High-PPI display, Haswell quad collide in 13'' gaming notebook

Gaming notebooks have a reputation for being big and unwieldy, but they've slimmed down a lot in recent years. Gigabyte's new Aorus X3 series is a perfect example. Introduced at Computex, this 13-incher measures 0.9" thick and weighs a reasonable 4.12 lbs.

The X3 is claimed to be the "most powerful and lightest 13" gaming notebook" yet, and after looking at the specs, I'm not inclined to argue. This thing has a quad-core Core i7-4710HQ processor with a 3.5GHz peak Turbo speed. Nvidia provides the GeForce GTX 870M GPU, which is backed by 6GB of dedicated video RAM. Up to 16GB of system memory can be added on top of that, and SSD RAID arrays are supported via dual M.2 slots.

There are actually two notebooks in the X3 series: the 13.3" X3 and the 13.9" X3 Plus. Both are equipped with IGZO panels that promise 72% coverage of the NTSC color gamut and 170° viewing angles in all directions. The X3 is available with a 2560x1440 display, while the Plus has options for that resolution in addition to 3200x1800.

Along with the requisite 802.11ac and Bluetooth wireless options, the Auros X3 comes with a wired Killer NIC. Because gaming. Appealing to that audience also influenced the keyboard, which boasts scissor switches with "lightning response and great tactile feedback." Backlighting is included, as well, along with five dedicated macro keys.

Gigabyte doesn't quote any run times, but I wouldn't expect much from the 74Wh battery. The processor alone has a 47W TDP. The Optimus-infused GPU should only turn on when it's needed, though, so you might get a few hours of run time with basic tasks like web surfing and video playback.

Expect to see the Aorus X3 on sale next quarter starting at $2099. The X3 Plus has the same starting price, but the higher-PPI display adds another $200.

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