For the new or ambitious gamers, before they spend huge on premium gaming laptops, it is better to try out their enthusiasm on a machine which supports gaming at a more than acceptable level: Dell G7 15.
Indeed, the previous line up of entry-level Dell Gaming laptops enjoyed their success, but it was time to revamp and thus came the Dell G series, and its G7 laptop. With an attractive designed catered to gamers and a coat of paint which you won’t find on many laptops, the laptop does appeal to the eye. Surprisingly, the Dell G7’s audio is more than what you would expect from a laptop, and the machine itself is capable of a solid performance.
The only downside about the laptop may be its display and a lack of SSD, else for a starting price tag of $849, it is indeed a good buy.
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If you are bored of seeing rugged looking Dell Laptops, then this time around, Dell managed to offer something new and interesting. It doesn’t look like your average Inspiron or Alienware, but a pretty decent look of its own.
The plastic lid is coated in Alpine White color which makes the laptop look different. The lid is supported by a light gray hinge at the center. The Dell logo sits on the center of the lid striped in the familiar Blue color. In addition to this, the vents are given an aggressive look courtesy of the blue highlighting combined with a layer of Chrome G7 – things you find on the back of a race car.
While the keyboard is tinted in blue, the rest of the chassis is black, giving a perfect combo of black and white. Fortunately, the inside chassis is made of smooth aluminum, so that you can have a smooth resting space. You would have wanted a bezel-less display but sadly, the bezels are still thick for a 2018 laptop housing a 15.6 inches screen, but it makes up for this by an attractive Dell Logo resting at the bottom of the bezels.
As far as the portability of the laptop is concerned it is fairly portable, with a weight of 6.3 pounds, where others do weight a bit light. Though the good side is that the laptop is comparatively slimmer measuring 15.3 x 10.8 x 0.9-inches, where laptops like the PowerSpec 1510, Acer Predator Helios 300 and the MSI GV62 8RE weigh and measure 6.5 pounds, 15.3 x 10.8 x 1.3 inches, 5.5 pounds, 15.4 x 10.5 x 1.5 inches and 4.9 pounds, 15.1 x 10.2 x 1.1 inches respectively.
As a pro gamer you would want a plethora of ports to connect all your accessories, but for an average gamer, these are quite sufficient. On the right side of the laptop, there are two USB 3.1 ports, a Thunderbolt 3 port, HDMI 2.0 and a headset jack. Effectively, this means that you are future-proofed since the Thunderbolt ports are the future.
While on the left side, there is an additional USB 3.1 port alongside an Ethernet port, a 2-in-1 card reader, a Noble lock slot and the power jack.
While the laptop is all attractive and all, its display is a bit lackluster even though being a 1080p one with a screen resolution of 1920 x 1080. This is because the display isn’t as bright with vibrant colors as its lid. Not a comparison of course, but worth a mention. To be accurate, the Dell G7’s display manages to score 232 nits on the light meter, which may be fair, but a bit less than the average category score of 296 nits. Although the Helios had a worse score of 226 nits, the GV62 does a slightly better with 240 nits, and the PowerSpec with a high 306 nits.
It doesn’t fair well in reproducing the sRGB color gamut either as the display only cover 62 percent where the category average is 106 percent. Again the PowerSpec’s display turned out to be the best with 113 percent while the GV62 and Helios also suffered from just a percentage of 72 and 81 respectively.
In case you want to completely future-proof yourself, we would recommend going for a 4k display, but the models with that one start at $1,399.
One of the better sides of the laptop is its surprisingly good speakers. The speakers are front-facing and loud enough to completely fill a large bedroom. In addition to this, you can always make use of Waves MaxxAudio Pro software pre-included to suit your needs.
The keyboard as mentioned already is tinted in blue with a black background. The island-style keyboard has a dedicated num pad too for you to punch all those numbers easily. To cater especially towards gamers, the laptop also has covered the rather familiar “A, S, W, D” keys with a solid blue cerulean backlighting, which can help while gaming.
Though the Dell G7’s keyboard makes for a rather uncomfortable typing experience with its less than ideal 0.94 millimeters of travel where the ideal mark is 1.5 mm, it is still something you can get used to and work with since the actuation force of 61 g is very much near the ideal mark of 60g.
You would find the 4.1 x 3.1 touchpad to be quite spacious, and responsive to multitouch gestures. There are also discrete mouse buttons on the bottom of the touchpad separated by a cool looking blue divider.
The laptop is powered by a Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q GPU, which has a whopping 6 GB of Video RAM. This is perhaps the best thing about the laptop since even pro gamers can easily play their favorite titles on the Dell G7 – even on the highest settings. Furthermore, the Graphics card is fully capable of supporting VR content as well, thus again future-proofing yourself.
On the StreamVR test, the laptop managed to score a decent score of 6.3 out of 11 where the category average is just 5.6. On the contrary, the GV62 and Helios did score better with a 7.3 and 7.1 mark respectively, while the PowerSpec again turned out to be better.
The Dell G7 again has one more reason to buy, and that is its performance. The laptop managed an impressive score of 19,516 on the Geekbench 4 test where the category average is 16,695. Even PowerSpec couldn’t do better here, but that is mainly because of its older generation processor.
When it comes to Dell laptops, they last a whole lot longer than your average laptop, and so does the G7. Even while being a gaming laptop, the G7’s battery lasted out a whopping 5 hours and 37 minutes, while being used to surf over the internet a brightness level of 150 nits. The category average currently stands somewhere around the 3 hours and 50 minutes mark. Laptops like the PowerSpec and the GV62 could only fare 4 hours and 2 hours and 5 minutes respectively, though this time Helios fares a bit better by having a battery life of 6 hours and a minute.
You can expect a gaming laptop to heat up quickly, but courtesy a plastic panel, it remains within human levels of comfortability.
Like other laptops, the webcam is rather just a formality by manufacturers – it seems so. Though it is acceptable as an occasional video chat or two, for anything professional, you are better off with an external high-quality webcam.
Unlike the Dell’s Alienware lineup, you might not like the pre-installed bloatware. There is Candy Crush Soda Saga, Candy Crush Saga, Cooking Fever, Bubble Witch Saga and Hidden City: Hidden Object Adventure installed already, but that’s mainly because of Windows 10. Therefore, if you are not a fan of these games, you are better off uninstalling them right out of the box.
The best part is that you get 20 GB of free Dropbox for a year as part of the deal, and there is a link for Netflix too. Other than that, there is mainly Dell’s own stuff, like its Power Manager, Mobile Connect and Help and Support.
These can be quite handy, especially the Killer Control Center which you can use to restrict bandwidth according to your preference, so that you can enjoy a lag-free gaming experience. Other than that, the laptop also comes with Nvidia’s GeForce Experience pre-installed which can enhance your gaming experience as well as offerings features like Game Optimization.
There is a one-year limited warranty offered along with the laptop.
The Dell G7 has a starting price tag of $849 for its base model, which gets you 2.3-GHz Intel Core i5-8300H CPU, 8GB of RAM, a 1TB 5,400-rpm hard drive and a Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 GPU with 4GB of VRAM.
For $1,049 what you are looking at is a machine with a 2.2-GHz Core i7-8750H processor with 16GB of RAM, a 1TB 5,400-rpm hard drive and a Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q GPU with 6GB of VRAM – quite sufficient for most of us. The model with a 4k screen and a 128 GB SSD with the same specs as this is available for $1,300.
In case you want to have the maxed version, then that’s going to cost you $1,599, featuring an overclockable 2.9-GHz Intel Core i9-8950 CPU, 16GB of RAM, a 128GB SSD with a 1TB 5,400-rpm hard drive and a Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q GPU with 6GB of VRAM.
Dell G7 is an excellent performance gaming laptop for its price, albeit with a dim display. The choice is yours.