DELL G3 review: Still a capable device for occasional gaming

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It has been quite some time since DELL announced their affordable gaming laptop lineup for 2018. They decided to ditch the traditional Inspiron gaming series to a new branding called G series; there is no apparent reason why they ditched the hugely popular Inspiron in favor of G series (Gaming series maybe?). When they first announced the lineup, they were praised for having reasonable specs at more than reasonable price, especially the DELL G3 was the cheapest gaming laptop in the market at that time. The devices at launch did not break the market mainly due to inferior build quality, but nowadays DELL is offering serious discounts on these laptops especially the lower end DELL G3. Let’s review the device now since it is probably the best time to buy the device.


                Starting with one of the weaker points of the laptop, the design that the DELL G3 possesses. One can say that it is not one of the premia builds for the 2018 laptops lineup. Whenever you are picking a cheap laptop, you should know that there must be a reason why the laptop has the same specification as some other laptop on the market, but the price is incredibly lower. In the case of G3, the tradeoff made between the price comes from the inferior build of the laptop. It is entirely made of plastic which is not a bad thing necessarily. However, the plastic used in the building the laptop is not a stiff quality plastic rather it’s a flimsy plastic material.

You can see that the screen has a slightly flimsy feel and same can be said for the palm rest area of the laptop, which deteriorates the typing experience on the machine. Even though it is made entirely of plastic it is not a “thin and light” laptop by any means; it weighs around 5.57 pounds with 0.89 x 14.96 x 10.16 inches dimensions. So, if you want to carry the laptop around it may not turn out to be a pleasant experience. The “slightly peripheral” blue build of the laptop may not be pleasing for everyone, but gaming laptops are known to have striking colors. As a user of gaming laptops, you may have to live with these colors options.


The display of the laptop is the other department that is usually targeted to keep the cost in check. However, it is not entirely the case with the DELL G3. The screen can be regarded as mediocre according to current standards. The reason behind the mediocre display is mainly the huge bezels around the display. The screen itself is not bad considering it is a mid-range gaming machine, the FULL HD (1920×1080) panel having LED Back-Lit display. The LED display is not color accurate, so content creation may not be suited for this device. However, the display has the anti-glare technology, so viewing angles and using the laptop under heavy lighting would not be an issue.

Keyboard and trackpad

                Dell G3 features a full-size keyboard, with decent key travel and it requires very less time to get accustomed to it. The fragile palm rest heavily impaired our usage, your experience may vary. Other than this the key stock feels rigid, and there is a sense of satisfaction with every word, one of our writers got 95% accuracy in only a few hours with this keyboard. The keyboard features highlighted WASD keys showing it is meant for a gaming machine; there is LED backlighting too. Unfortunately, it is not customizable. You would have to make do with the blue LED.

Image: laptopmag
Image: laptopmag

DELL trackpads are always at least decent, the trackpad in the DELL G3 is also satisfactory. There are no windows precision drivers, but during our use time, there were no stutters or any difficulties in tracking. The trackpad is textured which again comes down to personal preference. The trackpad also has RGB lighting (fixed blue color) on its parameter which looks pretty cool.


                Here comes the strong suit for the gaming laptops, the specifications. The specifications of the laptop justify on some level why the build is that inferior in quality and the laptop looks like an archaic machine. There are two models of this machine, the lower end model comes with an 8th gen Core i5-8300H processor (Quad-core CPU), while the high-end model has 8th gen Core i7-8750H (Hexa-core CPU). Both processors are overclockable, and due to the slightly bulky build, it can achieve the overclocked 4.0GHz and 4.1GHz respectively clock speed in both processors. The Graphics department is also sufficiently powered by the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 SKUs. The lower end device comes with a slight alteration of the GTX 1050, the alteration being 4GB of GDDR5 VRAM instead of standard 2GB VRAM, the rest of the specifications are the same. Full review here.

Image: HEXUS
Image: HEXUS

The higher end model has a GTX 1050Ti with the stock specifications. Full review here. Over the years review here. The memory configurations include two 4GB modules of DDR4 memory or a single 8GB of DDR4 chip clocked at 2666MHz. The storage options include 1TB 5400rpm Hybrid Hard Drive for the lower end and a combination of 128GB of SATA SSD (Boot drive) and the same Hard Drive. Lastly, there is an integrated widescreen webcam for conference calling capable of recording at 720p.


Coming to the performance of the laptop, it is the area where the DELL G3 shines the brightest. The 8th gen processor coupled with the GTX 1050 is one of the best combinations for lightweight 1080p gaming. You may not play the most demanding games at the highest possible settings, but it can deliver enough performance to make them look good with good frames per second throughout. The dual fan design also helps in keeping heat away from the CPU and the GPU, so thermal throttling is not the problem even at heaviest loads.

Image: DELL
Image: DELL

The GTX 1050 can run most of the esports titles at the highest possible settings at 1080p, while it lacks the power to run the demanding AAA titles to run at their full potential. The GTA V is a separate case, however, due to heavy optimizations the GTX 1050 can run it at high settings with FPS locked at 60. Same goes for the racing games like Dirt Rally, Need for Speed Payback, you can play these games at 1080p settings with playable framerates. When it comes to open world games such as Middle Earth: Shadow of War the story is different, to get playable framerates you may have to play the game at low settings. If you have the GTX 1050Ti version, then you would not have to care about the Graphics settings most of the AAA titles would run fine with no issues.


Before final words, the battery performance of the G3 is still on par with most of the current gaming laptops. You can easily get around one and a half hour of gameplay or 4,5 hours of standard work. The DELL G3 laptop is catered for the market of the college students mostly, the low price, not much power for a dedicated gaming machine and above average battery performance makes it best suitable for students mostly. If you are a student who also wants to create content, then the DELL G3 would not be a right choice for you. Other than content creating it can handle various tasks easily, do check it out if it covers your requirements.


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