Be it a desktop or laptop, PC gaming can put a serious dent in your wallet with beefy rigs from the likes of Acer, ASUS, etc. costing upwards of ₹3 lakh. However, Dell is here to tell you that you don’t have to peek outside your budget to get the right rig for gaming. The company is hoping to disrupt the trend with the new G7 15 (7588) gaming laptop. (I’ll be referring to this laptop as simply “G7” for the rest of this review for my own sanity.)
The Dell G7 is powered by Intel’s 8th generation Core i9 processor, 16GB DD4 RAM, GTX 1060 Max-Q GPU, and a lot more. Specs like these are usually reserved for notebooks with a hefty price tag, but the G7 offers all of that for just ₹1,32,390. Yes, it sounds like excellent value given the internals, but are there any caveats? Well, let’s find out:
Note: We have the higher end Core i9 variant of this laptop for review, which can only be purchased at physical stores or from Dell’s official web store. However, you can also buy a Core i7 variant which comes with the same Nvidia GTX 1060 Max-Q GPU and is priced at ₹1,11,290 and it’s also available on Amazon for Rs 1,24,000.
Dell G7 15 Specs
Before I start telling you about my experience with the Dell G7 gaming laptop, let’s take a look at the specs –
|Dimensions||389 x 274.4 x 24.95 mm|
|Processor||hexa-core Intel Core i9-8950HK|
|Memory||16GB 2666MHz DDR4|
|Storage (SSD)||128GB (boot drive)|
|Storage (HDD)||1TB 5400RPM|
|Display||15.6-inch Full-HD IPS LCD|
|Graphics Memory||NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 6GB GDDR5X VRAM|
|I/O||Noble lock security slot, power, Ethernet port, USB 3.1 2nd-gen port, 2-in-1 memory card reader,
3.5mm headphone jack, two USB 3.1 ports, a Thunderbolt 3 with Type-C port, and HDMI 2.0
|Battery||56Wh, four-cell battery|
Design and Build Quality
If you have a thing for RGB lighting, ostentatious logos, a flashy red and black design, then I’ll suggest you look someplace else because the Dell G7 looks clean and simple. As you can see, I have the white variant of the laptop called “Alpine White” with me for the review, but you can also get a black variant called Licorice Black.
I am not a huge fan of “white” laptops, but I found this variant of the G7 to be refreshing. There are many laptops that stop by our offices for review, but this one stood out the most to me. So, props to Dell for an admiringly simple and sharp design.
At first blush, though, you may find the G7’s design to be oddly familiar. Well, that’s because it belongs to the company’s erstwhile Inspiron gaming family, and the G7 looks similar to the Dell Inspiron 7567. It comes housed in a similar chassis but is dolled up to look like a premium laptop.
Dell has painted the G7 with a premium coat of paint to make it look as if it was constructed using premium materials. The top of the laptop has a opalescent coating that makes it look really good. It also extends to both sides of the body, making it look quite fetching. Honestly, I was skeptical about the white coating and the satin finish, but it’s grown on me over the past week.
As a part of accented decorations, the hinge and the frame of the vents on the back side of the laptop have been painted silver. I am also a huge fan of the matte texture of the deck inside as it keeps smudges and fingerprints at bay. Oh, and the ‘G7’ logo on the vent at the back? Well, that looks like it belongs to a sports car, and adds to the racing motif, which looks awesome, in my opinion.
The G7 is a step up in aesthetics from the Inspiron line.
The build quality of the Dell G7 is also solid. At 2.86 kilograms and 15.3 x 10.8 x 0.9 inches, it is safe to call it a chunky laptop. Thanks to the Max-Q design, it is not as thick as most other gaming laptops in the market, but I can definitely feel the weight toting this thing back and forth to the office on my long commute.
As soon as you open the lid, though, things start getting a little uninteresting. That’s because you see a 15.6-inch display surrounded by offensively thick bezels on all four sides.
Look, I am not expecting laptop makers to go completely bezel-lesss, at least not in a gaming laptop, but I had huge expectations from Dell since they managed to deliver a great experience with the XPS line-up.
Get past bezel city, and you’ll notice that the display lid connects to the base with a center-mounted hinge, leaving some gap on either side. There’s a little bit of flex in the panel because of that, but the panel doesn’t feel flimsy. The hinge, however, works exactly as it should. I can lift the lid with just one finger and the whole laptop stays put. Well, that’s not something that every laptop can do, let alone gaming laptops.
Dell has done a commendable job when it comes to the build quality. It might not feed your RGB obsession, but it’s not an age-old gaming laptop with distasteful styling either.
At this point, it’s clear that Dell has paid a lot of attention to the design and the build quality. Where Dell hasn’t done such a good job is with the display. The 15.6-inch IPS 1080p display looks just decent at best. First off, the lack of a 120Hz display for this price is a bit of a letdown. The anti-glare coating helps with the reflections, but it maxes out at 250 nits, which is pretty low for multimedia consumption.
The color reproduction is also not that impressive. It covers 73 percent RGB and just 56 percent Adobe RGB space. However, it has great viewing angles, so casual users will easily be able to make peace with this laptop.
Don’t get me wrong, it is not a bad display by any means, but I feel like Dell, of all companies, could have done a better job considering the fact that they have delivered some stunning panels in the past. The Dell G7 falls short in this regard.
Note: A bit of research in my free time led me to this thread that tells you how to overclock the panel up to a 100Hz. Yes, you can use a utility tool to overclock the panel on the Dell G7, but it might void your warranty, so attempt it at your own risk.
Ports and Connectivity
The Dell G7 has a good port selection as well. On the left, you have a Noble lock security slot, power port, an Ethernet port, USB 3.1 2nd Gen port, and a 2-in-1 memory card reader. Moving over to the right side, you get a 3.5mm headphone jack, two USB 3.1 ports, a Thunderbolt 3 with Type-C port, and HDMI 2.0 output.
In terms of wireless connectivity, the laptop supports WiFi 802.11ac standard, and Bluetooth 5.0, which is pretty great if you want to use a controller or a pair of Bluetooth headphones.
As soon as you open the lid of the G7, you’ll see full-sized typing deck inside. It’s a chiclet-style keyboard with decently spaced matte-black keys. The gamer in me hates these keys, but as a writer, I appreciate the key travel and snappy action. The power button, on the other hand, rests separately on the top. I hate the fact it lacks any kind of lighting, but it houses a fingerprint sensor for Windows Hello authentication, so there’s that.
While we are at it, let me tell you that I absolutely hate the lighting on this keyboard. It has a blue LED backlight with only two illumination levels. Look, I am glad that they didn’t go with red color lights as it would have looked hideous, but I am not a huge fan of the blue light either.
I found the light to be a little bit fatiguing to my eyes while using it for an extensive period of time at night. It would have been nice to have a lighter shade of blue or just a white light. I know it sounds like I am being picky, but I think I am allowed to do that especially when I am paying well upwards of Rs 1 lakh.
The G7’s keyboard is as good as it’s going to get on an affordable gaming laptop, but the LED backlight is definitely one of its low points.
Thankfully, the touchpad on the G7 is awesome. The best part is that’s it’s a Precision touchpad, so the tracking is reliable and smooth. I know most gamers buying this laptop will splurge on a gaming mouse anyway, but it is hard not to acknowledge the big and smooth surface that this touchpad offers.
That being said, I do have one aesthetic issue with the touchpad and that’s the placement. It’s placed right below the spacebar in an off-center spot. It comes in the way of my left hand while typing or using the standard WASD section while gaming. I’ve gotten used to it because the Acer Predator Helios 300, which happens to be my personal laptop, also has a similar setup. But if you’re new to this, then it’s definitely worth noting.
Rounding out the Dell G7’s hardware is the dual front-firing speaker system that sits just below the palm rest facing you. The speakers get decently loud without much distortion, and they managed to fill my room with some crisp and clear music when played on full volume. However, I found the speakers on Dell Inspiron 7567 to be much better thanks to the sub-woofers.
For gaming though, the speakers on the Dell G7 are surprisingly good. The sound is full, and it can reproduce lots of small audio details, making it usable even while playing games. That being said, I would still not stray from a pair of gaming headset when I want to cut ties with the outside world and immerse myself in a game.
The Dell G7’s webcam looks, well, just like any other webcam on a gaming laptop. You shouldn’t have any issues getting through a video chat or two, but I wouldn’t recommend using this camera for live streaming.
The real worth of a gaming laptop, however, is measured by how well it can play games, so let’s jump into the performance and see what the 8th generation Intel Core i9 can do.
As soon as I saw the “Powered by Core i9” sticker on the laptop deck, I was really excited to put it through its paces in the real world. Now, having used this laptop as my daily driver for the past week, I am happy to report that the performance from the six-core Intel CPU is right where it should be.
The G7’s 2.9GHz Core i9-8950HK processor with 16GB RAM, as you’d expect, can hold its own as a multi-tasking beast. At one point, I was streaming a show on Netflix while running a couple of Twitch streams on Chrome with a dozen more open tabs, and it managed to keep up with everything without breaking a sweat.
At this point, I was really impressed with the performance. But, as I said, I wanted to put the laptop through its paces, so I ran a few synthetic benchmarks and played a couple of my favorite graphics intensive games. Here’s how it went –
The Dell G7, in my opinion, came up with decent results when it comes to benchmarks. It clocked 132.21 FPS in Cinebench R15’s OpenGL test, scored 3,872 in 3DMark Time Spy, and 5,241 in PCMark 10.
The G7 continued to impress on Geekbench 4 in which it hit 5,415 in the single-core score, and 22,769 in multi-core score. In VRMark, the laptop managed to score 5,782 at its base clock speed of 2.90GHz.
Next up, to test the rendering performance, I rendered the BMW Benchmark from the Blender demo archive. The laptop managed to complete the rendering process in 698 seconds.
The results, as you can see, are better than most budget gaming laptops. In fact, in some cases, it is at par with some high-end gaming machines like Alienware 17 R5 that we reviewed a few months back. However, it is worth pointing out that the fans kicked in pretty quickly, and that’s when I realized that the exhaust fans get pretty loud.
The Dell G7, as mentioned earlier, is armed with a GTX 1060 Max-Q GPU with 6GB of VRAM. The Max-Q design, in case you don’t know, keeps the GTX 1060 GPU from putting out the best performance, but don’t let that stray away from this laptop. It is more than capable of playing games on high settings.
For this testing, I ran all the games at 1920 x 1080 resolution with high graphics settings, and honestly, the results were pretty good. I’ll let the benchmarks do the talking –
As you can see, I was comfortably clocking over 60FPS on most demanding titles even on High settings. Games like Project Cars 2, Metro Last Light, etc. were easily rendering frames above 100 FPS while being on high graphics settings. Even the relatively newer titles like Far Cry 5, Soul Calibur 6 were rendering good frames.
Lastly, I decided to kill some time in PUBG looking for a chicken dinner, and I was comfortably getting over 60 FPS.
The 1060 Max-Q GPU inside the Dell G7 also supports Virtual Reality. I wasn’t able to try any VR games in particular, but looking at the VRMark benchmark results, I am inclined to believe that the G7 is “Oculus Ready” as per the company’s claim.
The internals of the Dell G7 are very easy to get into. Just pop out a single screw and you are in. I wish more devices allowed me to peek the internals so easily. Inside, you’ll see a dual fan setup that manages to keep the laptop cool even under heavy loads. At no point did the laptop show any sign of throttling. Yes, the exhaust fan gets noisy on load, but you can crank up the volume of your game or put on a pair of headphones, and forget about it. Plus, they’re really good at keeping your system cool. Also, unlike a majority of budget gaming laptops, the fans are not chained together. This means the laptop won’t suffer from a bad heat dissipation as seen on some other laptops like the Acer Nitro 5 Spin.
Even under heavy load, the temperature remained well under 70 degrees across the board, which is acceptable for a laptop that packs some serious power.
The laptop has a massive intake grill at the back, and it allows the fans to pull in air to keep the CPU and GPU cool at all times. The hot air, however, is exhausted from the vents at the bottom of the laptop, so you’ll definitely feel the heat if you place the machine on your lap, which is something that I won’t recommend doing while playing games.
By now, you must be wondering how a 56Whr, 4-Cell battery inside the Dell G7 fares with a powerful processor and a discrete GPU? Well, I wouldn’t say it’s an unforgiving battery eater, but it’s not winning any awards in my books.
I was able to get about 5 hours of screen time on the max brightness with my workload. It does charge fairly quickly, so topping it up shouldn’t be an issue, in my opinion. Look, as a gamer, you are not going to sit far away from a power outlet. So, the fact that you can squeeze out around five hours of non-gaming productivity work on a single charge is decent.
Dell G7 15 Pros and Cons
- Excellent build quality
- Great trackpad with Windows Precision drivers
- Powerful CPU
- Cooling and port selection
- Average battery life
- Slow display
- Poor keyboard backlight
Buy Dell G7 15 from Dell Store: (₹1,32,390)
Dell G7 15 Review: Up There With The Best
With a price tag of ₹1,32,390, the Dell G7 15 is one of the most affordable, if not the most affordable, Core i9-powered laptops. For comparison, the Core-i9 powered Alienware 17 R5 will set you back ₹3,36,000, whereas a Core-i9 powered MSI GT75 Titan will cost you ₹3,35,000 (Rs 2,98,900 for the Core i7 model).
And despite the lack of glitzy lighting, the Dell G7 gets some points for style, for its less aggressive yet aesthetically pleasing design. It may not light up like a gaming laptop, but it looks pretty damn good on your desk.
The Dell G7 competes with the best without actually being the best gaming laptop out there on the market.
It also excels at gaming performance for a lot less than many other laptops. Of course, the high-end rigs are going to produce good frame rates on graphically taxing games, but the Dell G7 is a solid performer and it will definitely please the budget-conscious gamer in you, and then some.