldn’t have any problem running processor-heavy tasks such as photo and video editing software.
Admittedly, the unit I was sent also had 32GB of RAM, which isn’t commercially available. Instead, the model you’ll be buying only has 16GB of RAM (which can be expanded up to 64GB), so our benchmark scores might not be a wholly accurate representation of its speed. However, it’s still a lightning fast laptop, and I wouldn’t expect the 16GB version to produce a noticeable dip in performance.
Even better, the X7 Pro v5’s effective fan controls means it doesn’t overheat like its cousin, the X5s v5 Camo. This is hugely impressive considering it measures just 22.9mm thick, and shows you don’t necessarily have to put up with a 49mm behemoth like the Asus ROG G752VY to get the very best levels of performance and heat distribution.
The X7 Pro v5 still got a little warm from time to time, but nothing like the 60 degree Celsius hotspots I measured on the X5s. You’ll need to download Aorus’ Command Centre software from its website, but once I’d installed it, it did an excellent job at keeping the X7 Pro v5 cool, giving you both set profiles and customisable fan options to keep it running smoothly.
Obviously, turning the fans down to Quiet (rather than its maximum Gaming setting) will affect the laptop’s overall performance, as frame rates practically halved when I re-ran our benchmark tests under these conditions. Thankfully, I was pleased to see that the Normal fan setting made much less of an impact, so at least you won’t have to contend with its noisy fans all the time to get the best frame rates.
Of course, it’s a shame that the X7 Pro v5 doesn’t come with a 4K display as standard given the sheer amount of power hiding beneath its chassis, but at least its huge 17.3in, 1,920×1,080 provides plenty of room for your various gaming endeavours.
However, I was hoping for a higher quality screen given the price, as despite having very respectable viewing angles, its sRGB colour gamut coverage of 85.6% means that colours are rather lacking in vibrancy. Likewise, its contrast ratio of 782:1 was pretty underwhelming, so there wasn’t a huge amount of gradient shadow detail in darker scenes and images. It’s certainly no worse than the screen on the equally expensive Asus ROG G752VY, but not exactly the top-flight display you’d expect at over £2,000.
Sadly, the battery life on the Aorus X7 Pro v5 is resoundingly poor, as its 94.24Wh battery managed just 2 hours and 23 minutes in our continuous video playback test with the screen set to our standard brightness measurement of 170cd/m2.
Of course, given its relative size and weight, it’s unlikely you’ll be hauling this anywhere to use on the move, but sometimes it’s reassuring to know a gaming laptop has at least a little bit of stamina if you do need to use it away from the mains. Unfortunately, you’ll almost definitely need to be tethered to the wall with the X7 Pro v5, with the battery likely running out much faster when performing high level tasks and playing games.
Ports and speakers
You’re well provided when it comes to ports on the X7 Pro v5, as you get one USB3.1-Type C port, one regular USB3 port, and HDMI 2.0, mini DisplayPort and DVI connections. There’s also a Gigabit Ethernet port, an SD card reader and separate headphone and microphone jacks.
The dual front-facing speakers, meanwhile, are very loud and punchy, and are arguably some of the best laptop speakers I’ve ever tested. Audio was clear and crisp and its bass was surprisingly full-bodied, so you might not necessarily need to use headphones while gaming or kicking back with a film to get the best audio experience.
Keyboard and touchpad
Thanks to the generally cooler temperatures of the X7 Pro v5, the keyboard is much more pleasant to use than the one on the X5s v5 Camo. They keys are nicely cushioned, and provide excellent feedback. There isn’t much rattle here, either, but I did notice a bit of flex in its plastic housing. Still, it didn’t really affect my typing speed, and gamers will be pleased to see there are also five customisable macro keys running down the side.
The touchpad is equally brilliant, and its generous size means there’s plenty of space for your fingers. It felt very responsive during my time with it, and Windows 10 gestures worked like a charmed. Its integrated buttons did occasionally mistake left and right clicks from time to time, but it’s a small complaint overall.
With its super fast performance, excellent speakers and great keyboard, the Aorus X7 Pro v5 really does represent the very best in gaming laptops. Of course, there’s no getting away from the X7 Pro v5’s extortionately high price of £2,100, but when you put it side by side with the equally expensive Asus ROG G752VY, it’s immediately clear which laptop is better value for money.
It might not have the best display in the world, but when it can deliver flawless Full HD gaming performance and a highly respectable 4K innings as well, even its lacklustre screen isn’t enough to dampen its overall appeal. Regardless of whether you’re after a brilliant Full HD machine or a 4K monster, the X7 Pro v5 delivers on every count, and rightfully earns itself a Recommended award.
Processor: Quad-core 2.7GHz Intel Core i7-6820HK, RAM: 32GB, Dimensions: 428x305x22.9 mm, Weight: 3.2Kg, Screen size: 17.3in, Screen resolution: 1,920×1,080, Graphics adaptor: 2x Nvidia GeForce GTX 970M, Total storage: 1TB HDD, 512GB SSD