Gigabyte AORUS X5 (1)

Its not often that a laptop vendor turfs out something truly interesting at CES. Sometimes one of them will pop out a new backlit keyboard design or maybe someone will pair four mSATA SSDs into RAID 0 for no reason at all. Yay, bravo, woohoo. But now Gigabyte truly has something they can genuinely crow about – the new AORUS family brings with it the X5, the world’s first laptop to pack in a IGZO-based UltraHD 4K display into a 15-inch form factor. Hit the jump for more.

Specs on the X5 are pretty mouthwatering if you’re a laptop fan, although Gigabyte is cagey about what it will reveal about the X5. However, it will still pack in the latest Nvidia Maxwell GPUs and Intel’s latest Broadwell-U mobile processors, so it will be far from a slouch. The biggest selling point is definitely the display – a UltraHD 4K 3840 x 2160 display with touch capability.

I loathe to think of what Windows 8.1 or 10’s scaling will be like on such a display, but it should turn out to be ultra-sharp and incredibly clear. You’ll still need some degree of AA in your games though. The laptop still confirms to the regular 15.6-inch form factor typical of most other mobile gaming rigs, while tipping the scales at only 2.5kg. Its still hefty, but not unduly so.

Gigabyte AORUS X5 (2)

Bundled into that announcement is the fact that the panel is also IGZO-based (Indium Gallium Zinc Oxide). Without going into all the juicy bits of the panel technology and how it works, it’s basically better than IPS when it comes to colour reproduction, better than VA for black levels, almost on par with OLED technology for contrast levels and about the same as TN when it comes to pixel switching speed. IGZO panels also have the unique distinction of being able to be made in almost any shape and size you can think of.

There is also a non-touch panel for the X5 available that is significantly cheaper, but it is not IGZO-based.

Gigabyte AORUS X5 (3)

Keeping those displays fed is a pair of Nvidia GTX965M Maxwell-based GPUs. This isn’t the mobile counterpart of the GM206-based GTX960 due to arrive on the desktop market this month, but it is set to be a decent performer, almost on par with a desktop GTX760. And there are two of them, in SLI, which means that not only will games run reasonably well at the X5’s native resolution (you’ll have to dial some settings back for anything higher than 40fps), it’s also not advisable to put this on your actual lap while gaming.

Gigabyte expects the X5 to launch to market in the coming months, with expected availability sometime during Q2 2015 at a starting price in the US and Canada of $2299 (approx R26,700). Eish!

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